Tag Archives: field visit

Saath visited by EDI

Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDI) is an autonomous and not-for-profit institute set up in 1983. It’s mission is to increase the supply of new entrepreneurs through Education, Research & Training. On the 6th of July 13 students from the new batch of  ‘Business Entrepreneurship & In Development Studies’ visited Saath along with one of their Professors.

The aim of the visit was to give the new students an idea about how organizations work from the grass-root level. Their focus was to give the students exposure about how the not-for profit sector works, and how they run their individual programmes and implementing the same. They also wanted to visit a slum and see the real situation of the people living in slums and understand their problems.

IMG_0773EDI Students at Saath office

The students were given the overall presentation of the different programmes of Saath. The focus of the presentation was on the history of Saath and about how each individual programme was developed. The students asked the questions regarding the target group for programmes and lively discussions were done about the implementing strategies and steps taken by Saath so as to create an inclusive society as per its vision. After the presentation the students were taken to Vasna where they visited the Urban Resource Centre (URC) run by Saath. Here they interacted with our Staff members Geetaben and Ramilaben and learned from them about how Saath developed over the years from working on Education and Health to Slum infrastructure to Microfinance and the URC’s for the upliftment of the slums. After this they visited the Vasna area and interacted with various people of the area and learned about their problems and the work done by Saath in the area.

IMG_0780Students at our Vasna URC centre interactive with URC staff members Geetaben and Ramilaben

Here are the responses from some of the students:

I cam to know something new about the development sector from Saath. It was a pleasure to interact with the community. It is an excellent work that Saath is doing. I’m looking forward to meet and do combined work in development sector” – Sanjay Romala

My visit was really motivational. Saath is doing a commendable job reaching to the problems at grass root levels which affects development. Keep up the work!! Looking forward to working with Saath” – Niharika Bhatia

“The presentation was awesome and very informative and got to know a lot about Saath. The interaction with slum dwellers and people was an experience worth having.  Got to know about Saath’s work and it is impressive. Looking forward to work with Saath” – Mallika Bakshi

An Escape to the Countryside

Eva, an amateur photographer and true Indiaphile, visited our Child-rights for Change programme in Viramgam, rural Ahmedabad. She  photo-documentated the child-rights programme and, between the clicking, interacted with the children and development activists. Read her story below. Her pictures will follow shortly after!

Escaping from my busy Dutch life, I tried and found some peace and relaxation in vibrant India. A visit to the rural area around Ahmedabad really helped putting things into perspective. It provided me with the colorful and happy feeling that I was hoping for.

Starting out in Ahmedabad and leaving the urban life filled with malls, markets and many, many people and vehicles, we slowly got into the surprisingly green fields of the Viramgam district.

At Saath’s rural office we enjoyed a freshly prepared lunch and Ashraf starts explaining the Child Rights for Change* program that we are about to visit. After this lunch, we were welcomed in a primary school class. Twenty children were sitting in a semi circle and greeted us as we walked in. We took our seats and four girls performed a dance, telling us a story of their daily activities. As soon as they were finished dancing, a well organized conversation started, informing us how the program was working out. Four of the students have been picked to look after the presence of the others. Apparently, that seems to be a very effective way of keeping children in school in stead of working in the fields. Later that day, we learnt that the drop out percentage is under 1%. The program really works.

As soon as we were trying to leave, it was very difficult to find our way through the crowd of very Eva (at the right) in Viramgamenthusiastic children. Then, one of the children tells us how he really would like to see and touch American dollars – being the symbol of all foreign currencies. I did not have dollars, but I handed him a 2 Euro coin. The coin goes from one hand into another and the children awed when hearing the equivalent of this one coin in Rupees (being approx Rs. 120). I wonder what they are thinking. Is this western money and the world it represents something they are dreaming of? Or not? I hope their dreams are about improving their lives by little steps, starting by joining classes.

The most spectacular thing – for me – were the people living in the villages. Taking their portraits, I was stunned by the pride and honesty in their eyes. I am convinced that SAATH adds extra meaning to the existence of these people and reconfirms their natural pride. These people – in turn, are passing these values to their children. Experiencing a day like this made me feel humble and hopeful for future development of rural areas in India.

* Child-rights for Change is a programme implemented by Saath and funded by Save the Children. The programme aims to create awareness about child-labour in 120 villages in the blocks of Viramgam and Dholka, rural Ahmedabad.

Charity Tuesdays: QX Limited’s Charity event

Last August a team from QX Ltd.  visited our Urban Resource Centre in Vasna. QX is a UK based outsourcing company that offers finance and accounts, recruitment and IT solutions. Shomindra Chakravarti, an employee from the Ahmedabad branch of QX, came up with the idea to collect clothes for underprivileged people living in slum areas. In total he and his colleagues have collected six boxes of clothes. Once the goods were collected, they needed someone to make sure the clothes would reach the right place.

To distribute the collected goods, they approached our organization. On their request we organized a meeting at Vasna’s URC. Devuben, the co-ordinator of the URC, made sure that the collected clothes  found their way to the people who needed them most. Since she works and lives in this area for years, she knew exactly which family was in need of what. Through her and her colleague’s efforts every single item found a useful second life.

Along with Devuben, the QX team distributed clothes in the community to the identified families. They were thrilled by the fact that each and every piece was measured precisely, to make sure it would find its perfect match. The interaction with the community and the knowledge that the collected clothes found suitable users, made this a successful event for QX, our organization and the community.

Are you inspired by this story and do you wish to organize a similar event? Please don’t hesitate to contact us and drop us a few lines with your idea at rdc@saath.org.

IIM students at Saath

A group of 26 young, enthusiastic students from IIM (Indian Institute of Management), Ahmedabad visited the Urmilla programme last Saturday. The students had prodigious time learning about the Home Manager Programme which identifies the poor unemployed women, trains them as home mangers and finally places them so that they can earn their living.

The students were primarily oriented about the whole program by Belaben Joshi who heads the Urmilla Program. The students also learnt everything about our partner organisation, ‘Empower Pragati’, and the work done by them. There they also had an interactive session with the home managers. They were very pleased to know our policy and the way we deal with this program.

They also interacted with the Relationship Manager who is a mediator between the client and the home mangers and takes care of the home mangers’ rights as well as clients’ satisfaction.

They also visited our clients’ homes and had a Q & A session with the client as well as the home manager who works there. This helped them understand the program better and they got an idea about how successful this program is in terms of client satisfaction, home manger satisfaction and in terms of profit as well.

Later they were further de-briefed by the Executive Director of Saath, Keren Nazareth about the program. Overall, we both had an enlightening experience.

We wholeheartedly thank the IIM students for visiting us and spending their valuable time with us.

If you would like to make a similar visit to our organisation or if you have other ideas to support one of our programmes, you are most welcome! To do so, please contact the RDC unit at rdc@saath.org or give us a call (079 26929827)

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‘Mahindra United World School’s ‘ & ‘Journeys for Change’s’ visits to SAATH

This week a group of around 10 social entrepreneurs from different parts of the world visited us at SAATH Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Ltd. and URC (Urban resource Centre) at Vasna. The visitors are all a part of ‘Journeys for Change’ (http://www.journeysforchange.org ) an organization that organizes journeys for leaders and companies in inspiring  journeys.
They had an enlightening interactive session with SAATH employees at SAATH Cooperative centre and later they visited the URC centre at Vasna. They were given an orientation about what SAATH is all about, its’ brief history and also about the various programmes run by SAATH.
Towards the end of the program they had an interactive session with Mr. Rajendra Joshi, founder and Managing Trustee of SAATH, where he shared with them his personal experience about the adventurous journey of SAATH and also talked about spirituality in work. They left our organisation with a great sense of gratification and contentment in their hearts!
Also on 16th of November, a group of 12 students along with 2 teachers from the Mahindra United World School, Pune (http://www.uwcmahindracollege.org ) visited us at Yuva Mast Centre (Youth Employability Programme), Usmanpura and SAATh Cooperative, Vasna.
The main aim of the students was to get an exposure to various issues prevalent in the urban sector and deepen their understanding of environment and urban sustainable development issues in India. We helped them achieve this by sharing with them our experiences at SAATH.
They also interacted with the children at Yuva Mast. The children at Yuva Mast gladly pieced up their experience with the students and teachers. The students were glad to get such an enthusiastic response and had a life time experience at SAATH.

We are very thankful to ‘Journeys for Change’ and ‘Mahindra United World School ‘for visiting us and interacting with us.

If you would like to make a similar visit to our organisation or if you have other ideas to support one of our programmes, you are most welcome! To do so, please contact the RDC unit at rdc@saath.org or give us a call (079 26929827)