Tag Archives: case-study

Voice of the Youth – 2

This is the story of a Youth who wants to become a Youth Icon and Saath’s Umeed and Youth Force have been instrumental for him in achieving his goal


About Umeed and Youth Force:

Umeed: Established in 2005, Umeed, the programme was formulated where young talented youth who due to social and economic constraints are not able to pursue their education ahead and thus are not eligible for employment are trained in various professional courses, which then makes them qualified for a salaried position at an organisation through a vigorous process of placement and counseling.

Youth Force: : Established in 2012, Youth Force is new change programme incorporated at SAATH which aims at providing a platform to the youth of the urban poor settlement. This program currently looks at forming Youth force groups where young talented youth gather discuss upon issues, plan and execute activities, drives and cultural programs forming a doorway to leisure activities as well as empowering them with confidence and problem solving practices.


Nineteen year old Rahul Makwana a resident of Behrampura, Ahmedabad comes from a family of four members. He is pursuing his Bachelors in Business New Picture (17)Administration from G.L.S., Ahmedabad. Nitin’s father works full-time at an import export workshop and is earning Rs.10,000 every month which nowadays is not enough to meet the requirements of a four member family. Rahul came to know about the UMEED course through his neighbor who had already attended the tally course at the Behrampura UMEED center. He approached the center for the details of the courses like its structure and its fees. He had always had a keen interest in accounts and so decided to join the tally course. Rahul explains “Initially I did have my concerns and doubts about what and how would they teach in the course since the cost of the course was a minimalistic Rs. 500. The timings were never a constraint as I joined the course during the vacation period. Even after the college commenced my professors were extremely supportive of me and were ready to be flexible with my timings. The course structure itself was perfect for me. Along with training in tally I got a chance for personal development. I was always interested in event management and with the help of the UMEED trainers I was able to organize a talent show when our course was near its conclusion. The instructors gave me a free platform to speak and allowed free flow of views and ideas”. On the completion of the course Rahul got placed at a call center however after going for a week he quit. He felt the work atmosphere at the call-center was such that it did not leave any room for personal growth. He was then placed at an accounting firm by the UMEED PLACEMENT CELL where he received a pay of Rs.4500 per month.

Rahul decide to visit the UMEED center after a few months to collect his certificate. He had a chance meeting with Sandeep Panchal (Ahmedabad co-coordinator of Youth Force) who happened to be present at the center at the time of Rahuls visit. Rahul was immediately interested in the Youth Force. Rahul still had some doubts about the working of the Youth Force programme.  Sandeep gave him an opportunity to attend the youth group meeting that was to take place the following weekend.  The meeting had a profound effect on Rahul. Rahul enthusiastically enrolled himself in the youth force. Rahul voices his opinion on the programme, saying “It acts as a great platform for the youth from the slums to hone their natural talents and grow as individuals. This is instrumental in an individual’s growth. The Youth Force programme is instrumental in connecting youth and helps the individual in understanding the importance of team building and team work. For the economic and social growth of India the development of youth resource is utmost important. The programme also helps in instilling the qualities of team building and leadership skill development. One unique feature of the programme is that everyone is treated as equals may it be the team leader or a new member of the group”.

Along with his group of friends Rahul has been instrumental in the formation of an online shopping site Kharidijunction.com under the guidance of their professor. He now earns around Rs.15,000 a month.    He explains “It is the attitude of a person which can decide his success.  One should always have an adjusting attitude and should be open to everyone’s views. One should be curious to learn new things. Listening is an important key for growth. It is the mental blocks in our mindset which hinders our growth. It is also necessary to face ones fear rather than running away from them.  The most important step to become successful is to first decide what success is. Different people have different perspectives on what can be defined as success. The word “I” should not exist in one’s dictionary. The word “I” should be replaced by “WE”.

In today’s time Rahul feels that the youth sometimes undervalues his own skills. Rahul draws inspiration from his icon Dhirubhai Ambani. The patriotic feeling in him is clearly reflected by the fire in his eyes. He wants to become a youth role model for all his peers who are still struggling to find their foot in the society.


Urban Ressource Centres – Your one stop solutions

An Urban Resource Center (URC) is a platform for slum households to access information and services to help improve their quality of life. It identifies vulnerable families, individuals and links them to appropriate services. It also advocates for better basic facilities in the areas and helps the external markets understand the Bottom of the Pyramid population better.

Saath currently has 3 URC’s in Behrampura, Juhapura and Vasna area of Ahmedabad and 1 URC recently opened in Rajkot. URC’s act as one stop solutions for the urban slum dwellers, they aim to create awareness among the slum dwellers about the rights available to them  by the government. It includes providing knowledge and resources to them to deal with important document and processes. The URC’s also monitor and evaluate the development in the community, advocates and runs campaigns related to various issues of the slum dwellers.

Whenever I have a problem I contact the URC: Afsana

IMG_0453Afsana, our URC beneficiary with her FWWB training certificate

Qureshi Afsana Sharifmiya, 31 years old, is a resident of Narayandas ni Chali, Behrampura. After the death of Afsana’s husband, her in-laws threw her and her three kids out of the house. Without any support she was left alone with the burden of supporting her kids. She is living since past 1 1/2 year with her sister-in-law. She applied for Widow Pension Scheme, through an agent, but even after 1 year she got no result.  She lost all hope until one day she met Rehanaben (URC Field Worker) during a URC meeting near her home and told her about difficulties she is facing in availing the government services. Rehanaben informed her about the services provided by URC and gave her assurance that her work will be done. Through URC she got her widow pension, opened a bank account, filled election card, has undergone FWWB training and joined Urmila Home Manger programme.

Afsana says “Before I didn’t understand any of the procedures and paperwork, I used to go here and there without getting any results. Now, Thanks to URC I can easily avail government service benefits and any information I need I can get from the Urban Resource Centre.”

In the last year our URC’s reached out to more than 27,000 households and created 6,228 linkages for the urban poor.

Saath – Reaching across Generations

Microfinance – Initiated in 1994, Saath first started providing opportunities for savings in a community-based model. In 1999, Saath expanded its services with small loans. As demand grew, Saath established its operations in a more formal manner, with the establishment of a co-operative society structure. In 2002, two co-operatives were formed to work in two different areas of Ahmedabad. In March 2010, all the co-operatives came together to form, The Saath Savings and Credit Co-operative Society Ltd

Here given is the story of one of the members of our Co-operative.

I earn and save with Saath, just like my mother did: Darshana Prabhudayal

New Picture (7)Darshana Prabhudayal, an insurance beneficiary who is associated with Saath.

 As a teenager, Darshana always looked up to her mother, Tulsaben. Not only did Tulsaben take care of the entire house, she also worked, along with her husband, to support their family. When she was alive, she ensured that they made regular payments in the Compulsory Savings Plan with Saath.

Soon enough, she also started taking loans, as when she needed the money. Darshana said, “The field officers always explained the process clearly and my mother would discuss the monthly instalment that she wanted to pay off the loan with. She also had a good rapport with the branch manager.”

One such loan, of INR 30,000, that she had taken, was for home improvement. “While the renovation was on-going, she fell seriously ill and eventually succumbed to her illness. The branch manager immediately contacted us and asked us not to worry about the remaining loan repayment,” she stated.

She added, “That is when I realised that my mother had also taken an insurance policy which helped us clear off the debt at Saath without any hassle. Today, I earn my living and save with Saath, just like my mother did!

With a focus on instilling the habit of savings among people, The Saath Co-operative’s main aim is to offer the urban as well as the rural poor a way of accessing credit that is linked to them having to demonstrate a willingness to save in order to qualify for it. The Co-operative strives daily to promote equal participation of people, irrespective of their religious, economic and social background as well their gender. It provide loans at an affordable rate of interest and try and reach out to areas where no banking facilities are available due to various reasons. Through The Saath Co-operative, we aim to improve the standard of living of the people from the socially marginalised communities and for people living in varying degrees of poverty.

The Co-operative today has 7 branches and has more than 17,000 members cumulative savings of more than Rs. 5 Crores.

Do contact us if you want to visit our Microfinance Programme and know more in detail about it.

Fighting against all odds

Shaikh Nilofarbanu Muhammad Hanif (13 years old, studying in 7th standard) lives in Juhapura area of Ahmedabad. She lives with her mother who is the sole bread earner of her house. Her mother earns her livelihood by doing household work for which she gets a mere 500 rupees / month. After her father’s death in 2008 the financial condition of her family worsened and her mother was forced to put her two elder sister’s (age 17 years and 15 years) in orphanage. But then also poor financial condition didn’t deter Nilofarbanu to pursue her studies.

During that time, for the development of under privileged women SAATH started a Women Development Center (WDC) in Juhapura area so, when she read the pamphlet of WDC she visited the center and showed her interest in English speaking course. Later on she was enrolled for the course. Initially for few days she came to class but then she disappeared and never again came to the center. To know the actual reason behind her absence center coordinator visited her house. “When I visited her house and asked Nilofar about reason behind  her absence from the class she told me that she really wants to learn English but her mother only earns 500 rupees a month so she could not afford the programme fee (500 rupees)of English speaking course. “ says Zaheeda Shaikh, Center Coordinator, WDC.


Women in WDC Computer Course with their teachers Shahin Shaikh(In the front) and Menaz Saha(In the Back). Menaz first joined WDC as a student and later seeing her enthusiasm she was hired as a teacher.

After listening to her story and looking at her enthusiasm and willingness to learn English, center coordinator decided to give her a special consideration and eventually her course fee was exempted. Now Nilofar comes regularly to the center.  When Zaheeda asked about her aspirations in life she told her that she just want to complete her studies first.

Established in August 2012, based out of Juhapura, WDC is a community based women empowerment and livelihood center ‘Falah-e-Niswa’ as the women themselves have named it, aims at linking vulnerable women to various ‘sources-of-income’ which at the end of the day uplifts their pNew Picture (4)ower and dignity. Currently providing trainings in English speaking, Computer Courses and Beauty Parlour Courses. The vision of programme is to provide the information to women on issues like Domestic Violence, Educational and Health issues etc. and try to guide them to overcome those. Centre will also create linkages with other programmes of Saath like Micro Finance, CFS, Urban Resource Centre etc. This will holistically support the women approaching the centre.

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A total of 97 women have been trained till date in the courses of English Speaking, Computer Course and Beauty Parlour.

“This kind of centres should open for not just women from minority group only but also for the underprivileged women of all the sections of society so as to empower them and give them a voice” says Zahida Shaikh, Coordinator, WDC

Nirman – Constructing the Change

Shantaben Amruthbhai is a resident of Behrampura and has a family of seven  members. To supplement the income of the family; she worked as a helper/labourer at different construction sites for a few years. Shantaben felt that there was no scope to grow for her and learn new skills as nobody was willing to teach her. Moreover the wage was seasoNew Picture (3)nal. She had lost hope that things would change for her. Shantaben came to know about the Nirman Training Programme through the road shows conducted by the SAATH team. She visited the center to get more information about the timings, the structure of the course and the fees. The course was tempting to her since the fees were meager and the timings appropriate. At the training center she got a formal training in Masonry like how to use the tools, how to make cement-concrete mixture and sprinkle water on the plastered walls.

She explains “Along with the training given in the masonry department, I also received training in development of soft skills and was given information about the importance of savings and the necessary safety measures that need to be taken into consideration while working. The training has helped me to enhance my income by Rs.50 per day. I have become more independent then before. I am in a better position to bargain for my wages and work hours. It has enabled me to strike a balance between motherhood and work”. She hopes to become a skilled worker someday. Shantaben has become a role model for other women of her community.

Started in 2011, Nirman works with people who are unskilled or skilled labourers in the informal sector. Nirman aims at improving their skills, working efficiency and proficiency enabling skills enhancement and perfection. Once proper training is achieved, placement opportunities are identified given to these workers. 4 trades are taught currently namely Carpentry, Plumbing, Masonry and Electrician. Till date Nirman has trained more than 400 individuals and helped them in getting better employment opportunities.

The state of Gujarat has over 80,000 women working in the construction sector and almost all of them are working in unskilled jobs (carrying and transferring materials).  Women have to shoulder much greater responsibilities then there male counterparts. They struggle to strike a balance between motherhood, housework and there role in supplementing the income of the family. Their work is hard labour and at the end of the day they suffer from pain in limbs, hands, joints and headaches.They have no job security and owing to their occupational risk factor they are also affected due to lack of insurance coverage. The wages of construction labourers are very low and many times they are exploited by their contractors. Also, the average daily income of female labourers is low as compared to their male counterparts. They are not given benefits such as bonus or leaves.

Nirman is the platform through which we desire to give voice to these women.