BERDO was started on the 17th of July, 1991. I had the opportunity to follow its growth over the years in an interview with Saidul Huq, the Executive Director of the organisation. Huq lost his eyesight at the age of six. Numerous visits to doctors all over Bangladesh proved to be useless, as did all other attempts to restore his eyesight. A doctor from Switzerland, who was visiting Bangladesh on an assignment, told him that he would never be able to see again and that he should concentrate on his studies and use this as an opportunity to serve his community. Huq has been steadfast in his pursuit of equal rights for the disabled in Bangladesh. He started advocacy during his student days and his organisation prides itself on creating local networks of disability rights advocates.
In the interview, Huq talked about the activities that BERDO is involved in, the trials and tribulations that it has had to tide over, problems of scale and sustainability that it encounters and the like. I have always been fascinated by the sheer number of NGOs in Bangladesh. I have always wondered why a country like Bangladesh has so many NGOs and how the people perceive the role of the government in providing services that should ideally be theirs as citizens of the country.
Watch the video below for Saidul Huq’s allusion to Bangladeshi geography, and specifically to its many rivers and deltaic belt, in answering the question about the role of NGOs in the decentralisation of essential services in Bangladesh.
Posted By Abhilash Medhi
Posted Jul 7th, 2009