Bangladesh Protibandhi Kallyan Somity (BPKS) was established in 1985 by the initiatives of a person with disability, Abdus Sattar Dulal, the current Executive Director. BPKS is a non-government, not for profit, non-political voluntary organization for all types of persons with disabilities (PWDs) in Bangladesh. BPKS registered with different government authorities, it is governed democratically by boards called ‘National Council’ and ‘National Executive Council’. The Executive Council is constituted by 7 members’ representatives with disabilities and National Council is minimum 21 and maximum 31 members’ representatives with disabilities. BPKS managing from the Complex (headquarter) of 60 decimals of land with 8 storied building facilities of around eco-friendly environment including office, conference, seminar, dining, training and accommodation. It has total 72 dynamic and professionals’ staffs including 32 in headquarter where 66% are staff with disabilities. It is located 3.5 kilometers east direction of Dhaka Shah Jalal International Airport (See our map and address). BPKS also established 18 resource centers at different district of Bangladesh.
In 1985, BPKS was only an organization of all types of disabled people starting with lots of enthusiasm that created a disabled people’s movement demanding their dignity, access to public services and private sectors’ opportunities, promoting active participation of them in all levels and human rights of persons with disabilities. BPKS gradually became with its leadership in nationally and internationally well-known activist of disabled people’s human rights and instrumentally contributed.
BPKS asserts that the rights of the disabled person are to be established at any costs, and that they get nothing less than equal opportunity compared to non-disabled person. BPKS’ development program strategy from beginning deal with promotion of equality and equity for disabled women, men and children. BPKS believes that the concepts of self-help, self-actualization, accessibility, disabled people development and their organizations representative participation to any legal facilities/systems are fundamental for disabled persons. BPKS affirms that the success of persons with disabilities can exert positive influence on the advancement of the entire society and to actualize and accelerate the overall development of societies/nations.
1993 was the turning point for disabled people movement in Bangladesh as first DPI regional leadership training seminar was held in Bangladesh with representatives from 45 country participate and disabled people organization management training in Bangladesh was held with 16 country representatives, both are hosted by BPKS and supported by Bangladesh Government, JICA, DPI and UNESCAP. For the first time, disabled people issues were viewed by governments as human rights and development issues rather than charity/medical.
Significant results have been achieved by BPKS both prior to and since the introduction of the PSID program in 1996. Prior to 1996, about 20,000 disabled persons benefited directly from the activities and services of BPKS. Since 1996, introduction of PSID (Persons with Disabilities Self-Initiative to Development), the programs under PSID approach have been implemented in 33 districts of Bangladesh, resulting in a demonstrable improvement in the lives of Bangladeshis with disabilities. 2000 grassroots disabled peoples’ organizations have been established with more than 41,000 disabled persons as direct members of those organizations. As BPKS believe ownership of disabled persons, it gradually established 23 Disabled People’ Organizations (DPOs) and localized across Bangladesh as they are now fully independent and the government-recognized entities. BPKS also facilitated DPOs all over Bangladesh by formation of a DPOs networking body, NADPO (National Alliance of Disabled People’s Organizations) in 2005, to organize 1st ever largest congregation of disabled people in 2006 and 2010 in Bangladesh and in the world.
BPKS incentives supports (for example capital supports) directly change lives at least 250,000 people with disabilities, by indirect supports (for example teachers received training) with or without disabilities minimum 500,000 persons, 500 advocacy meeting with all authorities of Bangladesh including President, Prime Minister, Ministers, Parliament Members, Secretaries, Commissions Chairman etc. conducted and share specific proposal in the meeting. About 100 national seminar and dialogue were organized, provided training and orientation to 32 thousand professionals including journalists, 80% of total population somewhat aware on disability, disabled people rights and development. The perception regarding disabled people rights and development among the leaders, policy makers, development partners, professionals and general citizens of the country improve positively.
Due to organizational existence of BPKS, and its performance contribute to elimination of unacceptable and unethical concept, discrimination, inhuman work, barriers and lack of fundamental rights. It also grows attention among all people in terms of prioritizing the democratic values, governance system and political practice. Specific outcome of BPKS is increasingly actualizing development process, improving responsible parties understanding and role that promote acceptability and recognition to all citizens including disabled persons. It also contributes in changing thoughts and policies on/about of all including disabled persons.
BPKS worked with partnership and cooperation from beginning that not limited to organizations/agencies in the world such as – Bread for the World (BftW), UNESCAP, ActionAid, AusAid, BPKS JAPAN, USAID, International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI)-USA, Human Rights Institutes, International Labor Organization (ILO), World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), UN bodies, Universities such as Begum Rokeya and Independent University in Bangladesh, York in Canada and Oregon in USA, Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), Workability International, Disabled People’s International (DPI), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Caritas, World Vision, European Union (EU), AECID, CIVES MUNDI, Oxfam, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Business Companies, David Banes Access, and Inclusion Services Ltd and many others.
As BPKS and its leadership contribution are instrumental, BPKS leadership received many awards including ‘UNESCAP Disability Rights Champion’ and BPKS is recognized by the many including United States Department of State.