Fellow Since 2009
Task for Environment and Cultural Heritage (TEACH)
This profile was prepared when Manzoor Mirani was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2009.
The New Idea
Manzoor is organizing nomadic people in Pakistan and advocating for their rights and entitlements to give them the opportunity to secure better lifestyles. Through his work, Manzoor is saving the structure of these indigenous communities while also involving legislators to intervene at the policymaking stage to recognize and acquire a respectable position for nomadic people. Manzoor is employing a process of research and documentation to engage the media and students to appreciate the cultural assets of indigenous people to society. In involving young people, Manzoor motivates youth to reach out to these communities and help integrate them into the society. For example, student groups have begun to take the lead and open literacy centers in indigenous community settlements. Through his organization, Manzoor protects and promotes indigenous knowledge, particularly by way of workshops for community youth. In addition to this, he facilitates workshops to improve the livelihoods of indigenous groups by showcasing their artisans, artists, and musicians. This, along with preservation and sharing of traditional knowledge as well as work with policymakers throughout Pakistan, Manzoor has and will continue to have a profound impact on the lives of nomadic and historically oppressed people in the region.