Monthly Archives: July 2013

Youth Force visits Children with Cancer in local hospital

Last Saturday on 20th of July, members of Saath’s Youth Force Program were given the opportunity to visit young Cancer patients in the Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad. In order to brighten up the day of the little ones, they engaged in painting activities and distributed cookies among them. TheP1170549 Civil Hospital is known for offering free treatment for children who suffer from Cancer, relieving the parents by taking off the financial burden that they have to carry on top of their fear for their child’s life. Most of the parents have visited the hospital regularly for multiple months, spending a week in the hospital, and three weeks back at home. Some families even travel 800 km to have their child treated by the specialists.

The 42 members from the Youth Force Ahmedabad were very touched by the brave way the children dealt with their disease, but also said how lucky they felt to be able to help both the children and their parents by distracting them from their sorrow, even though it was only for a few hours. The children were more than happy when they were handed the pens and paper and most of them started drawing right away, sometimes supported by their parents.


One of the kids at the ward with his painting

Afterwards, the girls were given more information about Cancer and related issues by the hospital. The girls found this presentation very helpful and expressed their thank towards the hospital for giving them the opportunity to learn more about such an important issue and being able to help in making life a little better for the patients.


Youth Force team at the hospital

The Youth Force of Saath was founded in 2012 with the purpose of giving the young talented people from difficult backgrounds the possibility of engaging in discussions about issues, planning and engaging in cultural and leisure activities. It is meant to empower them in their strengths and give them a lookout for a bright future. 996 youth are engaged in the program, spread around the cities of Ahmedabad, Surjat, Rajkot, Vadodara of Gujarat and Mumbai, Maharashtra.

If you are interested in more information about the Youth Force, feel free to contact the coordinator Mr. Paresh Sakariya ( Also, do visit our facebook page for more pictures of this visit as well as pictures of different activities done by Youth Force members in their cities.

Nirman with mHS

Over 70% of housing supply across Indian cities is being built by home owners with the help of masons. The urban poor in India have no access to architectural and engineering services, widely perceived to be necessary only for the elite. With urbanization taking place in highly seismic zones this poses a catastrophic risk to life safety also poor quality of construction affects health and quality of life.

So to cater such challenges of urban poor and to provide them innovative solutions, Micro Home Solutions- a Social Housing initiative and Saath together organized a three day training of the mason batch at Khodiyarnagar center. Main aim behind organizing such an innovative training was to make trainees associated with masonry aware about how to make strong and durable frame structures using optimum available resources.

IMG_0814During three day training two architects Ms. Swati (On the right) and Ms. Shreya Krishnan from Micro home solutions taught the masons of Khodiyarnagar batch following technical concepts of construction through manual and simple graphical presentation.

  • Basics in Construction
  • Designing Earthquake resistant buildings
  • Do’s and Don’ts of construction- How to build better and safer buildings
  • Through Case study-Understanding the structure



At the end of the training session a quiz was organized to access how much understanding the masons has acquired at the end of the training.


Winners of the quiz competition with their awards.

Through Nirman programme Saath is providing skill trainings to the masons, so this innovative training will add up a new dimension in their learning it would also enhance their knowledge skills regarding engineering designing and construction. Based on the outcomes of the pilot training Saath would further like to incorporate these concepts into its curriculum and would like to develop a booklet which will be highly beneficial to workers associated with Masonry work.

A new initiative:  Technical Assitance Kiosks (TeAK).

TeAK is visualized as an integrated,multilevel structure that links households engaged in self-construction to a network of centers sited within communities and managed by local entrepreneurs. The first two pilots will be initiated with SEWA Mahila Housing Trust and Saath Urban Resource Centers in Ahmedabad, India. The long term goal is to catalyze this market by influenceing construction practices, training masons, enhancing awareness on safe and quality construction standards and advising stakeholders in the supply chain.

aProCh – Creating a Child Friendly City

aProCh – ‘a Protagonist in every Child’ is a citywide initiative started by The Riverside School ( ( to make Ahmedabad India’s first Child Friendly City. aProCh believes in ‘designing for’ and the ‘nurturing of’ Childhood. aProCh has recently partnered with Saath for its children studying in Child Friendly Spaces. As per this in all the activities that aProCh is going to organize children from Saath’s education programmes will also participate so that these underprivileged children can get exposure to the places outside their areas.

aProch has many initiative, one of which is ‘Parents of the Park’. It is an initiative where children experience “childhood”. Once a week, the municipality offers the park for children. During this time children engage in activities that enable them to have positive childhood scripting. The most recent event was onthe 30th June at Parimal Garden. 60 children from Saath’s two CFS centres went to the park. At the Garden, Story Telling, Art and Craft Workshops, Magic Shows and other creative activities were there to transport children into the beautiful world of imagination, curiosity and creativity. Various experts in their fields were called for making the park alive. IMG_0739 IMG_0755

Story Telling  of the story ‘The Hawker and the Monkeys’





Children enjoying       Magic Show



Another initiative is the Movie’ing experience. Based on the belief that ‘From to whom much is GIVEN, much is EXPECTED‘ this initiative humbly asks the City’s multiplex theaters, corporates and citizens to open its spaces and hearts for the underprivileged children of the city. aProCh will invite 150  underprivileged children every month to see popular cinema and enjoy a thrilling Multiplex experience. For this on the 16th of July 70 children from Saath’s 3 CFS centres were taken by aProCh to Gandhinagar for the screening of the movie ‘Policegiri’ which the children enjoyed immensely as for most of the children it was their first opportunity to go to a theater to watch a movie. IMG_1489 IMG_1510

Children at the Theater





Children dancing in front of the screen at the movie

Saath is very much thankful to aProCh for giving these experience to the children who are getting an amazing exposure and also we look forward to  all the activities that we will do together in the future.We will keep on updating to you about the upcoming events.

Also for more pictures for these you can visit our facebook page.

Saath visited by EDI

Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDI) is an autonomous and not-for-profit institute set up in 1983. It’s mission is to increase the supply of new entrepreneurs through Education, Research & Training. On the 6th of July 13 students from the new batch of  ‘Business Entrepreneurship & In Development Studies’ visited Saath along with one of their Professors.

The aim of the visit was to give the new students an idea about how organizations work from the grass-root level. Their focus was to give the students exposure about how the not-for profit sector works, and how they run their individual programmes and implementing the same. They also wanted to visit a slum and see the real situation of the people living in slums and understand their problems.

IMG_0773EDI Students at Saath office

The students were given the overall presentation of the different programmes of Saath. The focus of the presentation was on the history of Saath and about how each individual programme was developed. The students asked the questions regarding the target group for programmes and lively discussions were done about the implementing strategies and steps taken by Saath so as to create an inclusive society as per its vision. After the presentation the students were taken to Vasna where they visited the Urban Resource Centre (URC) run by Saath. Here they interacted with our Staff members Geetaben and Ramilaben and learned from them about how Saath developed over the years from working on Education and Health to Slum infrastructure to Microfinance and the URC’s for the upliftment of the slums. After this they visited the Vasna area and interacted with various people of the area and learned about their problems and the work done by Saath in the area.

IMG_0780Students at our Vasna URC centre interactive with URC staff members Geetaben and Ramilaben

Here are the responses from some of the students:

I cam to know something new about the development sector from Saath. It was a pleasure to interact with the community. It is an excellent work that Saath is doing. I’m looking forward to meet and do combined work in development sector” – Sanjay Romala

My visit was really motivational. Saath is doing a commendable job reaching to the problems at grass root levels which affects development. Keep up the work!! Looking forward to working with Saath” – Niharika Bhatia

“The presentation was awesome and very informative and got to know a lot about Saath. The interaction with slum dwellers and people was an experience worth having.  Got to know about Saath’s work and it is impressive. Looking forward to work with Saath” – Mallika Bakshi

Urban Ressource Centres – Your one stop solutions

An Urban Resource Center (URC) is a platform for slum households to access information and services to help improve their quality of life. It identifies vulnerable families, individuals and links them to appropriate services. It also advocates for better basic facilities in the areas and helps the external markets understand the Bottom of the Pyramid population better.

Saath currently has 3 URC’s in Behrampura, Juhapura and Vasna area of Ahmedabad and 1 URC recently opened in Rajkot. URC’s act as one stop solutions for the urban slum dwellers, they aim to create awareness among the slum dwellers about the rights available to them  by the government. It includes providing knowledge and resources to them to deal with important document and processes. The URC’s also monitor and evaluate the development in the community, advocates and runs campaigns related to various issues of the slum dwellers.

Whenever I have a problem I contact the URC: Afsana

IMG_0453Afsana, our URC beneficiary with her FWWB training certificate

Qureshi Afsana Sharifmiya, 31 years old, is a resident of Narayandas ni Chali, Behrampura. After the death of Afsana’s husband, her in-laws threw her and her three kids out of the house. Without any support she was left alone with the burden of supporting her kids. She is living since past 1 1/2 year with her sister-in-law. She applied for Widow Pension Scheme, through an agent, but even after 1 year she got no result.  She lost all hope until one day she met Rehanaben (URC Field Worker) during a URC meeting near her home and told her about difficulties she is facing in availing the government services. Rehanaben informed her about the services provided by URC and gave her assurance that her work will be done. Through URC she got her widow pension, opened a bank account, filled election card, has undergone FWWB training and joined Urmila Home Manger programme.

Afsana says “Before I didn’t understand any of the procedures and paperwork, I used to go here and there without getting any results. Now, Thanks to URC I can easily avail government service benefits and any information I need I can get from the Urban Resource Centre.”

In the last year our URC’s reached out to more than 27,000 households and created 6,228 linkages for the urban poor.