The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt


KARACHI, Pakistan, Tuesday—Yesterday afternoon we left the Durbar ceremonies, where the heads of tribes were honored for the conduct of their people, in order to have a look at the cottage industries. The principal undertaking is embroidery, and most of the women are refugees from nearby camps who work under the auspices of the All-Pakistan Women's Association. Some of them look like old women and yet I was told that most of them are still fairly young. On looking at them carefully I could see it was hardship, hard work and many children that made them appear old before their time.

In the maternity hospital the day before I had seen a woman with her head raised because of heart disease and the doctor told me she was barely 20 years old and had five children. With three children she had serious infections and had lost two of them. Now her heart is in such condition that they are worried about the possibility of what she may be able to do in the future.

The other day in Hyderabad we saw a most interesting irrigation undertaking on the Lower Sind River. When it is completed, the project will provide canals for irrigation over the vast desert area and the wasteland should come into bloom just does Arizona and New Mexico in the United States.

In Hyderabad we were also supposed to visit several refugee industrial centers but we only managed a hurried glimpse or two because by the time we had a pleasant lunch on the floor of a tent of what would be a river bed or canal someday and were driven to see the work now going on our time was short.

We did see some lovely weaving done with gold thread, some beautiful designs and also some work done with semi-precious and synthetic stones. We also were shown some carpets woven by hand but we didn't have time to see them actually doing the work.

I did a recording for Radio Pakistan on my return to Government House and after that I saw Begum Hussain Malik's children—a charming boy of nine and two small girls, the youngest of whom is four years old. They were very well-behaved and somewhat awed, I fear, but I hope someday they will come to America and find it is not a terrifying place.

After the recording I had the satisfaction of getting my hair and nails done, which may not seem important to the gentlemen but means a great deal to the ladies, particularly when one is being shown about in dusty areas all day long!

This is our last evening in Karachi. Tomorrow morning we go by air to Peshawar.

As I look back over the few days spent here, I realize I have seen most of the problems facing this country. I have seen some of the economic efforts and much of the work which Pakistan's women are trying to organize. It has been heartening to witness the enthusiasm and the energy they are putting into the job, and, though the problems are great, it makes one feel good to see the way they are being tackled.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Karachi (Pakistan) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, February 27, 1952

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.