At the outset, with all the humbleness and with a sense of thankfulness to my Allah, I, along with my worthy Senior Vice President, Mr. Khurram Azim Khan and Vice President, Mr. M. Jalil Aslam convey our deepest sense of gratitude for reposing unflinching confidence on us in our election to manage the affairs of The Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sialkot for the year 2019-2020.
I would like to share that Sialkot Chamber, apart from its Export Promotion role and facilitation to its members, is actively involved in the promotion of Women Entrepreneurs and is a strong advocate of Women Empowerment.
To support the vision in practical terms, a dedicated Women Resource Center (WRC) has been working & providing full support and assistance to the existing as well as upcoming Women Entrepreneurs. We believe in creating an environment that is conducive to working women at every level. Its foremost goal is to increase women participation in the commercial sector as it is not only important for their lives but also significant for our country’s economic success.
I extend SCCI’s fullest support to women who are passionate about their entrepreneurship career; we encourage and welcome the women entrepreneurs to be the part of SCCI for their business exposure.
Sialkot is one of the important industrial cities of Pakistan. It has very ancient history. Sialkot was founded by Raja Sul and later it was reconstructed by Raja Salivahian, he also built a fort in the city, thus the city was given the name ‘Sialkot” which means the “Fort of Sia”. After independence Muslim population of Sialkot supported Muslim league and Muhammad Ali Jinnah and many Muslims settled here after migrating from India. The city has been affected by the wars of 1965 and 1971 because of its location; it is located near the border of India. Sialkot is known for manufacturing and export of many items such as surgical instruments, musical instruments, sports goods, leather goods, textile goods etc. Sialkot is the second largest source of foreign exchange earnings for Pakistan because of its exports’ and remittances from overseas manpower.
Sialkot is located in Punjab province near Chanab River. The north part of Sialkot is very fertile whereas south art is less fertile. These both arts are watered by Chanab River. The main crops of Sialkot are wheat, barley, rice, corn, millet and sugarcane.
Sialkot is a city rich in culture. People of Sialkot belong to different backgrounds. People of different castes live in Sialkot. They belong to different castes like Jat, Aryan, Kashmir, Mughal, Gujjars and others. Culture of Sialkot represents Punjabi culture and its impact can be seen in different areas of life in Sialkot. Following are the different elements of Sialkot’s culture.
Food: Different Punjabi dishes are famous in Sialkot. Some of the famous Sialkot dishes are Tandori Chicken, Bhuna Ghost, Nihari, Chicken and Beef Biryani, Keema Naan, Sarson da saag etc. Famous sweet dishes include Phirni, Jalebi, and Sheer Khorma etc.
Language: In Sialkot on a wider scale Punjabi is spoken. It is spoken by 95% people, Punjabi dialects are spoken in the city are
· Majhi by the majority.
· Dogri/Darhab (Jammu and Narowal district’s people).
Other languages like Urdus, English and Pashto are also spoken in Sialkot.
Dresses: Traditional dresses of Sialkot are dhoti, khurta and Khussa but now shalwar kameez, trousers and shirts are also worn by the citizen of Sialkot.
Weddings: The wedding functions include Mehandi, Barat and Walima. These functions resemble the wedding functions of other cities of Punjab. Mehandis are performed before the barat in which girls wears colorful dresses and sings mehndi songs. After Walima, a rasam is performed in which dulhan visits her home for the first time after marriage, this rasam is called muklawa. All these functions represent traditions of Sialkot.
Poetry: Punjabi culture is dominated in the poetry of this area. The poetry of this area clearly shows the Punjabi mindset. Many poets like Baba Farid, Bulleh Shah, Shah Hussain and Waris Shah has been cited in the city. And the Punjabi poetry of this area has been translated into many other languages. Sialkot has produces very famous poets throughout its history. It is the home of the greatest poet which world has ever seen, Allama Iqbal. Furthermore more great poets and writers like Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Muhammad Zafarullah Khan, and Asghar Sodhar belong to Sialkot.
Historical places: Sialkot has many historical places that represent its culture. It is a great center for Punjabi culture. Following are some of the important places in Sialkot:
· There is a shrine of Imam Ali-ul-Haq.
· In Sialkot there are also remains of Sialkot fort. The tomb of Pir Muradia Shah is also in Sialkot fort.
· Birthplace of Allama Iqbal has been converted into museum, which contains his personal belongings and a library which comprises of different types of books.
· Puran well related to Punjab folklore Bhagat Puran is also situated in Sialkot.
All these historical represent the culture of Sialkot.
Theatre: Numerous theatre organizations like Shaheen Arts Council Adda Pasuiyan, Dramatic Society Islamia College Sialkot, Al-Shahkaar Art Society Sialkot, Khan Art Council Sialkot and many others are working for the promotion and development of theatre in Sialkot. They are also producing good quality actors. Atmosphere and standard of theatre in Sialkot is good. but because of availability of other forms of entertainment level of audience for theatre is decreasing day by day but still especially families like to visit theatres But none the less, Stage in Sialkot has also been contaminated with vulgarity like stages of other cities of Pakistan. In the last few years quality of stage has decrease because of which people avoid stage mostly.
Music: Punjabi music is dominant in Sialkot. Bhangra is the most listened form of music but now trend of mixing Punjabi music to produce new variety of music is gaining popularity. In Sialkot various music academies are working for the production of high quality music. They are also producing good quality singers. These academies include Sun Sangam academy, Pakistan Arts Council, Sub Rung Musical group etc.
Folk dance: Punjabi form of dances is famous is Sialkot. They are performed at different events like weddings, festivals etc. Different Punjabi dances like Bhangra, Jhumar, and Gidha are performed in different events of Sialkot. Men and women both participate in these dances.
Literature: Numerous organizations like Daera-tul-Adab, Bazm-e-Urdu Jammu Kashmir, Anjuman Shabab Urdu, Bazm-e-Anees Sialkot and others are working in Sialkot for the promotion and development of literature.
Education: Sialkot has a very good educational system and provides many facilities to students and has a very good educational infrastructure. Many different educational institutes are operating in the city and they provide excellent educational facilities to the students. Here there are universities for students of medical, engineering, law and also a virtual university. In Sialkot, there is also a separate university for women.
Sports: Different sports like are being played in the city. Cricket is the most played sport. Sialkot’s cricket team is known as Sialkot Stallions and they have participated in numerous cricket tournaments. Annually a golf tournament is also held at Sialkot Golf club.
Industries: There are following industries dominate Sialkot. These industries provide employment opportunities for the people of Sialkot.
· Surgical Instruments/Veterinary/Personal Care Industry
· Sports goods/Sports Wear/ Sports Bags
· Badges Industry
· Leather Garments & Leather Products
· Table Cutlery Flatware/Knives & Kitchenware
· Musical Instruments
· Gloves Industry
· Martial Arts/Fitness
Over the years, Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has without question established itself as a dynamic organization that has very effectively worked towards the betterment of not only the Sialkot industry but also the city’s community. Sialkot is now known all over the world as one of the leading industrial cities of Pakistan and contributes greatly to our country’s economy. I feel very proud and honored to represent the women entrepreneurs of Sialkot through the SCCI platform.
The Departmental Committee on Women Entrepreneur (WEC) is committed to serve all women entrepreneurs of Sialkot. In this day and age, no economy can succeed without active participation of women in all sectors. The Committee (WEC) believes in creating an environment that is conducive to working women at every level. Our foremost goal is to increase women participation in the commercial sector as it is important to our country’s economic success. WEC is dedicated to assisting existing as well as potential women entrepreneurs in establishing successful businesses. We work with a number of government and non-government agencies to provide relevant and helpful knowledge and resources to our members through workshops, informational seminars and institutional liaisons.
I encourage and welcome women who are already engaged in any business as well as those planning to start a new venture to join us. We at WEC will make every effort to help find solutions to all problems faced by the women entrepreneurial community of Sialkot. It is my belief that together we can make huge strides towards making women of Sialkot just as successful as their male counterparts in the commercial sector and a major contributor to our national economy.
Women Resource Center at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce & Industry was established in 2009 with the collaboration of CIPE (Center for International Private Enterprise). It was conceived to provide full support and assistance to the existing as well as upcoming Women Entrepreneurs.
The SCCI Women Resource Center has always tried to meet the changing demands of economic and Industrial dynamics and provide assistance to the women for establishing their businesses. On the other hand, WRC acts as a clearinghouse for distributing the information on many issues and subject matters, beneficial for women. SCCI believes that women in our community deserve a platform that can provide practical solutions to their problems expand their vision and identify the opportunities for them.
The mission of Women Resource Centre (WRC) is to enhance entrepreneurial Skills among Women Entrepreneurs of Sialkot by providing them easy access to resources for starting and growing their businesses.