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Children with disability are 1.7 times more at risk of violence including neglect, abandonment, abuse and sexual exploitation in comparison with other children (WBU).


My Story: Wadud



END THE CYCLE of poverty and disability

A community awareness initiative promoting human rights and empowerment of people with disabilities in the world's poorest countries.

[film crew interviewing a man - Wadud - outdoors, where many people milling around, children playing]

[Wadud talking]

My name is Wadud and I am 40 years old. After my birth, I was affected by typhoid and I became deaf.

[scenes of sheds in Bangladesh - men hammering, Wadud supervising]

Nowadays, I am involved with the family business. It is a metal factory and we make trunks and other containers. Usually I go to the factory at nine o'clock and I am home around nine or ten, when we close. On Friday we work a half day. I am not involved with hammering, but I supervise others in the workshop. For example, I ensure the measurements are correct to the customers' specifications. I supervise the staff to make sure that they are working the proper way.

In 2005, we established our self-help advocacy group called Sidpur Deaf Club. We meet every Friday.

[scene of approx 20 people sitting cross-legged in semi-circle on grass field, discussing issues in sign language]

During the meetings, we discuss different issues. For example, if a member is facing problems within the family or in the neighbourhood we discuss it between ourselves and also include others who may be involved.

As I have had training with a local NGO, I have some understanding about disabilities and what rights we have, and how to make others aware of those rights.

[following story is visualised using animation]

There was some unused space on government land. We thought we could set up our club there with permission. When we tried to use that place for our meeting the members of the Rickshaw Pullers Union became angry with us. And with the support of the local police, beat us and threw us out. So we to raise the issue in the community and tried to resolve it by talking to people. But they laughed at us and thought it was funny.

A few days later a government minister was here in the town. Our group barricaded his way and lay down on the street. He asked what was happening and why we were doing this, and we told him of the situation through an interpreter. He informed us that we will get that place and that no one will ever bother us again. After that, we used that place and until now everything has been okay.

I have several dreams.

[Wadud buying goods in a shop, communicating in sign language]

First, that we, the deaf people of Saidpur have an opportunity to learn standard sign language. It is difficult to communicate with other deaf people as we use local sign. So we're thinking of arranging some sort of training which will help our communication with others.

At the same time, I am thinking about establishing a school for deaf children. I realise that education is very important but deaf children do not often get the opportunity to get involved with education. I want them to have the same opportunities as others so they can develop and grow, as it should be

If my dreams become fulfilled, nothing will make me happier than this.




Wadud tells of the barriers faced in his life as a deaf man in Bangladesh, and he also has several dreams. His group, the Saidpur Deaf Club, fight for the rights of deaf people and want to improve the education of deaf children. Wadud was a part of a project of CBM partner organisation 'Centre for Disability in Development' (see below).

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