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
Mital Gondaliya is our Youth Force programmes Rajkot city’s Coordinator and recently she had a chance to go on the Jagriti Yatra, which is an ambitious train journey of discovery and transformation that takes hundreds of India’s highly motivated youth, especially those who are from small towns and villages of India, on a 15 day, 8000 km national odyssey to meet the role models – social and business entrepreneurs – of the country. Given below is her experience of the journey.
“If you want to change the world first of change yourself. And if you want to change the world than a correct path is necessary”.
I had a really fabulous experience during the Yatra. I found my ideology and the way to do something for the society. If we talk about society than for us it comes about our surrounding area, but that is not true. I learned through the journey that there are other different societies in our India and in the journey I met different people of different societies.
Today, we see the clean picture of the society from outside but inside there are so many problems. Through the Yatra I saw deeply the inside and the outside part among the 27 states and met 7 distinguished personalities who come from different society, speak different languages and still have a good unity among themselves. They came closer to understand our Indian culture. I came up to know that for success we need to have courage.
If I put my view than before I went over on this tour I felt that I am successful in my life. But now I understand that success is relative, and India is still lacking behind. I visited many states and saw that there are so many areas where still no proper water system, electricity, education facilities, communication systems are in place. So, it is no use of to wait for the promises from government assuring that development will come. I realized Entrepreneurship is very important and good concept to solve our problems ourselves. Entrepreneurship encourages the small entrepreneur to succeed and live a better life.
The days of the Yatra are unforgettable days for me. Going on a tour with 450 strangers is a unique experience. I learned so many things from these strangers who became my friends. We all will live our life in a in a better way and will work on improving the life of women, children and the people of our society.
I will always be thankful to Saath Charitable Trust, Ms. Keren Nazareth & Mr. Paresh Sakariya who gave me power to complete my yatra and also my parents through whom I am able to understand myself and find out who is inside me.
Seiko Okayama, a student of University of Tokyo, visited Saath in January for her research. This was her second trip to India and read below her story of her experience with Saath.
It was definitely a memorable experience for me to join the short research program at Saath this January.
As a student of South Asian area studies in the University of Tokyo, I had been looking for some suitable way to connect to the local society in Ahmedabad in order to know about the situation of the human development there in this research trip.
The staff of Saath kindly welcomed me while my visit was quite a sudden one and arranged good opportunities for me to talk with the people in various communities. In the preparation meeting, Saath coordinators listened carefully to the purpose and the methods of my research and gave me many helpful advices on how to conduct it.
During the small discussion with Saath’s workers, they recommended me to visit two areas where Saath’s Urban Resource Centres were located so that I have interviews with the residents there through the help by the program workers.
When I visited those places for the first time, local people kindly accepted me and answered my questions about the issues they were facing in the daily lives. From the stories spoken by them, I could see how deeply they were thankful to the Saath’s activities, such as medical, financial and educational services which were essential for their lives.
Seiko at our Vasna Urban Resource Centre
Even after coming back to the headquarter office, workers who specialised in various empowerment programs kindly spared their times to answer my questions again, which helped me a lot to understand the background situation of the comments offered by the residents during the field interviews.
As a whole, the days I spent with Saath brought me quite important clues for the future research on the city of Ahmedabad.