Sitakund Federation of DPOs; a Federation developed to guide and support the 40 self-help organizations for persons with disabilities (PWDs) living in the Sitakund Upazilla of Chittagong District and more recently extended to the Mirsharai Upazila of Chittagong District and Kawkhali Upazila of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. These include groups of persons with intellectual and physical disabilities, along with their families. The aim of these self-help organizations is to assist persons with disabilities to become empowered by being part of a larger group and to work together for improved knowledge, participation in society and rights.
With the assistance of Action Aid Bangladesh, YPSA conducted a survey in 1998 data from which indicated that around 17.72 % of the population are PWDs. From 1999 YPSA operated different field level programs targeted at PWDs including the establishment of DPOs. As the DPO movement grew in the area so did the need for a body to guide and support DPO activities and so in 2005 the Federation of DPOs was born.
In 2007 Bangladesh ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) including optional protocol yet the barriers to implementing the UNCRPD in Bangladesh are many. With the financial support of the Disability Rights Fund (DRF), Sitakund Federation of DPOs and YPSA assist persons with disabilities (PWDs) to know their rights as set out in the Convention and to take the lead in advocating for their rights at local and national levels, utilizing the mechanism of the Convention.
The Federation runs training and campaigns to expose PWD’s, their families, journalists, school teachers, potential employers, transport authorities, local government officials and national government representatives to the UNCRPD and encourage them to work towards its implementation.
The current primary program of the Federation is:
Promoting Human Rights for Persons with Disabilities through UNCRPD (PHRPD Project). This program is funded by the Disability Rights Fund www.disabilityrightsfund.org
community awareness raising activities
disability rights based training to promote and encourage the implementation of the UNCRPD
capacity building of leaders within the disability community
skill development of PWDs and
income generating activities for PWDs.
The Federations DPOs meet a minimum of twice a month. Meetings are used as a place for sharing problems and solutions and Federation staff deliver information on different topics agreed by the members such as: education on livelihood issues, education on Social Welfare Department Services, information on the UNCRPD and strategies for self and systems advocacy.
Many DPO groups have taken a decision to commence savings scheme where members contribute money each fortnight. The savings of the groups grow steadily. Depending on the DPO these savings are used to purchase joint investments, such as a cow, or a small amount of land for simple farming. Some DPOs plan that when the savings pool will grow large enough they will give small loans to DPO members for income generating activities.
Disability Rights Fund
Action Aid Bangladesh
Young Power in Social Action (YPSA)
Federation Presidet: Mr Babal Nath
Program Manager: Mr Vashkar Bhattacharjee
Federation of DPO’s Sitakund , Ayesha Villa, College Road, Sitakund, Bangladesh, 4310
Ph +880 1711 825 068 & +880 3167 2857