Tulika Das

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2004


This profile was prepared when Tulika Das was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004.
The New Idea
Tulika pioneers a process to make people with disabilities an integral part of India’s plans for development and equal beneficiaries of poverty alleviation programs in rural India. She fights the marginalization of people with disabilities, believing strongly that education, employment, and health care plans must take their needs and skills into account. By integrating disability issues into India’s ongoing development work, Tulika challenges the mindset that people with disabilities should be segregated from those without.
Building on a successful community-based rehabilitation program for the disabled which she administered in rural West Bengal, Tulika’s model uses the Disability Act of 1995 as a springboard for introducing strategic interventions for the disabled at various levels of government. Her mission is not only to chart a new course for the sustainable inclusion of the disabled in rural society, but also to maximize India’s human resources. By neglecting the disabled, the country misses out on a major source of labor and innovation; she helps disabled people realize their great potential to contribute to Indian society.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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