Fellow Since 2008
This profile was prepared when Abdul Qadir was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2008.
The New Idea
Abdul has founded the first organization in Pakistan to comprehensively address the rising problem of traffic safely and road deaths. Beginning in Karachi, where vehicular traffic has more than doubled over the last year, Abdul focuses on three interrelated strategies. The first and most important is to ensure that victims of road accidents—especially children—receive the proper legal and medical support, no matter where they come from or how poor their families. Simple steps like helping victims register and report incidents at the proper police department have already helped thousands get treatment they are otherwise denied. Second, through his Social Research and Development Organization (SRDO), Qadir works to improve road maintenance and monitoring, and most importantly, emergency response systems. In partnership with the City Government he has founded the first emergency response hotline, complete with student volunteers that document accidents, register victims, and facilitate the police and ambulance workers to respond to all incidents quickly and effectively. Finally, Qadir is promoting road safety education by working through schools and public awareness campaigns. Much of this is targeted towards children and public vehicle drivers initially to reduce pedestrian accidents. But through radio and advertisement banners, he hopes to generate a citizen-driven campaign to improve road safety and crack down on the worst offenders. As Qadir perfects his model in Karachi, he plans to adopt its strategies to Pakistan’s other large cities where incidents of road accidents and deaths are also high and on the rise.