Carrying the good work forward- Khursheeda Iqbal

Institutional Development – ID program is one on the major building blocks of IET’s approach towards development. All development interventions are preceded by mobilization and organization of communities. The case of Khursheeda Iqbal serves to highlight the positive ownership and self help that such a process inculcates in beneficiaries. Fondly known as NGO aunty in the mohalla(neighbourhood), Khursheeda takes ownership of development for self and the community. Khursheeda has achieved many goals but perhaps the most commendable is Khursheeda’s replication of the Livelihoods Program, where she facilitated Mena, a disabled women from her neighborhood in setting up a confectionery business. Mena belongs to a family of 3 siblings whose parents are deceased. The eldest sister is a widow with 3 children, another sister who is completing her BA and a jobless brother. “She used to find it difficult to walk due to disfigurement in her legs and she would have to go to people’s houses to do laundry for which she would receive a paltry sum, ” explains Khursheeda. The business i helped set up allows her to operate from her house. Her siblings tell me the business has resulted in a sense of responsibility and ownership in the girl. “She now saves her money to replenish stocks and doesn’t just waste all her earnings on paltry things. She has something to call her own and has plans to improve her life. It’s been a huge change for us as we do not have to worry about her survival any more,” says her elder sister. Shaique Ali Shah, manager ID at Indus Earth Trust believes that organization and self help is the only way to achieve the MDG. “Recently UN has realized that none of the MDG set in 2004 have been met. Our experience says that it is not possible with involvement of the community.” Without the formation of the LSO’s and VO’s none of the objectives of participatory development, ownership, empowerment which is women and disabled inclusive, would have been possible. “The linkages the communities have now developed with government and private organizations have been an extremely enabling experience.” Shaique points out that another important achievement is the resuscitation of the community spirit and interaction. “By making monthly meetings between villagers mandatory, the practice of meeting and collectively identifying and solving problems has been a major part of the success.” ID program has met with real success and is part of IET approach to all projects of development.

Community involvement plays key role in development