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!!!
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.
Nihal Bhatt is an engineering student currently studying at Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University. He did his internship with Saath last month. Given below is his experience of working with Saath.
My working with Saath was compelling and exhilarating beyond doubt. The short tenure of 24 days from 15th May till 7th June at Saath inculcated new spirit and approach of thinking in me. Our college, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University provided a platform to improve our social and interpersonal skills through an internship and Saath changed it into reality. The experience to explore the slum dwelling areas and the underprivileged people was quite engaging and worth a consideration.
On the first day of internship, all the interns were given a synopsis of all the programs at Saath. The field visits to slum dwelling areas motivated me to do something for a social cause. The initiatives by Saath act as a flame to ignite spirit to aid the needful.
I was allocated the department of Research, Documentation and Communication Cell (RDC) and Saath Livelihood Services (SLS). Both of the departments helped in improving my designing talent, innovative thinking and analyzing skills. I was given a task to design the Annual Report and the Saath Brochures. It was rather a slow and uphill task to think out of the box keeping in mind the constraints. I got assistance from the RDC team and fellow interns during the job, which made it simpler. It took lots of effort to prepare the designs, but at the end the results were pleasurable.
Nihal with the CFS Juhapura centre children
The most valuable experience I got at Saath was to visit the CFS (Child Friendly Spaces) center and Nirman Center. CFS is a program spearheaded by Saath to help the small poor kids. They are provided with quality education at the CFS centers. Nirman is a program to skill the unemployed poor men. They are skilled as electrician, plumber and masons. It was good to see a 10th grade passed man to repair a table fan and a 7th grade failed man to fix the hot water geyser.
I was contented with my work as I was indirectly dropping my sweat for the needful. It was worthwhile experience to work with the team of Saath. I even made new friends from various colleges who came in as interns. The short tenure of work helped me in improving my intellectual skills. I am thankful to Saath to make me aware of the outer world that faces difficulties each day. The days I spent at Saath will be etched in my mind forever. The experience was truly valuable and I appreciate all the endeavors spearheaded by Saath. I would like to express gratitude to all the officials of Saath for their hospitability. It was a precious experience to work with the whole team.
Posted in Intern Stories
Tagged CFS, child labourers, Children, intern, Intern Experience, Juhapura, meghdhnush, Nirman, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, PDPU, SAATH
MEGHDHANUSH! What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you 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.
Children 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.
Today we share with you story of Nazma who used to make Rakhi’s at home to help her family and now regularly attends our CFS classes and is soon going to give the exam for 10th Grade to join formal schools.
Nazma is 14 yrs old and is a resident of Fatehwadi, Juhapura area of Ahmedabad. She met Firdausben our CFS teacher during her field visit in the area. Talking with her Firdausben came to know that Nazma has never been to school and makes ‘Rakhi’s’at home to help her family. For making 12 dozen rakhi’s she gets paid Rs. 50. Firdausben came to know that her parents are very reluctant to send girls to school but Firdausben convinced them to come to send Nazma to the CFS classes.
Talking about the class she says, “When I joined the class I entered into a different world where everything was new for me as I had never attended a class of any kind”. Her parents are migrants from Uttar Pradesh and hence she didn’t know any Gujarati at all. In the class she was very eager to learn and showed a lot of enthusiasm for learning new things. Now, her Gujarati is really good, she reads and writes with full speed and her handwriting’s are something to look at.She further says, “Through the class I got a chance to go to a theater to watch a movie for the first time which was another experience I never had before. I really want to study further and join a school, my dream is to become a Doctor”.
For enrolling Nazma to a formal school Firdausben went to meet her parents. She found out that her parents are illiterate. In their family education is very low and there is reluctance to send their children to school especially girls. After much counseling of Nazma’s mother and father by Firdausben they have agreed for Nazma to give exam for 10th standard. Now they are also eager for her to give exam and study ahead.