Category Archives: Work Memoirs

For staff experiences in general

MNC petrol pump hires 18 women trainees of Women@Work

women@work-1Under Women@work, vulnerbale women are trained for non-traditional trades such as electrician, mobile repairing and petrol pump service for acquiring a meaningful employment or start their own micro-enterprise. The programme was started in June 2015, has trained 72 women and 92 are undergoing training right now.

Recently Women@work, successfully placed 18 women trainees at a Petrol Pump in Ahmedabad. The welcome gesture of this MNC petrol giant, has grabbed the attention of the passers-by at the petrol pump. One of them is Neema Ben (Name has been changed), who has been hired, despite the fact that her husband is suffering from HIV AIDs. Her husband lost his job and she is the sole bread earner now taking care of the entire family. She will be getting a salary of Rs. 8,500/- which will help her sustain her family needs, especially when the family is going through tough times. The program has been successful to bring change in the mind-set of some, as we see in this case the recruiters have thought beyond conventional norms and stereotypes for promoting work place equity and the right to work irrespective of gender and health issues.


Neema Ben defies societal baises to work for sustaining her family!

Khodiyar nagar is a small slum pocket with 4,000 households in Behrampura, Ahmedabad. Mostly people there are involved in labour work and auto driving for a living. Neema ben, 25 years old also lives in this area with her husband and mother-in-law. She has two daughters and one son. Her elder daughter is studying in 1st standard and younger daughter is studying in Aanganwadi. Her son is 2 years old. Neema ben and her husband Kailash bhai have both studied till 8th standard. Kailash bhai was working in one of the shop with a salary of Rs. 6,000 per month. Two years back Kailash bhai was diagnosed of AIDS, as a result he couldn’t continue his work. The family is in financial crunch as Kailash Bhai’s medical expenses are increasing day by day. All the responsibilities suddenly came upon Neema ben Ben’s shoulders, so she started searching for work. Neema ben’s mother-in-law also started labour work at this ripe age. By the stroke of luck, in November 2015, Neema ben met the Mobilization team of Women@Work Programme of Saath focused on training women in non-traditional trades. Neema ben keenly acquired the information about the program, and she saw a ray of hope for her family’s future, thus joined the 15 days training. She got hired at Petrol Pump along with 18 other women near her area after her training. She has a 9 to 6 job with a salary of Rs. 8,500 per month. Neema ben says with a sense of satisfaction, “Women@work has not only shown me a way for solving all the problems of my family but also it has empowered me to stand on my own feet”. (Names of the beneficiaries have been changed)


Youth Stories – Riyaz Mirza

Today we bring you the story of Riyaz who has recently joined Saath and is currently working as a part time coordinator of our Juhapura Urban Resource Centre (URC).

22 years old Riyaz is from Bhavnagar and is currently completi1508003_582797488456278_1577041726_nng his Bachelors in Mechanical  Engineering in Ahmedabad. His father is a well know and respected community leader, who is working since past many years for the welfare of the people of the weaker section of society in Bhavnagar. From his childhood Riyaz was very much impresses by his father activities and always wanted to follow in his footsteps.

When he came to Ahmedabad for his studies, here also following the footsteps of his father he used to help the people of the community as much as he can. During this time he came in contact with Zuberbhai, the coordinator of the Juhapura URC at that time.After that during the course of the days he used to meet Zuberbhai quite often and Zuberbhai later on asked him to come to URC after his college was over in the day to help the people. After this everyday after finishing college Riyaz started coming to the URC daily to help in any way that he can.

When Zuberbhai left the URC, seeing the dedication and commitment of Riyaz he recommended him to Saath to take him in and Riyaz joined Saath officially in December 2013, and currently is the Part-time Coordinator of the URC. Talking about his work, Riyaz says, “I really like working for the people and in an area like Juhapura there is much need of the services provided by the URC. I want to focus on the issue of education as there is really low awareness in the area and parents are not aware of the importance of the education and I want to change this.”

28th February 2014 – The Silver Jubilee

28th February 2014, the day marked the silver jubilee of Saath. As you may have read in the previous blog post a huge celebration was planned for the day and here’s what happened on that day.

The day began at 3:00 PM at the Imperial President Hotel, selected for the celebration, with a press conference organised in which Mr. Rajendra Joshi, the founder shared his 25 years journey of working for upliftment of the urban poor with the media. The conference was a huge success as the news of Saath completing 25 years got covered by 12 newspapers and 3 news channels.

The main event planned for the day was the launching of the special coffee table book of Saath a tribute to the people who have helped during its journey. The guest for the event included the community people and several dignitaries, including Mr. Piyush Desai, Chairman and MD of Wagh Bakri Industries.  After sharing of Saath’s journey by Mr. Rajendra Joshi and the Key note speech given by Mr. P.K. Ghosh, the chairman of Saath’s Board, the making of the book was shared with the guests. The book was officially launched by Mr. Piyush Desai, along with Saath and community members.

DSC_0105The Book Launch

The community members shared their own experience with Saath over the years with full enthusiasm and expressed their opinion of working together with Saath in the future as well. The launching of the book was a huge success as well as and a lot of people went home with their own copies of the book (If you would like a copy of the book do write to us at The day was of double celebrations for Saath as on the same day Saath launched its first ever and one if it’s kind mobile application Saath Service Point App to connect construction workers and other informal sector service providers such as carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and domestic workers, directly to clients and thus helping in increasing their chances of getting regular work and proper payment and the service providers getting a proper network to contact these workers as there are no proper networks or channels to contact them in emergency situations.

The celebrations ended with dinner and the whole event was enjoyed by the guests and Saath members equally. The evening ended with Saath getting a lot of good wishes and to continue its work in the future and promises were made to have even bigger celebrations on its 50th Anniversary.

DSC_0158 The Saath Family

Saath would like to thank all the people who have supported it through the years in reaching this landmark and we hope that we will continuously get your support in the future as well.

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.

The Environment Day

What is environment (to you)? When asked this question to some people here are some responses: “Environment is the surrounding atmosphere”, “It is the presence of fresh air”, “The surroundings in which a person, animal, or plant lives”. From textbook definitions to vague ideas were the general responses from the people. The general idea of the people about environment is forest cover, wildlife conservation, weather conditions.

What people fail to see is the delicate web that this surrounding comprises of which the nature has built and is essential for the survival of our planet and all its living beings. When asked about Global Warming people say that due to greenhouse effect the temperature of the earth goes up, which results in melting of snow, rise of the ocean levels and the drastic change in climate. What people fail to see is that due to this rise in temperature is breaking the delicate system that the nature has built which is bringing about slow death of thousands of living creatures.


We should take into consideration that this effect on environment that is having severe effect on our earth is caused by us. It is our responsibility to correct our ways. The environment would not be conserved by the effort of just one person but we all will have to come together for its conservation.

People have different plan for today about how they are going to celebrate the “Environment Day”. When asked people gave thoughts about how they will become more environmentally conscious now. Something concrete is though going to be done by the youth of our Youth Force Programme today. They are going to do a ‘Tree Plantation‘ today in the afternoon at Vidhya Sarita Prathmik school, located near Amar shopping center, Opposite Asopalav society, Vatva. Their aim is not to just plant trees but also to take all future care of them and be environmentally conscious from now on and also spread awareness about the issue.


Do tell us how you spent the environment day today.