Category Archives: News

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)



A big thank you to Rajeshbhai for providing one time meal to the children of our class in Vasna.


Saath would like to thank Rajesh Basetha who every Thursday provides a nutrition snack to the children of our Child Friendly Space class. Saath is running a class at the Swaminarayan Park construction site in Vasna for the children of the workers of the site, right in front of Rajeshbhai’s home. He has his own grocery store right next to our class. He moved in the area about 2 months ago and used to see the children coming to class next door regularly every day. He inquired about the class, and coming to know that it’s for the children of labourers he felt that he has his own duty towards society and decided to provide snacks to the children once a week. A humble person when asked about it Rajeshbhai says, “When I came to know I first ask the teacher that whether I can give the food to children or not as I thought some parent may say no. Saath is doing a very commendable job and I hope that the developers of the construction site also realise their duty and provide such classes and also support to the children of the labourers working for them. I regularly send my daughter as well to distribute food at the class so that she also learns about social responsibility”.

Talking about children with a big smile on his face Rajeshbhai adds, “Every Thursday morning the children come to ask me that what I’m going to give them today. Now they also give their own loving demands adding please give this today kaka which I do oblige”.

A big Thank You from Saath to Rajeshbhai for his support!!!


MEGHDHANUSH! What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you poster1  hear this word? Obviously, the thing that comes to each of our mind is a rainbow. Meghdhanush is the name of the new campaign initiated by SAATH with an aim at raising awareness among people on the issue of Child Labour. I am sure that the question that would now be concerning you is why is the name of the campaign Meghdhanush and how is it connected to the issue of Child Labour? Meghdhanush is a campaign which will have a series of seven workshops for the kids in the course of the year with each event connected to a colour of the rainbow and thus, the name Meghdhanush. The objective of the campaign is to add colour to a child’s life.

This campaign is associated with our programme called Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) which works towards providing informal education to the child labourers and children belonging to vulnerable households. We want more and more people to get encouraged from this initiative and help us in adding colour to the lives of our little children.

The campaign was launched on 12th June, 2014. You all must be wondering as to why we chose this particular date for the launch? It’s simple. 12th June is a World Day against Child Labour and so, we thought that this was the best day to launch our campaign. Our hospitality partner for the launch of the campaign was Courtyard Marriott. Our guests of honour for the launch were Mr. HP Singh, Director General of Police, Mr. Gaurav Singh, General Manager of Courtyard Marriott and Mr. Rajendra Joshi, the founder of SAATH. The event was started with a small act to tell people to not discourage the kids as we never know what the kids would be doing 20 years down the line. We then, welcomed our guests of honour with a token and then invited Mr. HP Singh, Mr. Gaurav Singh, Mr. Rajendra Joshi, Ms. Keren Nazareth, Ms. Chinmayi Ben, one of our CFS center teacher and one of our CFS center child to light the lamp.

 IMG_0444Children performing at Meghdhnush Launching

Post the lighting of the lamp, our guests of honour shared their views on the issue of child labour and on this initiative taken by SAATH. We then had our little kids perform a welcome dance on Vande Mataram. We also had two of our kids sing a Lokgeet for us.  The audience were informed about the seven workshops that we would be conducting for our little kids in the course of the year. The guests were informed about the seven CFS centres that SAATH is currently running. A positive case story of one of our little kid who studies in our Vejalpur CFS centre was shared and he interacted with the guests about his experience at CFS class. Gopal Bhai, the coordinator of our CFS programme and all the teachers of our CFS centres shared their experience with SAATH and about the difficulties that they face in getting children to join the CFS centres.

At the end the guests were requested to lend their valuable support to help us fight the issue of child labour. All the children present at the event were given gifts from Women of Voyage Circle. The launching ended on a very good note and we look forward to more positive response and support for the next  events to help as many children as possible.


3rd Annual Meet of the Saath Cooperative

Last Saturday on 4th Jan, the Saath Savings and Credit Cooperative Society held its 3rd Annual Meet at Centre for Environment Education, Ahmedabad  in which 90+ people were present including the Staff and the Board members. Here’s sharing with you her experience about the day Ms. Shikha Gupta, Cooperative’s Documentation Coordinator. 


Meeting colleagues without any official appointments and problems seems to be like a holiday and celebration. 4th January was the day of celebration for the cooperative’s staff. Rewards for the best performances of the year, salary increment letters, simulation exercises, games & quizzes with lots of fun, music & full of motivational learning for the next year happened during the whole day program.

Once in a year all branch teams join each other with full of entertainment and every staff member enjoys the moment. This year the program has been developed with more entertainment and participating and fortunately team could really enjoy & participate in the program.

Three branches performed in the program:- Mehndikua and Vasna Branch teams sung the song and Juhapura branch performed a role play on blind religious faith and controversial saints in the society. A simulation exercise was also performed on vision and courage of the leadership in three teams.

999939_1410480739194957_232652449_nPerformance by Vasna Branch

This year 8 field officers were awarded as best field officers, 3 accountants were awarded for excellence and 2 Office Assistants were awarded for the best supporting staff in the branches. The best branch award was won by our Saraspur branch.

Mr. Rajendra Joshi founder of SAATH and promoter of the Cooperative said that the time has come to expand our expertise in more areas of Ahmedabad as we have experience of 20 years and a strong leadership. Ms. Chinmayi Desai Chairperson of the Cooperative also emphasised on operational expansion and profit growth in the organization.

This year celebration was special as The Cooperative has received the permission to work in the whole Ahmedabad District. Another important thing happened we provided the salary increment letters to each and every staff member for the first time.

Announcing Two New Intiatives at Saath

Since its inception, SAATH has worked in the fields of Health, Education, Micro Finance, Training, Livelihoods, Policy Advocacy as per the needs of the community and has innovated its programmes and started new initiatives for the benefit of the people. Recently Saath started two new initiatives – Sujal water project for providing safe drinking water to Sanand Aanganwadi’s children and Housing Rights project for creating awareness amongst slum dwellers regarding their housing rights. Given below is the brief overview of both of these projects. Do let us know what you think about them.

Sujal – Safe Drinking Water for Everyone

According to Ahmedabad district annual report 2010-11, under the ICDS programme there are total 1,600 Aanganwadi’s functioning in Ahmedabad district out of which Sanand Taluka has 193 Aanganwadi’s (Village: 70, Population: 1,93,335). There are basic facilities like toilets and drinking water at each Aanganwadi but the quality of water is a major concern. Due to high PH level, poor quality of water and lack of RO systems children who come to the Aanganwadi’s suffer from water borne diseases like diarrhea, cholera and jaundice etc and many suffer from flourosis and kidney stone problems.

Through the Sujal project Saath will implement and monitor RO water system in 193 Aanganwadi’s of Sanand Taluka. For the phase 1 of the project we aim to implement RO systems in a total of 30 Aanganwadi’s. More than 1,000 children of 3-5 year age group of about 18 villages will get access to clean and pure drinking water during this first phase. The RO systems have been installed in 6 Aanganwadi’s by now and the rest ones will be covered by June,2014. The project will also keep an eye on the health status of the children studying in these Aanganwadi’s and will conduct regular health checkups of the children along with monitoring of the RO systems. The project is also an initial point for us to get to know the Sanand area so that later on we can reach out to a larger public base.


Children with their teacher at Aanganwadi in Pilupura village of Sanand where the RO system has been installed.

Housing Rights for the Urban Poor

The Constitution of India under Part III Fundamental Rights under Articles 19 and 21 ensures every citizen right to reside at the place of his choice and right to life. India through its elaborated five year plans and formation of national housing policies strive to achieve the goal of Slum Free India through various national housing policies. JnNURM is one such ambitious scheme launched nation wide in year 2005 implemented by Ministry of Urban Development and Urban employment and poverty alleviation.

Major cities in Gujarat are set to have the highest number of new housing units built by the government in the coming years. This effectively means that many more communities will be evicted, and moved into EWS housing schemes – there is no safeguard against violations and denials of their rights of due process. Also, there is no assurance of adherence to standards and principles for in situ redevelopment and rehabilitation.


One of the EWS sites in Ahmedabad where Saath is working

To tackle the situation Saath proposes to build the capacity of slum communities to understand their housing rights and be able to organize themselves against unlawful and illegal evictions, resettlements or housing that are less adequate, as well as to secure their entitlements under the policies and programs that are being initiated in the state. In longer term, the program aims to contribute to strengthening the national level work and platforms on housing rights. In the coming years Saath will work in 3 cities of Gujarat – Ahmedabad, Surat and Rajkot and train 60 community leaders, 10 community organisations and reach out to over 2,30,000 slum dwellers and work with them.