Aamir Sohail Sohail Saddozai

Ashoka Fellow
,
Fellow Since 2007
SAHARA

Citation

This profile was prepared when Aamir Sohail Sohail Saddozai was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
Aamir is changing the attitude of people towards disabled communities in underdeveloped areas in Pakistan through the Social Alliance for Human Activation Rehabilitation & Ability (SAHARA). SAHARA effectively changes families’ attitudes towards disabilities through counseling, the engagement of community and religious leaders, and by mobilizing medical professionals towards treatment and prevention. SAHARA has also gained the assistance of corporate and private companies that have actively supported the establishment of medical camps, advertisement, as well as the purchase of wheelchairs and other equipment. The organization has a broad membership in the citizen sector, and actively garners support for their cause through fundraising, volunteering, and goodwill endeavors.
Aamir is expanding the program district by district through local government support, aimed at mobilizing resources including funding, facilities, and regulations. The district government of Dera Ismail Khan (DIK) has provided space for facilities, contributed funds, and assisted in the development of a program to promote a disabled-friendly school system of Inclusive Education, where children with any form of physical disability may enter and learn. Thanks to his work, the public school system currently supports teachers’ training for this purpose and is beginning to accommodate for the disabled through appropriate structures and furniture. He gave a comprehensive plan to the district government and after the approval of District Assembly Dera Ismail Khan is declared a Disabled Friendly District—a joint program was launched in 2004.
While government support has helped Aamir widen the scope of his program, he has also attempted to energize the citizen sector by spreading the word about his work through radio programs. His efforts have been quite successful as people of different areas continue to approach DIK for medical help and advice. Additionally, he has engaged local organizations dealing with disability, bringing them recognition and providing program building advice by taking the lead in a national network of physically handicapped. By adopting new strategies and opportunities, Aamir facilitates others in the network to open up and employ his ideas, hoping to use that energy to bring about significant reforms on both the provincial and national levels.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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