Tag Archives: Informal Sector

Visit from Disha Foundation

On the 17th and 18th of January Saath was visited by  a team of 7 people from The Disha Foundation, a Nasik based NGO working on Livelihood, health and related development issues in Nasik district since 2002. The aim of their visit was to observe, understand and learn the various activities of SAATH and to gain insight in real experiences in working with labourers. Given below is their experience of the visit with Saath written by Dr. Kartik Prabhu, Manager Research and Devvelopment, Disha Foundation.

The Disha team arrived at Ahmedabad in the evening on January 16th and visited the office on Jan 17th. We were warmly welcomed by the Research Documentation & Communication Coordinator team sharing their good wishes for the orientation and gave a very informative presentation regarding the activities of SAATH providing all the clarifications inquired by us.

Disha Team visited Umeed Training centre as soon as after the orientation session at the office. We were impressed by the Implementation modalities for the training program designed by the SAATH Team. The methods and steps are very systemic to target the real hard core marginalized communities providing technical support, supervision and monitor the changes whenever required for life term sustainability. We also visited the Saath Microfinance Cooperative on the same day. When we asked a women about the reason for forming saving groups they replied that savings provides a sense of ownership and assets.

New Picture (1) Disha Team interacting with Maheshbhai, Nirman Programme Coordinator

Second day visit enhanced with the association members of SAATH Mr. Divyang
Bhatnagar, CEO( MFI), Niraj Jani, Associate Director(Livelihood Services), Nitesh Oza, Livelihood Manager including Ms. Keren Nazareth, the Executive director of the organization. The Team then visited Urban Resource Centre, Vasna. The warm and rousing welcome given by the Youth Force at the Urban Resource Centre has etched an indelible impression on hearts of the Team members. The visit was organised for holding interactive sessions with the members of URC and the Youth Force, including the women folk on Training and Motivation services enhanced by SAATH.

New Picture (3)Disha Team interacting with Urban Resource Centre and Youth Force team

Conclusion

Overall the entire team felt this visit as an learning experience. We felt that the philosophy and practice of SAATH encompassing community cutting across class, caste and religion is unique and emblematic.

SAATH: As a special purpose vehicle have a very strong and effective autonomous organizational structure having equal number of Technical Team of young professionals willing to work in far flung rural areas, having close interaction with the community. They mobilize and help the community in preparation of plans, assessment, and selection & designing of appropriate cost effective activities, best suited to their need. Their roles are well defined. Management of services being shouldered by community itself and local level
solutions have been put in place which is cost effective, effective and rapid.
We would like to replicate similar activities in our own community as we deeply felt that the initiatives of SAATH can impact up on many lives. We were overwhelmed by the mass support, collective strength and temporal democratic paragons of SAATH which have permeated from top to bottom.

The field visit was a miracle and highly satisfactory for the Disha team. Based on this, we would like to convey our deep sensitive thanks to all the staff members for sharing their experience and managing requirements during the field visit.
We would like also to express our sincere thanks to Mr. Kunal Patel and Ms. Jenny Parekh for their supportive coordination from the beginning of the visit and their effort in arranging the visit.

New Picture (5)Disha Team with Youth Force members

Testimonials from Participants

Dr. Karthik Prabu, said, “Our experience in SAATH was entirely different. SAATH encompasses community from all religions and thus symbolizes the democratic system of India. We appreciate the entire procurement activities of SAATH under URC. Also it is amazing to see how people transformed themselves into a confidence hub in their career just with bold determination and collective strength. I also appreciate the Training education programs in SAATH.”

Mr. Kiran Kale,  Coordinator at Disha opined, “There are many things to learn from SAATH as it is working with a view to increase income and employment among the community and this is indeed a learning process for me“.

Ms. Rekha Sable, Assisstant MIRC Facilitator, Disha said “Visit to SAATH Organization was a real learning experience for us. We are keen to explore the possibility of replicating the Training model in our foundation”.

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Creativity and Innovation at its best @ Nirman

“Where a new invention promises to be useful, it ought to be tried.”
– Thomas Jefferson

Today we share with you the story of Mr. Akhilesh, one of Nirman‘s electrician course trainee who had its own eureka moment and invented a rechargeable torch using recycled mobile battery through which he wants to help the rural population who have an irregular supply of electricity.

“I’m thankful to Nirman for giving me this platform”New Picture (2), Akhilesh

Akhilesh displays his torch

Sharma Akhilesh Shambunath (34 yrs old) is a resident of Ahmedabad currently living in Odhav area. He lives in a joint family of 8 members. 10 years ago when he was looking for work, he was interested in becoming an electrician but couldn’t find anyone to teach him the trade. So he joined his father’s business of furniture work. A few months ago he came to know about Nirman – Electrician course through one of his neighbours who had joined the electrician course. His old interest was revived and he thought as now a days there are electrical fixtures done in the furniture’s too, so while learning a trade of his interest he will also be creating an alternative option for income and so he joined the course.

Nirman has changed my life, the training was effective and apart from the trade, the life skill and business development sessions were amazing and they will definitely help me in building up my network. The course has brightened up my life and has made me think beyond my capabilities says Akhilesh in regards to his training.

About his new invention………….

Talking about his invention he says that the idea for a rechargeable torch came to him from his trainer. He thought that such a kind of torch will be very useful in rural areas where the supply of electricity is very irregular. Starting from the basic of just getting the light to switch on, he kept on making corrections and adding things and finally made the torch with the help of an old mobile battery.

IMG_0008

Reusable Torch

He took his torch to his village where it proved to be a quite a handy and useful tool to have. Made with a recycled mobile battery and simple PN Junction Diodes and Resistors put in a plastic box, the cost incurred in making is a mere 50 rupees. The torch lasts for 4-5 hours after charging it for 1 hour and the battery inside could be changed. Akhilesh says, “This torch is very good for emergency situations especially in rural areas and if I get support for more development I want to improve the torch further more and make it accessible to rural population at a reasonable price.”

 

Nirman – Giving New Direction to Informal Sector

This is the story of Parsottambhai, whose life changed through Nirman, a programme of Saath. Nirman addresses the training needs of people in the informal job sector.

Parsottam Chelabhai Parmar residing in Beehrampura, Ahmedabad comes from a family of New Pictureseven. He used to work as a guard, in the night shift for an security agency. He  received a  pay of Rs.6,000 per month, however  he was not able to meet his expenses with his income. He always had a keen interest to become an electrician however he could not afford the formal  training programme. Parsottambhai came to know about Nirman programme through a friend who had visited the Nirman center running in their area. He says “I saw a ray of hope for me, when I heard about Nirman. I enrolled my name for the Electrical Training Batch  at the Behrampura center. Initially I had my doubts about the facilities that would be provided at the center as they charged a very meager fee, but I decided to join the programme. The timing of the session was completely appropriate for me and I did not have to miss out on my regular job. When I attended my first session all my doubts about the working of the programme were cleared. The trainers gave me formal training in plate earthing, wiring,importance of personal safety. The theory sessions were accompanied with its practical applications. Also, additional sessions were organised covering topics such as lifeskills, insurance, importance of savings etc., which proved to be really helpful ”.

On the completion of the course Parsottambhai received a certificate and a tool kit from the center. Due to the certificate Parsottambhai was able to get a job at the Torrent plant. He now earns Rs. 10,000 a month  and his standard of living has improved. “SAATH’s Nirman programme helped me a lot. This has been only possible because of the skills that I have received through this course. I am thankful to  Saath for the same”, says Parsottambhai.