“Earlier this year, Abdul Waheed, a Pakistani human rights activist and social entrepreneur, was shot dead by the Taliban. Waheed was known for his work in transforming Pakistan’s education system; through his organisation Bright Education Society (BES), he worked towards ensuring that Pakistan’s urban poor had access to modern education.
The government’s response to Waheed’s death was lukewarm. In countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar and India, there are echoes of Waheed’s story for those working in the social sector; extrajudicial killings, distrust in institutions and a constant fight against the political system. Without strong support from government, one thing is clear – an increasing number of social entrepreneurs are struggling to identify the best possible way to engage with the government.
The deep disconnect: “The biggest challenge that I have faced is that the government does not understand the nature of work I do,” said Dr. Latha Anantha, “The government always looks at issues in a simplistic way and fails to see the bigger picture.””