Sagar Patel worked with Saath as a volunteer in 2010 and since than has become a regular online donor. He is a faithful well – wisher of the organisation and recently visited Saath on 12th February, 2014. He visited the Youth Force programme and given here’s his experience of the visit in his own words.
I recently visited Saath’s Youthforce program at an Odhav center in February along with two visitors from the United States. In the past, I had volunteered with Saath, and I now continue to support Saath as a donor. We met with youth who are personally involved in the program. I did not have much background knowledge about the program other than a video which I had seen online about the program. Upon meeting with the students, I found that this is a wonderful, unique program.
Both the Odhav center coordinator and one of the project leaders from the Saath head office were present. They started by giving me some basic background information about the program. After this, I interacted with a group of about 10 members who were living in that area of Ahmedabad. I asked them first how they had benefited from the program, and from this discussion and further questions I came to learn more about the program.
One of the youth described working on a project as a team to clean the riverfront around the Sabarmati River and educate residents about the harmful effects of throwing garbage in the river. Another project which the youth were involved in was creating a community garden area from an area which was previously filled with garbage. This project was something new which no one had done before, and it helped to develop their ability to work as a team in addition to learning new skills. One member talked about how the youth gain leadership skills and experience with public speaking. Some youth had gone out Ahmedabad for the first time to Mumbai for leadership training. One young woman told me that she had always been afraid to travel on a bus and had lost that fear as a result of the program.
Sagar (rightmost) at the Odhav Youth Force centre
I was quite impressed with the networking opportunities that the youth receive and the confidence and sense of accomplishment which they exhibited. I found the whole concept of this practical education which aims to not just develop new skills to perform a job but also encourages youth to try new things which excite them to be fascinating. Youthforce helps to address an unmet need in an educational system which is focused too much on rote memorization. I will be excited to come back the next time I am back in Ahmedabad to visit the program again.
Today we bring you the story of Riyaz who has recently joined Saath and is currently working as a part time coordinator of our Juhapura Urban Resource Centre (URC).
22 years old Riyaz is from Bhavnagar and is currently completing his Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering in Ahmedabad. His father is a well know and respected community leader, who is working since past many years for the welfare of the people of the weaker section of society in Bhavnagar. From his childhood Riyaz was very much impresses by his father activities and always wanted to follow in his footsteps.
When he came to Ahmedabad for his studies, here also following the footsteps of his father he used to help the people of the community as much as he can. During this time he came in contact with Zuberbhai, the coordinator of the Juhapura URC at that time.After that during the course of the days he used to meet Zuberbhai quite often and Zuberbhai later on asked him to come to URC after his college was over in the day to help the people. After this everyday after finishing college Riyaz started coming to the URC daily to help in any way that he can.
When Zuberbhai left the URC, seeing the dedication and commitment of Riyaz he recommended him to Saath to take him in and Riyaz joined Saath officially in December 2013, and currently is the Part-time Coordinator of the URC. Talking about his work, Riyaz says, “I really like working for the people and in an area like Juhapura there is much need of the services provided by the URC. I want to focus on the issue of education as there is really low awareness in the area and parents are not aware of the importance of the education and I want to change this.”
Guest Post by Mital Gondaliya, Rajkot Youth Force Coordinator
તા: ૮ માર્ચ ૨૦૧૪ ના રોજ આંતરરાષ્ટ્રીય મહિલા દિવસ નિમિતે સાથ ચેરીટેબલ ટ્રસ્ટ અને રાજકોટ યુથ ફોર્સ પ્રોગ્રામ દ્વારા રાજકોટ ખાતે મહિલા દિવસ ની ઉજવણી કરવામાં આવી હતી. આપને જાણીએ છીએ ક ૮ માર્ચ એટલે આંતરરાષ્ટ્રીય મહિલા દિવસ પરંતુ આ દિવસ ૮ માર્ચે ઉજવવા પાછળ નું કારણ એ છે કે ૮ માર્ચ ના દિવસે મહિલા ઓને આપવામાં આવતા અધિકારો ને સંવિધાન માં લેખિત સ્વરૂપ માં મંજૂરી આપવામાં આવી હતી.
પરંતુ આજે પણ કેટલીય મહિલા ઓ ને દહેજ ના લીધે તેમજ પુત્ર જન્મ ના થવા ના લીધે, ઘરેલું હિંસા નો ભોગ બનવું પડે છે. તો શું આપને કહી શકીએ છીએ કે આજની મહિલા સશક્ત બની છે? અને સશક્ત થવા માટે મહિલા એ જાગૃત થવું પડશે પોતાના હક અને અધિકારો વિશે. તેના પર થતા અત્યાચારો પ્રત્યે આવાજ ઉઠાવવો પડશે. તો જ ખરા અર્થ માં નારી સશક્તિકરણ થયું ગણાશે. અને આ જાગૃતિ લાવવાના હેતુ સાથે યુથ ફોર્સ રાજકોટ દ્વારા મહિલા દિવસ ની ઉજવણી કરવામાં આવી હતી.
મહિલા દિવસ ની ઉજવણી અંતર્ગત મુખ્ય મહેમાન માં કણસાગરા કોલેજ ના એમ.એસ.ડબલ્યુ. વિભાગ ના પ્રિન્સીપાલ ડોક્ટર અનસુયા અકબરી જેમણે આવેલ મહિલાઓનો પોતાના હક અધિકાર માટે શું કરવું જોઈએ અને નારી શક્તિ શું કરી શકે છે તે વિષે પ્રવચન આપેલું હતું.
ત્યાર બાદ રાજકોટ શહેર ના નામી ગાયનેકોલોજિસ્ટ ડોક્ટર પ્રતિક્ષાબેન કે જેવો ૧૫૦ ફૂટ રીંગ રોડ પર પોતાનું મેટરનીટી હોસ્પિટલ પણ ધરાવે છે. તેવો એ મહિલા ઓ એ પોતાની સર સંભાળ અને સ્વશ્ય ની જાળવણી કઈ રીતે કરવી તે અંગે માર્ગદર્શન આપ્યું હતું. તેઓના મત મુજબ મહિલા ઓ આખો દિવસ પોતાના કામ માં વ્યસ્ત રેહતી હોય છે. જેના લીધે તે પોતાના સ્વાસ્થ્ય ની સર સંભાળ રાખવા નું તો સાવ ભૂલી જ જતી હોય છે. આથી તેવો આવેલ સ્ત્રીઓ ને તેમના શારીરિક અને માનસિક રીતે તેમના સ્વાસ્થ્ય ની જાળવણી કઈ રીતે કરવી તે અંગે માર્ગદર્શન આપ્યું હતું.
અને ત્રીજા વક્તા તરીકે શાંતિનિકેતન કોલેજ ના પ્રાધ્યાપક આંનદભાઈ એ ઠાકુર આવેલા હતા. તેઓ એ મહિલા શિક્ષણ અને મહિલા સશક્તિકરણ વિશે વાત કરી હતી ઉપરાંત મહિલા ઓ ના કામ કાજી તંત્ર અને સ્ત્રી શિક્ષણ માં આવેલ પરિવર્તન અંગે પણ વાત કરી હતી.
અને ત્યાર બાદ યુથ ફોર્સ ના મેમ્બર્સ દ્વારા સ્ત્રી જાગૃતિ માટે એક નાટક પણ રજુ કરવામાં આવ્યું હતું કે જેમાં મહિલાઓ ને ઘર ની બહાર નીકળવામાં પડતી મુશ્કેલીઓ કે જેમાં ઘણા અસામાજિક તત્વો સ્ત્રીઓ ને હેરાન કરતા હોય છે. અને આ આવા અસામાજિક તત્વો નો સામનો કઈ રીતે કરવો તેને અંગે નું માર્ગદર્શન આપવામાં આવ્યું હતું.
28th February 2014, the day marked the silver jubilee of Saath. As you may have read in the previous blog post a huge celebration was planned for the day and here’s what happened on that day.
The day began at 3:00 PM at the Imperial President Hotel, selected for the celebration, with a press conference organised in which Mr. Rajendra Joshi, the founder shared his 25 years journey of working for upliftment of the urban poor with the media. The conference was a huge success as the news of Saath completing 25 years got covered by 12 newspapers and 3 news channels.
The main event planned for the day was the launching of the special coffee table book of Saath a tribute to the people who have helped during its journey. The guest for the event included the community people and several dignitaries, including Mr. Piyush Desai, Chairman and MD of Wagh Bakri Industries. After sharing of Saath’s journey by Mr. Rajendra Joshi and the Key note speech given by Mr. P.K. Ghosh, the chairman of Saath’s Board, the making of the book was shared with the guests. The book was officially launched by Mr. Piyush Desai, along with Saath and community members.
The Book Launch
The community members shared their own experience with Saath over the years with full enthusiasm and expressed their opinion of working together with Saath in the future as well. The launching of the book was a huge success as well as and a lot of people went home with their own copies of the book (If you would like a copy of the book do write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org). The day was of double celebrations for Saath as on the same day Saath launched its first ever and one if it’s kind mobile application Saath Service Point App to connect construction workers and other informal sector service providers such as carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and domestic workers, directly to clients and thus helping in increasing their chances of getting regular work and proper payment and the service providers getting a proper network to contact these workers as there are no proper networks or channels to contact them in emergency situations.
The celebrations ended with dinner and the whole event was enjoyed by the guests and Saath members equally. The evening ended with Saath getting a lot of good wishes and to continue its work in the future and promises were made to have even bigger celebrations on its 50th Anniversary.
The Saath Family
Saath would like to thank all the people who have supported it through the years in reaching this landmark and we hope that we will continuously get your support in the future as well.
This Friday, 28th February 2014, marks the Silver Jubilee for Saath. Initiated in 1989 by Mr. Rajendra Joshi today Saath has grown as an institution which has over its 25 years impacted more than 4,00,000 people, has over 50 funding partners and more than 500 people joining as team members.
In its journey of 25 years beginning in 1989 with health, education and community leadership programmes over the years Saath has run programmes such as Slum Networking Project (1996-2001) for providing basic infrastructure facilities in slums in which 97% (1,164) households of Pravinangar – Guptanagar areas got covered, Slum Electrification Project (2003-2004) for providing legal metered electric connections to slum households in which 1,400 households in Juhapura got meters, Relief and Rehabilitation work during 1992 and 2002 communal riots and during earthquake in 2001, Vocational training programme (2005-till date) for youth in which till date over 50,331 youth have been trained and 76% placements, Nirman(2011-till date) programme for informal sector workers, launching of Youth Force in 2012 to provide a platform to the urban slum youth and many more. In all of its programmes Saath has received tremendous support from the community, garnered support from national and international institutions, a steady stream of interns and volunteers and numerous awards and recognitions for its work.
To commemorate this milestone event Saath has planed to release a book on “Tribute to Communities”. This book commemorates the communities and people who have worked behind the scenes to create some amazing change. The book is an effort by Saath to thank all men, women, youth and children of every community who have engaged with Saath over its journey.
Cover Page of the Book
As part of Saath team, I wish all the success to Saath and hope that it will keep on growing and continue to work for the progress of the community