Tag Archives: Griha Pravesh

Home is where the Heart is

Approximately 86% of India’s urban population, constituting Base-of Pyramid, needs affordable homes today. Roughly 50 million units will be required by 2030. At present many of these people live in ‘informal settlements’ in rental or ownership accommodation where there is no security of tenure, civic services are poor and the home asset is not ‘mortgage-able’ in the formal space. This leads households into a vicious cycle of poverty. Numerous studies have proved that at least 2/3rd of people currently living in ‘informal homes’ can afford to buy a home in the, ‘slowly but steadily growing’, formal affordable housing market. A substantial portion of these people need assistance to navigate the complex process of home ownership. An entity that can work on a ‘social enterprise’ mode is therefore absolutely essential to provide this hand-holding.

Griha Pravesh is our housing facilitator that enables potential affordable IMG_0286home buyers in getting prepared for home ownership and in navigating the process from selection of a property, accessing housing finance through to taking the first step over the threshold of their new home. Griha Pravesh seeks to make it easier for base-of-pyramid clients in realizing their dream for home ownership. To understand how Griha Pravesh works read below the story of one of the beneficiaries Mr. Vinod Tiwari who fulfilled his dream of owning a house with Griha Pravesh’s help and here’s his experience in his own words:

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When I came from Madhya Pradesh to Ahmedabad, the sky above and the earth down were my residence. I started my business in Amraiwadi area where I used to sell clothes on the roadside and in the evening I used to sleep at the same place hence my the address of my business and home were the same. Slowly slowly I rented a house, but after every 11 months we had to vacate the house and find a new place. These time became stressful and also affected the education of my children and so finally I decided to buy a house of my own, it may be small but it will be in my name. I started searching for houses but I faced challenges because of pricing and loans. After some time it looked to me that I will never be able to buy my own house as I didn’t have enough documents for availing loan.

When Griha Pravesh kept a stall in Amraiwadi area I visited the stall. I became a IMG_0043member of the company and they started showing me houses as per my budget. I selected a house in Vatva – Gairatpur area which I booked and my loan process was started and in Gruh – Finance my loan was Pre-Sanctioned. On the day of filling the bank processing fee due to immediate work I had to go to my village and use the money I saved for the processing fee. When I submitted the check for fee on Monday it bounced and my loan was rejected. My happiness vanished into thin air. But, the Griha Pravesh team gave me consolation and started working on my loan again. With their efforts my loan was passed and I think that if the company wasn’t there I would not have been able to fulfill my dream of my own home as the strength, inspiration, information and help that I required my own people would be unable to provide it. ______________________________________________________

Started in November 2011, Griha Pravesh working in cities of Ahmedabad and Surat has reached more than 32,000 people till date, has 932 members and has helped 250 members to book their own homes. In the future with Griha Pravesh we aim to  to aid as many people as possible the dream of own-house of the low income section of the society. Given below are the contact numbers for Griha Pravesh, if you are interested and do spread the word:

  • Ahmedabad – 8980007833 (Isanpur), 8980002607 (Bapunagar)
  • Surat – 8980001208
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Rediscovering my potential through ‘The SAATH Experience…’

Intro:                                                                                                                                                          Devina Sarwatay is currently studying Masters in Development Communication from Gujarat University. She spent the summer of 2013 with SAATH, working for four different programmes – Griha Pravesh, Nirman, The Saath Co-operative and Urmila – in her roughly month-long internship. This period, which was full of challenges and hence learning, will be cherished by her for many years to come.

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Devina Sarwatay [on right ;-)] thinks she makes a good photograph only with her canine brother, Buddy Sarwatay!

I told my mother, who I am really close with, that I will be starting my NGO internship with SAATH on the 13th of May, 2013. She declared immediately that the internship was going to be a grand success, as I was starting on the pious occasion of Akshay Tritya.

Looking back at the entire experience, today, I sure can say that she is some gifted fortune-teller! For me, the internship has indeed been a grand success for several reasons which you will find, if you read on…

Firstly, SAATH is one of the few NGOs, which spends time after its interns to introduce them to the organisation, its work culture and the programmes it works with. They have a dedicated Research, Documentation and Communication Cell which has an impressive orientation programme. It solves any doubts you might have as well as freely answers queries that pop up in your mind. They also take you to visit a few of the programme centres, so that you get a hang of the kind of field work that is put into their programmes.

Secondly, they pretty much give you a free hand to pick up programmes that you would like to work with, along with the intern requirements that they have of you. This means that you can not only have the satisfaction of completing tasks allotted to you which will help them cover ground with their work, but also get the opportunity to work with an issue you really feel for.

Thirdly, they show massive support and patience when you have doubts about something and want to ask questions. In case you have an emergency, in my case it was my mother meeting with a serious accident, they ask you to leave everything else and focus on the right things that allows you to put your 100% where it’s needed, when it’s needed. SAATH sure gave me ‘saath’ during my tough times!

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Devina Sarwatay [standing in white, on right ;-)] interacting with Umeed students

I worked on diverse, particularly interesting issues all through my internship. My first project was for Nirman. I had to figure out the intricacies of the Modular Employable Skills Programme and translate the necessary details that could be used for Nirman. The second project that I worked on was the photo-documentation of their Urmila Home Manager’s programme.

The third, and probably the longest project for me, was for Griha Pravesh. I had to rewrite their manual, since the programme has undergone an evolution. The final project, which I personally enjoyed quite a lot, was making the very first annual report of The Saath Co-operative – a microfinance institution which is a sister organisation of SAATH. I met a host of interesting people at SAATH as well as through it and learnt a lot from them. There were a few individuals who really touched my heart with their inspiring life stories which will remain with me for a long time.

A facet, of why the internship was so successful for me, is the fact that I managed to make the most of the chances that SAATH gave me, despite being at strife at the personal front with my mother’s health. I couldn’t have done this without the help and support of everyone at SAATH. Nonetheless, I would like to show my gratitude, specifically, to three extraordinary individuals – Jenny Parekh, Shikha Gupta and Keren Nazareth – who have inspired me to learn and do some great work during my internship and in future.

I wish all the current and future interns all the good luck and hope they have an exciting SAATH experience!