Selling glass bangles is one of the countless kinds of small trade on which thousands of women earn their living across the country struggling more than their male counterpart to stay alive.
This small street business gives economic empowerment to many poor but energetic and courageous women like Minara Begum who makes Taka 400 to 500 per day by selling glass bangles with attractive colours and eye-catching designs.
Begum, a 40-year old lady who grew up living in boats as a member of bede (a nomadic ethnic group of Bangladesh usually termed as river-gipsy) community said, "We don't have any house in land, I grew up in boats with my parents. I inherited the business of selling bangles from my family.
Minara said she earns Taka 12,000 to Taka 10,000 per month by selling bangles.
"Now-a-days selling volume of glass bangles is higher but the profit margin is low," said Minara who is involved in this business in last 10 years.
She thanked the government for shifting the street lamps from yellow sodium light to white bulb. "Now it's good. We can sell bangles anywhere of the city," she said.
Sharmin, 30, like Begum lives in Lalbagh of the city, another bangle sellers said she came to this trade with the encouragement of her husband, Ramjan who works in a glass bangles factory at the old part of Dhaka. Apart from her regular selling spots in Shahbagh and TSC of the Dhaka University, she also sells bangles at street fairs on different festivals like boishakhi mela and boi mela.
"The fairs are good. We can sell more bangles during the fair as well as before Eids and pujas especially to the young girls who consider glass Bengals as must needed accessories of their festive outlook," said Sharmin who is doing this business with a revolving capital of Taka 20,000.
Another woman Lucky begum, who also achieved financial freedom by selling glass bangles. Presently, she sells bangles at TSC area of the Dhaka University, though she used to sell her products at new market areas previously.
"We usually sell bangles where more youths gather as our main customers are young ladies mainly students," she said who is in this trade for last 15 years.
She purchases glass Bengals from different small factories at Chakbazar of old Dhaka under wholesale.
"My husband works at one of those glass factories in Chakbazar. I came in this trade with advise of my husband, she said adding that she usually sells bangles worth Taka 1000 to 1500 daily from 4 pm to 10 pm at TSC area. "I can secure profit of Taka 300 to 350 in per Taka 1000 selling," she calculated.
Executive Director of Bangladesh Mohila Ainjibi Parishad Salma Ali recommended for providing small low interest bank loan to these women to help them flourish their small business.
"We have observed that these kinds of women are not educated but they are with full of energy. Just small amount of capital and social security could make them more economically empowered," she said.
Ali said "Women get social recognition when they are financially empowered," she observed.