Fellow Since 1992
This profile was prepared when Shahidul Haque was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1992.
The New Idea
Shahidul is providing physically disabled individuals with the skill they need to become productive working members of society. More than simply opening job possibilities, this training focuses on teaching self-help skills. It seeks to empower disabled people with a sense of purpose and self-confidence that they find hard to develop in the discouraging, negative environment they otherwise confront. As this confidence begins to build, he draws disabled people into community-based rehabilitation projects that help them learn how to tap available local resources in order to live independent lives.Shahidul urgently wants to change society's attitudes toward the disabled. By helping to work disabled people into the mainstream of society and its development effort, by involving community members in the process, and by providing local communities with information regarding the abilities of the disabled, Shahidul hopes to create a more understanding and supportive community environment for the disabled. Shahidul believes that this change will give the physically disabled a higher profile, more consideration in day-to-day dealings, and some attention in national development planning.