Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We are deeply shocked!
AWDP Bangladesh expresses its deepest shock to the untimely and tragic demise of Mr. George Daniel, 45, on 7 April 2010. George Daniel was the Deputy Chairperson of Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI) with the responsibilities for Human Rights and Chairperson of DPI North America and the Caribbean (DPI NAC).

George Daniel was a powerful voice for the rights and freedom of people with disabilities around the world and a strong source of inspiration of AWDP members in Bangladesh.

• Daniel was a passionate and outspoken advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities.

• Mr. Daniel’s dedication to equality of ability is perhaps best illustrated when he filed a motion against the judicial arm of the State of Trinidad and Tobago for violating his constitutional right to liberty, when he discovered he could not gain access to the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain in his country.

• George Daniel came into light in the global disability movement when he and his supporters held fast for 116 days for establishing the rights for PWDs.

• Mr. Daniel’s dedication to equality of ability is perhaps best illustrated when he filed a motion against the judicial arm of the State of Trinidad and Tobago for violating his constitutional right to liberty, when he discovered he could not gain access to the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain in his country.

• Daniel recognized that the steps leading into the Hall of Justice preventing him access without having someone else pull his wheelchair up the steps backward, he realized those same steps stopped every person with a disability from fully participating in this arm of government with dignity and autonomy.

• On July 20th, 2007, he won a historic victory for disabled rights, a ruling by High Court Justice Nolan Bereaux, who agreed that the State had indeed violated Mr. Daniel’s right to liberty by not providing him equal access. Mr. Daniel’s refusal to sit quietly at the bottom of the steps was an immeasurable move forward in the struggle for disability rights in the Caribbean.

• Mr. Daniel proudly represented and served for persons as well as persons without disabilities. He believed that the rights of every human should be respected.

We have our same feelings with DPI and DPI NAC that the world has lost a great advocate for rights of persons with disabilities. He has left us with a legacy that proves that the power of one applies to everyone.

AWDP-Bangladesh, on behalf of all its members and supporters expresses its condolence to his family, near and dear ones and pray for the eternal peace of his departed soul. There’s no doubt that people with disabilities and rights activists around the world, will follow him, tomorrow or the day after!

Source: Disabled Peoples' International North America and the Caribbean,

Monday, March 29, 2010

National Disability Forum Election 2010

Bangladesh National Disability Forum -NFOWD elects a 15 member National Executive Committee on 27 March 2010 for the next two years (2010-2012). Association for the Welfare of the Disabled People (AWDP) warmly felicitates the newly elected NEC. The newly elected NEC comprised of 3 members with loco-motor disability, 5 members with visual impairment/blindness and 7 development activists/resource persons. There are 2 women members elected uncontested including 1 woman with disability.

It has set a milestone example of democratic practices in the election culture of NFOWD since its inception in 1991. Nomination papers were submitted by 25 candidates. Among all 25 candidates there were no contestants for 6 positions and those were elected uncontested.
Those positions are: 1. Sr Vice-president, 2. Woman with disability Secretary, 3. Divisional candidate for Barisal, 4. Divisional candidate for Chittagong, 5. Divisional Candidate for Sylhet and 6. Reserved Seat for PWD Members. Representatives from 158 organizations applied their votes to give mandate to remaining 19 candidates for the rest 9 positions of NEC.

This election was significant from various aspects.
It was for the first time in last 19 years when a highest number, 25 candidates took part in this election. This election has broken all previous trends of selection of Committee by understanding, especially in the senior level positions. Previously the selected Committee members neither needed to solicit opinion of the member organizations nor asked for vote to them. This election has changed that trend significantly.

Strong enthusiasm was created among both candidates and members for this election. Candidates visited organizations to organization in different districts and asked for votes. They also declared Election Manifesto/a set of commitments as well as some new and innovative ideas to promote rights of people with disabilities and capacity building of member organizations of this Forum. Members also went through management consultation within the organizations to choose appropriate candidates for respective positions. Through this election a status of acceptability and recognition of PWD leaders by NFOWD members has also been revealed significantly.

Association for the Welfare of the Disabled People (AWDP) heartily congratulates the newly elected committee and expresses its fullest support and cooperation towards its smooth functioning and achieving the goal.

The Elected Committee & secured votes

1. President: Khandaker Jahurul Alam, 87 Votes;
2. Senior Vice-President: Farida Yesmin (uncontested);
3. Vice-President: Md. Mahbubul Ashraf, 88 votes;
4. Secretary General: Jowaherul Islam Mamun, 72 votes;
5. Asst. Secretary General: M Khalilur Rahman, 103 votes;
6. WWD Secretary: Ms. Morjina Ahmed (uncontested);
7. Treasurer: Sayed Quamrul Islam, 97 votes;
8. NEC Member: Md. Harun Ur Rashid, 87 votes;
9. NEC Member: Mostafa Kamal Jatra (uncontested);
10. NEC Member: Md. Amir Hossain, 91 votes;
11. NEC Member: Mizanur Rahman, 115 Votes;
12. NEC Member: Md. Rajab Ali Khan Nozib (uncontested);
13. NEC Member: Md. Foysal Rahman, (uncontested);
14. NEC Member: Md. Saidul Huq (uncontested);
15. NEC Member: Md. Emdad Moslem, 92 votes.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The three deaf Nobel Laureates

Alfred Bernard Nobel (1833-1896), the Swedish chemist and inventor of dynamite, donated a fund of about $ 9.0 million for awarding Nobel Prizes annually to the persons who make significant contributions in any of the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, Peace and Economics. The prizes in the first five fields have been given since 1901. The Economics prize was introduced in 1969.

The winners of Physics, Chemistry and Economics are chosen by the Royal Academy of Science in Stockholm, Physiology or Medicine, by the Caroline Institute and the faculty of medicine in Stockholm. The winners of Literature are selected by the Swedish Academy of Literature in Stockholm. The Peace prize is awarded by a Norwegian Nobel Committee of five elected members from Norwegian Parliament.

The first deaf Nobel laureate was Charles Jules Henry Nicolle (1866-1936), a French bacteriologist who received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1928 for identifying lice as a transmitter of epidemic typhus.

Nicolle became deaf at the age of 20 while studying medicine. In 1893, he earned M.D. from the Pasteur Institute, the French non-profit private foundation dedicated to the study of biology, micro-organisms and vaccines. In 1895, Nicolle married Alice Avice and had two children.

Nicolle became the Director of Pasteur Institute in Tunis, Tunisia in 1903 where he did his Nobel Prize winning work on typhus. In 1936, he died there as the Director. Later Nicolle was honoured on French and Tunisian postage stamps.

The second deaf Nobel laureate was Sir Charles Scott Sherrington (1857-1952), an English physician who shared the Noble Prize in Medicine in 1932 with Edgar D. Adrian (British) for discovering the function of neurons.

Sir Sherrington became deaf late in life. In 1920, he was the President of Royal Society and a member of Order of Merit. He was knighted by the King of England.

The third deaf Nobel laureate was Sir John Warcup Cornforth. Born in Sydney, Australia in 1917 he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1975 with Vladimir Prelog (Swiss) for their work on the chemical synthesis of important organic

Sir Cornforth had been a profound deaf man since his teens. His mother Hilda Eipper (1887-1969) was the granddaughter of Christopher Eipper (1813-1894), a pioneer missionary and Presbyterian minister in Australia. He earned his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in 1937 and 1938 respectively from the University of Sydney and D. Phil. in 1941 from the University of Oxford. He is a member of Royal Society and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth. He is now 92.

Written by Iftu Ahmed, Aurora, IL, USA

Saturday, August 29, 2009

DPO Leaders met Speaker of the Parliament

A team of DPO Leaders met Speaker of the Bangladesh National Parliament Advocate Abdul Hamid at his office at Dhaka, on 24 August 2009. The team led by Md. Abdus Sattar Dulal a physically disabled person who is also the Secretary of Disabled Peoples' International (DPI), President of NADPO, a national DPO network and Executive Director of Bangladesh Protibandhi Kallyan Somity (BPKS) a leading DPO in the country.

Discussion between the honorable Speaker and DPO leaders includes the issues of rights, development and improvement in the quality of lives of people with disabilities in Bangladesh. The meeting focused on the needs for inclusion of disability issues in the national policy documents, amendment in the Rules of Business of the ministries, diversification of disability issues from Ministry of Social Welfare to others, ratified UNCRPD other relevant issues.

Appreciating the role of Speaker in the Parliament the team placed a set of demands for physical accessibility facilities of disabled persons in the parliament building, two reserved seats of MPs for PWDs from each division, inclusion of NADPO in the relevant Parliamentary Standing Committees and recruiting PWD employees in the Parliament Secretariat. The honorable Speaker expressed his same feelings on the issues raised. He suggested that the issues could be raised in the parliament sessons by MPs and then, he committed to do the needful at his level best in support to people with disabilities of the country. This meeting in a congenial environment created a hope for better future of people with disabilities in Bangladesh.

AWDP-Bangladesh congratulates Md. Abdus Sattar Dulal and his team of delegation for such an advocacy meeting with the top level policy maker of the country on the rights of people with disabilities and their issues.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sarower's Urge for an employment
Mohammad Sarower Hossen Khan is the first person with disability in Bangladesh who got M. Phil Degree from Dhaka University . Sarower is a person with full blindness who set a most encouraging instance of success by achieving his M. Phil Degreein September 2008. So far this is the highest academic accomplishment by a person with disability in the country.

AWDP-Bangladesh published a blogpost on 23 September 2008. Link

After that Sarower received remarks of appreciation from over the country and abroad for his big achievement. National newspapers and journals published 15 features on his exemplary achievement. Most leading NGOs working for the promotion of rights of people with disabilities highly appreciated him. Sarower is greatly indebted to all and expressed his gratitude to all organizations and individuals who made their kind remarks of appreciation.

After a long interval, in July 2009 following Remarks of Appreciation were made by leading disability rights NGOs and Donors.

One of our member named Mr. Mohammad Sarwar Hossain Khan secured his M..Phil degree from the University of Dhaka and the news is published in the issue of daily "Prothom Alo" today (link given below). Congratulations to him! He proved his ability and urged to the Govt of Bangladesh for necessary support to achieve his Ph.d degree. We wish him all the success.
Anam, Coordinator, BVIPS
Congratulation to Sarwar Bhai! A sparkling person can’t be visual impaired anymore. I salute you Sawar Bhai.
Rabeya Sultana
Head, Rights & Social Justice Sector
ActionAid Bangladesh
I would like to add few words with Rabeya Apa. Sarwar is a change maker who takes initiative on his own. I worked with him in Election Monitoring of Parliamentary Election 2001. He worked as a role model. He created another instance through completing the M. Phil degree. Congratulation to you, Sarwar. We need more capable people in our country.
Thank you,
Mosharraf HossainCountry Director, ADD
Congratulations Sarwar Bhai.We deeply acknowledge the encouragement from your wife Ms. Mazeda Moon and your supervisor Professor Dil Rowson Jinnat Ara to achieve it.

Waiting to congratulate you for your PhD. Good Luck.

Zahid, NFOWD
It is a Great wave in the field of the disability and development. Go a head Sarwar your success shows it is possible only needs strong will. Hope your inner force will take you long what will bring positive change in the society for those are till in depressed.

Shahidul Haque
Chief Executive, SARPV-Bangladesh

I would like to convey my heartiest gratitude to Sarwar and his family and also his supervisor to support him to achieve the degree. A person who can achieve Mphil degree or any higher degree from any university can contribute in any sector of the society. However, it is unfortunate that many of them after completion of high-education are not getting employment opportunities. All our encouragement I believe would stimulate educated disabled youth but if we cannot create opportunities for them to apply their skills and wisdom to contribute in wider development they might loose the steam and frustrated soon.

I appeal all of you to start talking how we can be more effective to ensure their employment in different sectors including our own. I believe doing so, will not only enable disabled youth to remove their frustration but will definitely contribute in reaching our wider goal of inclusive society…

In solidarity,
Mozammel HaqueAction on Disability and Development (ADD)
We also feel happy and heartily congratulate Mr. Sarwar Hossain Khan’s achievement as the country’s first person with disability who attained M. Phil degree from Dhaka University. This is a milestone for all persons with disabilities in Bangladesh who are challenging lots of barriers and discrimination to attain higher education. We take this opportunity to inform that Disability Friends Club of Jahangirnagor University (DFC-JU) recognized this exceptional achievement by organizing a special event at Jahangirnagar University Auditorium on the eve of International Disability Day, 2008. In that event Professor Dr. Muniruzzaman, Pro-VC and then Vice Chancellor of Jahangirnagar University was present as the chief guest and handed over the appreciations to Mr. Sarwar Hossain Khan and other two awardees.

We once again congratulate Mr. Sarowar Hossian Khan and we believe that his remarkable achievement will inspire all of us.

Thanks and Best Regards,
Rakhi Barua
Project Coordinator, Promoting Rights for the Persons with
Disabilities (PRPD), CDD-MJF
Thanks. Last year I remember I was with all of you at that program so congratulate again. That was nice program there four person received award from us.
Nazrana Yesmin, MJF
Congratulations Sarwar bhai! I believe you will have good opportunities and scopes to utilize your learning and experiences. We are highly encouraged from your success.

Jibon William Gomes
Project Manager, Cooperation Program with Abilis Handicap International, Bangladesh

Despite all those remarks of appreciation there is a great irony in the real life experience of Sarower. Even after accomplishment of his M.phil Degree and being the only person with disability having highest academic qualification in the country Sarower couldn’t manage a job for his own survival within one year. Over the year Sarower put his every efforts to get a job, but yet to get any positive response. As such, Sarower has made an urge to all concerns for providing him a job so that he can survive with dignity and to utilize his learning and experiences for empowerment of other people with disabilities in the country and can move forward towards his vision of achieving Ph.D Degree.

AWDP-Bangladesh believes Sarower will be able to get a suitable job and his achievement will be rewarded not only by words but also in action.

Get-Together of CRP Friends
Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed CRP-Bangladesh organized a get-together of its friend NGOs working with disabilities on 1 August 2009 on celebrating its year long 30th anniversary program. In Bangladesh CRP is the only organization that provides treatment, training and rehabilitation services to people with spinal injury and paraplegia. A good number of senior level representatives from different NGOs attended the event.
Valerie Taylor, Founder and Co-coordinator of CRP recalled many people with disabilities who have
got services from CRP and got new dimension in their lives with different ability and confidence in her welcome speech. She added many of them are now making good contribution to support other people with disabilities through their services at different workplaces and through their own organizations.
This get together included CRP presentation on its speech therapy services, video show and open discussion. In the videos, developed by people with disabilities team focused on different abilities of persons with disabilities and sufferings of wheelchair users in their day to day mobility and accessibility.
Participants of this program strongly felt for a united effort to build a barrier-free and accessible environment for all. They also stretched on an effective law base on the rights of people with disabilities. CRP Executive Director Mr. Emdad Moslem facilitated the whole program.
AWDP-Bangladesh expresses its sincere thanks and gratitude to CRP and Valerie Taylor who shown light to Md. Mahbubul Ashraf, Secretary & Coordinator of AWDP towards living a life with disability and dignity.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

DBBL's support for Club Foot Operation

Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL), under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program arranges free surgical operation for children and adolescents with club-feet. DBBL is one of the large and reputed private bank and is well-known for its good contribution to the social causes in Bangladesh.

At present Dutch Bangla Bank Foundation invites applications from people with club feet and relevant stakeholders from around the country by September 30, 2009. Click on the newspaper advertisement in Bangla. For further information and assistance Mr. Tufael Ahmed, Senior Officer, DBBL could be contacted at ‘Dutch Bangla Bank Foundation, Sena Kallyan Bhaban (5th Floor), 195 Motijheel Commercial Area, Dhaka 1000 or through Tel: 7176390-93, Fax: 9561889.

Previously DBBL, under its Smile-Brighter Programme has organised a four-day long plastic surgery operation camp at the bank's own cost at Popular General Hospital in Pabna district town from April 11 through 14. A plastic surgery team consisting of 10 members headed by the eminent plastic surgeon Dr AJM Salek has conducted the operation.

AWDP highly appreciates DBBL for all its efforts for people with disabilities in Bangladesh.