Sajjad Gill is skilled artist from Rawalpindi, Pakistan, who was struggling to survive with basic tools and few opportunities.
“Despite having skills and ideas, I was living off a daily wage. Two years ago, I came to know about Islamic Relief’s microfinance programme and I applied for an interest-free loan to buy equipment to set up my own studio.”
After paying back his original loan, Sajjad received another, which he also paid back. “Now I have my own studio at home, where I put my ideas on canvas and sell my work at competitive rates. I am inspired by my surrounding and convey the local culture on canvas, which reflects Pakistan’s architectural beauty, depicts its values and its scenic beauty. I also love calligraphy and exhibited my work capturing Quranic impressions.”
Sajjad’s explained that he couldn’t afford to develop his work before receiving Islamic Relief’s support. “This has offered me an opportunity to play with colours and display my work at prominent events.
“There are a number of people in my area who are running their small businesses through this programme and every beneficiary has a unique story to tell. The interest-free concept of financing is flourishing and making people self-reliant.”
Sajjad Gill, Rawal Pindi, Pakistan
“People have been trying to define art for a long time and, in my opinion, art is basically a way of expression. A poet expresses in the form of verses, an engraver expresses by engraving stones and an artist expresses in the form of painting. These are all languages to convey a message. As an artist, I needed a channel to convey my message, which I didn’t have two years ago.”