Monthly Archives: September 2013

Youth Stories: Hemant Ravtode

This is the story of a Youth who has undergone change in his life and is now sharing responsibilities in taking care of his family.

Hemant Sanjaybhai Ravtode, age 19, is a resident of Jhangirpura Surat. There are 6 members in his family, his father is New Picture (1)working in a company, his mother’s a home maker and he has two sisters and a brother. Hemant is the second child. His elder sister Ashwini is doing teaching course in an institute and his other siblings are studying. Hemant is 10th dropout and was jobless at the time of joining the Youth Force. His father is earning around Rs 6,000 per month which is not enough for the family. Hemant realised early in his life that he would have to start working to support his family. That is why he was looking for a job. But because of low education, no skills and low confidence he was not able to find any good opportunities.

Nishant Chaudhari the City Coordinator of Youth Force Surat visited Jahangirpura to talk with the youth of the area about the Youth Force programme. Hemant heard about Youth Force and decided to join the youth group. Hemant says “I like Youth Force because it’s for us (youth) and our development. I really like the activities they we are doing such as learning through playing games, visiting different parts of Surat like Auto Expo, Musical Events, Temples with the group. The meetings of the weekend are what I enjoy the most and look forward to.”

He further says “Within 15 days of joining Nishant gave me information of interview call in Harsh-Surgical’s. Nishant gave me tips for the interview which really helped me and I passed the interview. The company offered me a salary of Rs. 4500 per month, which I consider a good amount as this is my first job and now I can help my family as well.”

Hemant has undergone a huge transformation since he has joined youth force. His family is also very happy. His father says “Earlier Hemant just used to wander around with friends whole day. I feel proud to see my son working and shouldering responsibilities of his family.” Hemant’s review from his employers is also positive and they say he is hardworking, honest and a quick learner. The company has also decided to help him for his further studies.

Hemant is very happy with the change in him. His expresses “Youth Force has changed my life and way of thinking. I have a good job and I never miss our weekly meetings of the group. I am proud to be a member of Youth Force.”

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Nirman – Giving New Direction to Informal Sector

This is the story of Parsottambhai, whose life changed through Nirman, a programme of Saath. Nirman addresses the training needs of people in the informal job sector.

Parsottam Chelabhai Parmar residing in Beehrampura, Ahmedabad comes from a family of New Pictureseven. He used to work as a guard, in the night shift for an security agency. He  received a  pay of Rs.6,000 per month, however  he was not able to meet his expenses with his income. He always had a keen interest to become an electrician however he could not afford the formal  training programme. Parsottambhai came to know about Nirman programme through a friend who had visited the Nirman center running in their area. He says “I saw a ray of hope for me, when I heard about Nirman. I enrolled my name for the Electrical Training Batch  at the Behrampura center. Initially I had my doubts about the facilities that would be provided at the center as they charged a very meager fee, but I decided to join the programme. The timing of the session was completely appropriate for me and I did not have to miss out on my regular job. When I attended my first session all my doubts about the working of the programme were cleared. The trainers gave me formal training in plate earthing, wiring,importance of personal safety. The theory sessions were accompanied with its practical applications. Also, additional sessions were organised covering topics such as lifeskills, insurance, importance of savings etc., which proved to be really helpful ”.

On the completion of the course Parsottambhai received a certificate and a tool kit from the center. Due to the certificate Parsottambhai was able to get a job at the Torrent plant. He now earns Rs. 10,000 a month  and his standard of living has improved. “SAATH’s Nirman programme helped me a lot. This has been only possible because of the skills that I have received through this course. I am thankful to  Saath for the same”, says Parsottambhai.

Saath Savings and Credit Cooperative: Member’s story

Today we share with you the story of Lakshmiben, a member of Saath Cooperative, who has taken an asset creation loan from the Cooperative. Given below is her story of association with the Cooperative in her own words:

  • Name of the client: Lakhsmi Solanki
  • Age: 45 years

My savings are safe with Saath: Lakshmi Solanki

B4. Case Study - Asset Creation - Lakshmi SolankiLakshmi displays the bathroom she got made through an Asset Creation Loan from Saath-Cooperative.

My association with Saath started with the Compulsory Savings Plan in which I saved INR 100 per month without fail. I believe savings are very important as they ensure we remain afloat on a rainy day.

Soon enough, I realised that my house needed some renovation. When I discussed this issue with the field officer, she told me that I was eligible for a loan from Saath. The amount, INR 5,000 was exactly what I wanted and the installment and repayment schedule was also very agreeable.

Not only did I make repairs in the house, I also built a small bathroom – a facility which is pretty scarce in our neighbourhood. I am going to continue my relationship with Saath because of the conducive environment. I feel that my savings are safe with them and their loan structure is pretty simple to understand and easy on the pocket.

This story was documented by Ms. Devina Sarwatay who interned with Saath for a month in summer. She visited the field and met the members of the Cooperative.

The Joy of Giving Week – 2nd to 8th Oct

Next month is ‘The Joy of Giving‘ week which will be celebrated for the 5th time jgw.jpgacross India. Started in 2009, the idea for celebrating it didn’t came from a single person or organisation. Between Nov – 2008 and Feb – 2009, several individuals, NGO leaders and others got together and decided to launch an “India Giving Week”, that would be an open platform encouraging everyone in India to give back. Specific events were organised for the week and “Joy of Giving Week” brand identity was created in March 2009.

So, what’s the week? Well, it’s a festival for giving. The week begins on the birthday of the Father of our Nation and during the week various individuals, schools. colleges, social groups, NGOs, Companies organise various events to raise funds for donation. In 2012, events were organised in 70+ cities across India, so do check the website joyofgivingweek.org, there may be an event in your city that you can participate in or volunteer as there is always need for more volunteers. Do participate in the week and bring joy in someone’s life.

Now, for the people in Ahmedabad, “FoodforChange – 2013” is the event that is going to be held in the city on Oct – 6. Saath is a partner for this event and your participation will help Saath in providing education and nutrition to child labourers, offer skills to disenfranchised youth and women and in various other social development programmes. Details for the event are in the poster below and for any more information do write us at vama@saath.org.

Food for Change 7

Don’t miss out on this week and celebrate the festival of giving and bring a smile in someone’s life.

My feedback for 30 days with Saath – Jignesh

Intro: Jinesh is a student of BNIM college affiliated to Kutch University, studying MSW. He interned with Saath for a scan0004month and worked with the Youth Force programme. A big thanks to Jignesh from Youth Force and Saath’s team for all his work. Given below is his experience with Saath in his own words:

“SAATH started by legendary Mr. Rajendra Joshi as a small plant, now has grown into a big tree. Saath is providing amazing opportunities for helping poor, leading youth, linkages and many more. Saath is reaching 25 years soon and I wish it to win many awards this year.

Saath is running so many great projects and Youth Force is one of them with its focus on young generation. I worked with Youth Force and got to visit many areas of Ahmedabad such as Juhapura, Odhav, Behrampura, Maghaninagar, Vasna etc. Through my work in Juhapura I learned a lot of things about the Muslim society which I was unaware of before. The field activities were the one that I enjoyed the most. Now, I can interact with people more easily, with my increased skills due to field work.

I also liked the Urban Resource Centers run by Saath. I think its a great programme that really helps people in information regarding various services such as ration card, marriage certificate, widow pension etc. and in availing these services.

I am very thankful to Saath and all it’s staff for for helping me, standing by me and supporting me. I am specially thankful to Mr. Kunal Patel, RDC Coordinator and Ms. Jenny Parekh, RDC Assistant Coordinator, as whenever I faced any problems they were there to solve it for me. Also, special thanks to Mr. Paresh Sakariya – Youth Force Coordinator, Mr. Sandeep Panchal – Ahmedabad City Coordinator and Ms. Farhana Shaikh – Group Leader and all the other group leaders for Youth Force”.

From,

Jignesh Solanki