Anora Begum (Mitglied des Biborton Handmade Paper Projekts)
„When Anora thinks about the future, she smiles“
Water hyacinth is a plant that grows plentifully in the Agailjhara area of southern Bangladesh. You can see the plant growing in almost every waterway. Because of its availability, it is an excellent natural fibre to use to make paper. It makes a strong durable paper that has a smooth finish. Water hyacinth paper is one of the main products produced at Biborton Handmade Paper Project. It is amazing to watch the process of turning thick green stalks into smooth tan coloured paper or brightly coloured, textured paper.
Anora Begum is part of the paper-making process at the project. She performs many tasks from chopping the long green stems into small pieces, to lifting the processed fibres out of large tubs with specially made screen, to squeezing the excess water from sheets of paper - the last step before drying the paper.
Anora Begum has been coming to the project each week for the last five years. Over those five years, she has experienced many changes in her life. She really does feel able to smile when she thinks about all that she has.
Anora has not always had things to smile about. Already in her 32 years, she has seen lots of tragedy. Married at a young age, to a man much older than herself, Anora left her poor family for a difficult life. In the beginning, her husband had a job but then he became weak, sick, unable to work. They tried to find a cure for his sickness but the doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong. By this time, they had two children and Anora worried about being able to provide them with the things they needed. A neighbour woman, who knew of Anora’s troubles, suggested that Anora go to Biborton Handmade Paper Project to look for work because they hired women who had financial difficulties. Anora went and applied for a job and has been working ever since.
Anora’s son and daughter are both going to school and they enjoy learning very much. Anora’s wages pay for all of their needs and she is also able to provide some treatments and medication for her husband. She hopes that one day, she’ll be able to pay for her husband to see a really good doctor who can help him even more. Anora is saving money to buy a piece of land one day. It is her dream to have her own land and home. When Anora thinks of the future, she smiles, because she knows that she now has the means to provide good things for those she loves.