RLCC in Karachi

Written by Hafsa Ammar 7:19 pm Pakistan Unveiled, Published Content

The Ra’ana Liaquat Craftsmen’s Colony in Karachi (RLCC)

Started by Begum Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan during the partition, the Ra’ana Liaquat Craftsmen’s Colony (RLCC) is a non-profit organization in Shah Faisal, Karachi. Created to preserve the work and expertise of emigrating craftworkers from India, the organization has expanded to vocational training, health centers, and livelihood programs.
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Hafsa Ammar is a graduate of the National Defence University, Islamabad. Her areas of expertise are narrative building and propaganda warfare, centered around the Soviet Union and modern-day Russia.

The Ra’ana Liaquat Craftsmen’s Colony (RLCC) is an esteemed institution working for women’s empowerment and financial independence in the heart of Karachi.


Headquartered in Shah Faisal, the RLCC has been integral to Karachi’s social fabric. The non-profit organization (NPO) was founded during the partition in 1947 when Begum Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan set up a shelter in the Shah Faisal colony for workers migrating from India.

At the time, it would have been easy for their talents and professions to have been snuffed out due to the extenuating circumstances, but Begum Ra’ana’s selfless act helped these careers persevere. Now, that act of compassion has converted into sustainable income streams for multiple households.

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The RLCC was officially set up as an NPO and inaugurated in 1954. In the 70 years that it has been functional, the organization has only changed hands a total of 4 times, from Begum Ra’ana herself to Begum Suraiya Abbasi, then Madam Salwa Habib, to the current head, Ms. Somayeh Bardai. This has left the original vision and purpose of the institution unchanged.


The RLCC has been working for economic and financial independence in the chronically impoverished society of Karachi. With approximately 200 employees and over 2000 beneficiaries, the colony aims to create a conducive environment for better communal focus on health and education, especially centered around women and children.

The organization’s vision is guided by the sustainable development goals (SDGs) outlined by the United Nations (UN), especially the following:

  • Goal 1: No Poverty
  • Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being
  • Goal 4 Quality Education
  • Goal 5 Gender Equality
  • Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Goal 10 Reduced Inequalities
  • Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

The RLCC community, set in Block 1, has a satellite clinic and a health center set up there which provides not only specialized care for women and children but also services for family planning and mental health care. Apart from the clinic, other communal welfare projects include a kindergarten, a co-ed school, and various training programs. All of which are situated in one ground.

Vocational Training Programs

RLCC trains and prepares women for various careers through its vocational education and training programs (VET). They teach the following:

  • Embroidery
  • Crotchet
  • Esthetician skills
  • Computer classes
  • Adult literacy
  • English grammar

In 2024, they plan to expand classes towards new avenues such as digital marketing, photography, childcare, driving, housekeeping, and more.

Livelihood Programs

This section of the RLCC represents its core message—celebrating and protecting the crafts. Around 350 women are thriving in various fields such as paper crafts, beadwork, and embroidery. The organization makes sure to recycle and upcycle whatever it can. They also try to lessen the purchase and use of single-use plastic in their crafts. Being eco-friendly is crucial for their sustainability goals.

Outreach Programs

The RLCC has been fully operative in Karachi for the past 7 decades. However, there is a lack of awareness concerning both its message and existence. The outreach program aims to combat both of these issues through comprehensive educational schemes that focus on both health and social problems. Outreach programs are essential for the growth of any society.

Fee Structure

The RLCC provides services to the people of Shah Faisal and nearby societies such as Korangi or Malir on subsidized fees.

  • School fee: 1200 Rs.
  • Doctor’s appointment: 150 Rs.
  • Vocational training classes: 1000 Rs.
  • Livelihood training is free of cost.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article/paper are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of Paradigm Shift.

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