Fellow Since 2006
This profile was prepared when Muhammad Sirajuddin was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2006.
The New Idea
Siraj formed the Technical Training and Resource Center (TTRC) to offer comprehensive training and support to a new generation of young para-professionals, who can then provide advising, surveying and planning services for construction projects in their local community. He has developed a workshop and short term course on surveying, planning and estimation that is offered through formal courses and research groups of 10 to 15 young people. The community organizations that lobby for services and facilities such as water and electric, sanitation, and road construction to schools and clinics find that training local youth is advantageous in negotiating with government officials and private contractors. Additionally, Siraj is educating the community about the importance of environmentally-sound construction practices. Siraj supports the Organization of Para-Professionals (OPP) with advisory services and monitors the construction of projects. For house construction Siraj will provide design services and for urban design projects will offer advice on effective planning. Siraj has systematized the advisory services with booklets, posters and videos. The advisory service has improved the quality of construction, and improved efficiency and reduced costs in neighborhoods lacking access to professional design and construction services. To create a consciousness of good environmental practices, Siraj’s focus is on young children, with awareness efforts at primary schools delivered as part of a school improvement program.