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
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.
Last Saturday on 20th of July, members of Saath’s Youth Force Program were given the opportunity to visit young Cancer patients in the Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad. In order to brighten up the day of the little ones, they engaged in painting activities and distributed cookies among them. The Civil Hospital is known for offering free treatment for children who suffer from Cancer, relieving the parents by taking off the financial burden that they have to carry on top of their fear for their child’s life. Most of the parents have visited the hospital regularly for multiple months, spending a week in the hospital, and three weeks back at home. Some families even travel 800 km to have their child treated by the specialists.
The 42 members from the Youth Force Ahmedabad were very touched by the brave way the children dealt with their disease, but also said how lucky they felt to be able to help both the children and their parents by distracting them from their sorrow, even though it was only for a few hours. The children were more than happy when they were handed the pens and paper and most of them started drawing right away, sometimes supported by their parents.
One of the kids at the ward with his painting
Afterwards, the girls were given more information about Cancer and related issues by the hospital. The girls found this presentation very helpful and expressed their thank towards the hospital for giving them the opportunity to learn more about such an important issue and being able to help in making life a little better for the patients.
Youth Force team at the hospital
The Youth Force of Saath was founded in 2012 with the purpose of giving the young talented people from difficult backgrounds the possibility of engaging in discussions about issues, planning and engaging in cultural and leisure activities. It is meant to empower them in their strengths and give them a lookout for a bright future. 996 youth are engaged in the program, spread around the cities of Ahmedabad, Surjat, Rajkot, Vadodara of Gujarat and Mumbai, Maharashtra.
If you are interested in more information about the Youth Force, feel free to contact the coordinator Mr. Paresh Sakariya (firstname.lastname@example.org). Also, do visit our facebook page for more pictures of this visit as well as pictures of different activities done by Youth Force members in their cities.