“An experience to be cherished”

By Durga Kavya Ramkumar

Kavya is an Ahmedabad resident and is currently a final year Masters of Life Sciences student. She spent 2 months at Saath as an intern doing field work as well as working at the corporate office.
I joined Saath as an intern from June-August 2021. I started my time working with Saath at the Khanpur centre for Women at work program. Here, I attended the vocational training programs, communicated with the participants and documented case stories of the women who had been placed at various petrol pumps around the city. This program works to teach women skills so that can sustain mostly male-dominated jobs, the uniqueness of which really gravitated me towards this program. The stigma that still exists in our society to this this day and the way Saath works to erase this and uplift these societies is something that I really wanted to be involved with. Working here provided me a perspective I previously lacked and give me an opportunity to assess and understand where and how I can contribute to these communities. One of the happiest days I can remember is the day we went for a field trip to a petrol pump. It was raining, and all the women were huddled under the roof of the petrol pump. There were laughs, funny conversations, and a lot of learning about petrol pumps too!
At the corporate office, I was a part of the business gym program where I was tasked with creating a manual for microentrepreneurs which included both visuals and text. Along with this project, I was also part of drafting the Saath Annual report for the year 2021. I had the opportunity to visit various centres of the programs run by Saath during the photography sessions for the annual reports. This was by far the most memorable part of my internship, filled with many experiences I will cherish. Meeting new people, doing this kind of field work and seeing areas of the city I live in that I had never seen before was very rewarding. We spent three days going from area to area documenting the work that is being done at these programs. Curating photographs and discussing the layout of the reports was also part of my job. Duke university also partners with Saath for an internship program. I was tasked with making social media posts about the students and their research. Reading such material about the various aspects explored introduced new perspectives to me, which I am grateful for.
I immensely value my time here, for one because it was my first experience working in a corporate setting, and the people around me made it very easy to appreciate the environment of such a place. I was also made responsible for other interns, which also taught me how to be a manager to some extent. My mentor, Shivani ma’am who is a part of the Research and Documentation cell was an extremely valuable person to have to guide me throughout this journey. I was able to have many a conversation about the workings of Saath, and what exactly it is that the various programs here help achieve. She was very patient and continuously gave me opportunities to get more involved. We even bonded over our love for animals!
The connections I have made here have truly helped me grow. I am glad I got the opportunity to work with this organization and all the people involved. Thank you Saath, I look forward to working here again!
–          Durga Kavya Ramkumar

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