JAKARTA, Jan 21 — Irma Suryati inspects the handiwork of one of the workers in her craft shop.
Suryati, like those who work here, is disabled.
Three years ago she opened the Mutiara Handicraft Centre to teach people how to sew, after finding it difficult to get work herself.
Suryati says she hopes people buy the crafts made here not out of pity, but because they are made well.
“I am selling and marketing the mats not out of pity but more about the quality. We are professionals in the business and we’re up for competition with other companies. Thank God we’ve already entered the Australian market and this year we will start expanding our business to Singapore,” said Suryati.
There are 20 people with disabilities working here, including Taufik Ismail and his wife Jumiati.
Ismail says the job helps him earn income and a sense of pride.
According to Indonesia’s national socio-economic survey in 2012, around six million of the country’s 250 million population are living with disabilities and many find it difficult to get a job. — Reuters