Hazer Gul

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2010
Islampur Cottage Industry Association


This profile was prepared when Hazer Gul was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2010.
The New Idea
Having freed himself from life as a bonded laborer, Hazer has an informed and thorough understanding of the problems that plague people working in cottage industries throughout Pakistan, and has developed a plan to empower laborers involved in the sector. Through the Islampur Cottage Industries Association Hazer educates laborers about their rights, helps them come together to assert those rights, links them to banks and goods suppliers, and guides them through the process of producing and marketing their products while keeping the middlemen involved.

Hazer implements his plan at various levels: He identifies a problem within a community and organizes the workers within the community to come together to overcome the issue, such as poor working conditions, or lack of monetary compensation. A worker’s association is formed to provide training and networking services to gain access to a wider market, price their products at a competitive level, and negotiate with middlemen. At the household level, Hazer works with other citizen organizations (COs) and the government to introduce family planning and access to formal education. At the industry level, Hazer engages designers and professionals from the industry to help improve weaving tools and provide product design services. At the government level, Hazer campaigns for the recognition of the rights of the cottage industry workers and lobbies to change and implement worker protection laws.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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