DrAkhter Hameed khan– philosopher, poet, scholar, Sufi and social scientist- passed on October 9. 1999. He left behind a remarkable legacy which needs to be shared with all those who believe that change can happen and that people’s lives can be transformed for the better.
Throughout his life, Dr Akhter Hameed khan set an example to others on how to live withone’s own means. He was deeply committed to Sufism’s central principles of simplicity, tolerance and peace. He left the prestigious Indian civil service to become a locksmith because he wanted to understand the lives of the people.
Later, as director of the Comilla project in East Pakistan in the 1960s (now Bangladesh where they still revere him), he was able to undertake concrete development work which suited his temperament. He could now apply what he had learnt to mobilize communities and introduce participatory development. Visitors were amazed at what they saw- the condition of the poor had changed beyond recognition thanks to Dr Akhter Hameed Khan’s guidance.
After the separation of East Pakistan, he return to Karachi where his finest hours was yet to come, for in his late 60.s he was asked to set up the Orange Pilot project in Karachi’s sprawling low income settlements. Dr Akhter Hameed Khan, modestly clad in a rough cotton shirt and a pajama, became a familiar sight among the residents of Orangi Town. This unassuming man transformed orange with his philosophy of self-help. A great believer in the power of people, he mobilized and guide the residents with technical assistance to lay a sewerage system to improve their environment. Following this he established a micro-credit system that has made Orange’s residents self-reliant and active contributors to the country’s economy.
The OPP is now used as a model for urban development around the world. Despite the fact that Dr Akhter Hameed Khan brought about such major changes with his ideas and dedication, his recognition at the state level does not match his contribution. His name was dragged through false blasphemy cases. A befitting tribute to Dr Akhter Hameed Khan would be to teach his theory of self-reliance in school and atthe University level so that his ideas can find their way into the policies of development.
Dr Akhter Hameed Khan was eventually awarded the Hilal-e-Pakistan, Sitara-e-Pakistan and the international Magsaysay Award (Asia’s equivalent of the noble prize from the president of the Philippines). Although he is no longer with us, his work lives in the people he inspired and taught and the communities he organized and development.
In the Orangi Pilot Project, which he founded, and the Agha Khan Rural Support Program, with which he was closely affiliated, Dr Akhtar Hameed Khan Saw “a ray of hope – a willingness of the people to do something”. He saw in people a great resurgence. He was hoping that by making small islands, one day they would cover the entire country.
Theme of Centennial Birthday Celebrations Lecture
“ Effectiveness of Community Participation in Development Initiatives”
Dr. Akhter Hameed Khan (1914-1999)
Beginning with an intellectual tribute to Dr. Akhter Hameed Khan and reflecting upon his legacy in establishing the famed Orangi Pilot Project (OPP), the key note address by Dr. Golam Matbor provides an overview of community participation in development initiatives using examples from the field and analyzes the changing meaning of community participation over time. The overview includes the definitions, use and abuse of the concept, "participation." The presentation also looks into the qualities of participation that particularly enhances and inhibits the effectiveness of development initiatives through community participation. Finally, the presentation will identify the factors of effective community participation in development initiatives from the South Asian regional perspective, followed by an effective Community Participation model that the presenter developed."
Dr. Golam M. Mathbor is a graduate of Harvard University’s Management Development Program. He was selected and served as a Mentor for the 26th Annual National Conference on Ethics in America organized by Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic occurred from 16-20 October 2011 at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. Professor Mathbor is the founding Chair of the Department of Philosophy, Religion, and Interdisciplinary Studies, and a tenured Full Professor in the School of Social Work at Monmouth University, New Jersey, USA. Professor Mathbor served as the Associate Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmouth University from July 2006 through June 30, 2014. He obtained his BSS (Bachelor of Social Science), MSS (Master’s of Social Science) and an LL.B (Bachelor of Law) degree from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Dr. Mathbor then obtained his second master’s MSW (Master of Social Work) from McGill University, Canada; and a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) degree in Social Policy Analysis from the Faculty of Social Work of The University of Calgary, Canada.
Currently, he is serving as President of the American Institute of Bangladesh Studies (AIBS), and as Director of the Council on American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC). He is the founding President of the Long Branch Concordance, a 501c (3) non profit community service organization in the State of New Jersey serving in the City of Long Branch. Dr. Mathbor is also serving as Advisor of Phi Eta Sigma National Freshman Honor Society. Professor Mathbor chaired and delivered keynote address for the 17th ICSD International Symposium on “Good Governance: Building Knowledge for Social Development Worldwide” held in Dhaka, Bangladesh from January 3-7, 2011 at Pan Pacific Hotel. Also, he was invited and delivered keynote address in an international conference on “Poverty and Social Inequality in a Globalized World: Challenges for the Reconfiguration of Social Policy” organized by the National University of Mexico (UNAM) held in Mexico City from March 12-15, 2013.
In the past, Dr. Mathbor served as Vice-President and President of the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID) for the year 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 respectively. Also, he served as Vice President and Associate Secretary-General of the International Consortium for Social Development (ICSD) for the period 2008-2013 and 2004-2008 respectively. For the academic year 2003-2004, Dr. Mathbor served as Chair of the Faculty Senate of Monmouth University. In addition to his associate deanship, he also served as Founding Chair of the Department of Philosophy, Religion, and Interdisciplinary Studies at Monmouth University for the period July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2010. Also, Dr. Mathbor served as Coordinator of the MSW Program in International and Community Development Concentration at Monmouth University from July1, 2000 to June 30, 2006. During his leadership, this cutting edge master’s program received a national award for being the best program for its splendid record of incorporating global components in the curriculum from the Council on Social Work Education, the accreditation organization for social work education in USA. He worked as Project Coordinator for “Developing
Previous Award Winners
· Hazardous Home-based Sub-contracted Work: A Study of Multiple Tiered Exploitation by Shahrukh Rafi Khan, Saba Gul Khattak and Sajid Kazmi
· Beyond the Honour: A Historical Materialist Explanation of Honour Related Violence by Tahira S. Khan
· Initiating Devolution for Service Delivery in Pakistan: Ignoring the Power Structure by Shahrukh Rafi Khan, Foqia Sadiq Khan and Aasim Sajjad Akhtar
· Representing Children: Power, Policy and the Discourse on Child Labour in the Football Manufacturing Industry of Pakistan by Ali Khan
· Participatory Development : The Story of the Orangi Pilot Project- Research and Training Institute, and the Urban Resource Centre, Karachi Pakistan; by Arif Hassan
· War, Insurgencies and Terrorist Attacks: by Unaiza Niaz
· The Class Structure of Pakistan by Taimur Rahman
For more details visit www.cosspak.org
Akhter Hameed Khan Resource Centre
Farm C-7, Street 2, Chak Shehzad Farms, Islamabad, Pakistan
House 4, Street 56, F-6/4, Islamabad, Pakistan
Phone: 0304 6662444 (C-7) 051-2822752, 2822792 (F-6) Fax: 051 2823335)