“Shirakti Taraqi”, or participatory development, a book written by renowned writer Arif Hassan was launched at a hotel here on Friday.
The launch was followed by a lecture by the author on participatory development and an interactive discussion.
The book unfolds the story of Karachi and Pakistan, and its contents offer a detailed description of the Orangi Pilot Project, its Research and Training Institute and Urban Resource Centre. The book also discusses various non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations and their projects being planned and implemented on the pattern of the project.
Hassan outlined the striking aspects of the project, including the background of Orangi, the inception of the project and the working culture developed during its implementation. The Orangi project was initiated in the 1980s by Akhtar Hameed Khan to enable the local residents solve their own sanitation problems.
On development in Pakistan, Hassan said that his work and writings were mostly inspired by Khan’s works, which set ideal examples of pro-people and pro-poor development.
Dr Nasimul Hassan, one of the speakers, while commenting on Hassan’s book, said that participatory development is inevitable for Pakistan’s prosperity, as it has the potential to ensure the delivery of basic human rights and needs like safe drinking water and food security.
He said that the government and non-government sector – which controls and delivers the development – need to understand and practice the philosophy behind the term. “Without participatory development, there will be no progress. Money alone cannot do anything,” he said.
Harris Khalique, writer and analyst, said that Hassan, through his writings and academic lectures, has promoted the idea that education in Pakistan should be linked with the real life and the people of the country.
Other books by Arif Hassan, shared at the event, include “Ba Zabta Inqlab”, which discusses the observations of social and financial change in Pakistan, “Karachi”, which discusses planning and development alternatives, and “Hijrat aur Pakistan mein Chhotey Shehr”, which discusses immigration and the issues of smaller cities.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2011.
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