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Dr. AKHTAR HAMEED KHAN

Akhter Hameed Khan (15 July 1914 – 9 October 1999) was a development activist and social scientist credited for pioneering microcredit and microfinance initiatives, farmers' and ruraltraining programmes in the developing world. He promoted participatory rural development in Pakistan and other developing countries, and widely advocated community participation in development. His particular contribution was the establishment of a comprehensive project for rural development, the comilla model (1959).

In the 1980s he started a Orangi Pilot Project, based in the outskirts of karachi which became a model of participatory development initiatives

Hundreds of organizations in dozens of countries follow the Development techniques Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan developed, practiced and preached in Pakistan. He is the messiah of human development. He practiced what he preached. He worked people to build sanitation system in ten percent of Karachi homes with zero foreign aid and at friction of the cost government does these thing. While working on it he provided insight into how Pakistan can be rebuilt. The revolution called Orangi Pilot Project is still delivering three years after his death.

Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan was one of the world's most prominent social scientists from Pakistan who proved his class by developing rural areas and low-income urban settlements through Comila project in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and the Orangi pilot project in Karachi. He achieved it through involvement and motivation of the common man.

The biggest contribution that Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan made to society was to correct our distorted perception of the poor. He taught us, through his lifelong work, that poverty arises not out of lack of money but out of constant disempowerment. What the poor need is empowerment in the form of some technical knowledge, maybe some catalytic financial support, but most of all, institutions that give them the right to decide on all issues that affect their lives.

Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan strongly spoke against the dependence on foreign aid and foreign experts and instead utilized people coming primarily from the local community.

Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan had two basic qualities which marked his approach and ensured its success. First was his immense love for his people. A member of the prestigious Indian Civil Service (ICS), he left that service a few years after joining it because he felt he could not solve the problems of the people from that position. He went to work as a locksmith so that he could earn a living with it and also interact with the people and learn about them. Second was his remarkable confidence in the forces of change and the people's capacity to adapt to it in a meaningful way. Even at a time when a mood of despair and failure was strong and pervasive, Dr Akhter Hameed remained optimistic that conditions would get better.

After analyzing the achievements of Dr Akhtar Hameed Khan in the field of Human Development, one would be convinced that people - even the poorest ones - are the masters of their own survival. They can always solve their problems in their own ways, using the skills, accumulated experiences and resources they have. The best thing we can do for them is to empower them to help themselves.

 Khan received the following civil awards:

·     Jinnah Award (Posthumous, 2004) for services to people as founder of the Orangi Pilot Project

·     Nishan e Imtiaz (Posthumous, 2001) for services to the community

·     Ramon Magaysay Award ( 31 August 1963 , Manila Philipines) for services to rural development.

·     Sitara e Pakistan (1961) for pioneering work in rural development

In 1999, Khan was suffered from kidney failure He died on 9th of October at the age of 85.