By Haroun Rashid

Making Ralli quilts is part and parcel of the desert life in Cholistan. Women have been doing this for ages for domestic use in Cholistan of South Punjab, Umerkot, Tharparkar in Sindh province of Pakistan and Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujrat. These quilts have gained international recognition in recent times but Cholistani quilts in South Punjab region of Pakistan have received little attention despite the delicate hand embroidery on them.

PakVoices captured some of the glimpses of the Cholistani women at work as they are not just contributing to the rich culture of the desert but also to the local economy with the increasing commercial value of these quilts.

However, these working women are not given their due as the lion’s share is taken by the market forces and the middleman. Take a look at the following striking images capturing the real Cholistani domestic lifestyle of women:


Cholistan: These women are busy in making Ralli quilts that are cultural symbol of the Cholistan region and Sindh as well.


In the villages of South Punjab, these quilts are used on the traditional chorpoy bed.


One quilt takes at least weeks to be ready for sale in the market. But these women earn less than their due amount given the kind of labour involved in making each piece.


In the Cholistan Desert, women walk on bare foot for miles to fetch water from the well. Sometimes they return empty because of drought-like condition.


These traditional quilts are also gaining international recognition due to the embroidery representing local culture.