Saath runs Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) classes for providing education and nutrition support to children at construction sites. Here’s story Mohanbhai whose children study at one of the CFS classes.
Mohanbhai comes from Galiyapor village and has been working in Ahmedabad since last 3 years. He does plastering work at the construction sites. He and his wife work at the construction sites and they have 3 children, 2 girls and 1 boy who are living with them at the sites.
Mohanbhai with his family
Mohanbhai’s girls are Divya (9 year old) and Shilpa (10 year old) and his son is Kishan (8 year old). They are in contact with the Child Friendly Spaces classes run by Saath at the construction sites since past 3 years where first his children used to attend the classes run at Naroda sites and now are attending the classes run in Vasna sites. He is very happy seeing the change in his children and says that before they didn’t know anything, but now are learning very fast and are able to write words in English and Gujarati and his girls especially are very good in reading. He regularly sends his children for the classes and his wife is very happy about the nutrition support provided to their children at the classes. After coming in touch with the classes he has enrolled his children in the school of their village and whenever they go back to village the children study there.
Mohanbhai’s children studying at the CFS class
“My children are getting good education here, and I wish that at all the sites these kind of classes should be run for our children. Saath should continue to work for the education of children at the construction sites as many parents here are not capable enough to send their children to school”, says Mohanbhai.
Ronita Singh is an engineering student currently studying at Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University. She did his internship with Saath last month. Given below is her experience of working with Saath.
My 24 days internship as exactly counted in my schedule has been a truly learning experience and was totally dedicated in learning the struggling life of various slum dwellers. It was through Saath that I was able to see the ‘unseen world’ that needs immediate attention.
A two day orientation was organized to give a proper insight to the various programmes run by Saath. It helped me in knowing the organization in a better way and made it clear that this was one of the respectable NGO’s.
I started working at Saath under the Research and Documentation Cell. My work focused on collecting case stories based on different programmes run by this NGO for the Annual Report. It provided me with a great opportunity to reach out to the people of various communities and know their life history. When I visited these places for the first time, the people were really welcoming and accepted me and patiently answered my questions to the hardships they were facing.I was inspired to see that in spite of the dreadful conditions that they live in, they still continue to have a big smile on their faces. Their dream to get affordable and cleaner civic amenities still runs in their blood. It was through the stories that I came to know that Saath has greatly helped them in giving the basic health and education facilities.
Ronita (in the front) at our Child Friendly Spaces centre
Apart from all of these, working with this organization has also given me so much more.I learned professional skills, made some great friends here and got a platform to travel and meet different people all across the city. It taught me how to work in a team and inculcated inter personal skills. Looking at the poor conditions of these people who strive so hard to earn their breads that I realized that I have nothing to complain about. Saath also helped me discover my philanthropic side and sensitized me to the issues that the world needs to cater to.
At last, I would like to thank everyone at Saath for making me feel at ease with the working environment. All the officials really helped me grow as an individual. A special thanks to Irbaaz sir and Kunal sir for believing in me and my work. They have been really supportive throughout my internship. I would also like to congratulate Saath for the completion of 25 years and wish them luck for their future endeavours. Indeed an unforgettable experience for me!
Since 2011, Saath has been running Saath Women Savings and Credit Cooperative Society in rural villages of Dholka and Viramgam block of Ahmedabad for empowering rural women by providing them access to financial services and facilities. Over 3,000 women are member of the initiative and given below is the story of one of our members Rekhaben Maheshbhai Makwana and how the Cooperative has helped her in bringing about change in her life.
Rekhaben lives in the Rampur village if Dholka block with her husband and father – in – law. Her husband used to work in a clothing factory and earn Rs. 2,000 per month. With this small income and due to illness of her father in law and his medical bills it was very difficult to run home for them. To support her family Rekhaben also joined her husbands factory and they were able to earn Rs. 3,000 – Rs. 4,000 per month but they were still not able to meet their daily expenses.
Madhuben our field officer is a relative of Rekhaben and through her Rekhaben came to know about Saath’s Women Savings and Credit Cooperative run in over 100 villages for Dholka and Viramgam especially for women providing them access to savings and affordable credit. Rekhaben became a member of the Cooperative and started saving Rs. 100 per month. Later on she took a loan of Rs. 40,000 from the Cooperative to buy an auto rickshaw for her husband.
Rekhaben with her husband and their newly bought Auto Rickshaw
With the new auto rickshaw now her husband earns Rs. 300 – Rs. 400 per day. Rekhaben took the responsibility of the finances of the home and with the increase in the income she also increased her savings in the Cooperative to Rs. 200 per month. Due to her financial management now they have bought a refrigerator and TV for their home and also able to pay the medical bills of Rekhaben’s father in law and support him better. Rekhaben says, “I’m now seeing good days in my life and a bright future ahead and for this I’m heartily thankful to Saath.”