Tag Archives: intern

My Connection with Saath – Shashank Rakesh

Shashank Rakesh interned with Saath for 7 months and given below is his experience with Saath in his own words. IMG-20160212-WA0027

‘If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.’

This anonymous quote perfectly describes my journey at Saath from the beginning till the end. It started on May 2nd, 2015 with an orientation program led by Irbaaz and Kunal from the RDC i.e. the Research and Documentation Cell.

The orientation program started with a brief interaction with all the program co-ordinators. The nuances of each of the projects was nicely explained. After the interactions, visits to different program centres were made to have a better clarity. The two-day orientation program concluded with me getting into Saath Mahila Saving and Credit Co-operative Society, the rural micro-credit wing of Saath which is headed by Mr.Shyam Prakash Singh. It focuses on financial inclusion and empowerment of women in rural areas by providing them an opportunity to save a minimal amount every month. It also extends credit to these women members in joint liability as per their need.

It was one of the most exciting decision from the perspective of my position on the learning curve. I learnt a great deal out of it. The field visits to Viramgam, Dholka and Mandal helped me in understanding the problems at the grassroots. It also gave an insight into the operations of the organization which it undertakes in these areas. I met different people during these visits. Listening to their life stories, their problems, their aspirations for themselves and their family’s future would often give me an unexplainable feeling.

IMG-20160212-WA0021Shashank documenting case stories for Saath Mahila Cooperative

I made a great set of friends who became more like a family to me. I loved every moment of the office. When you get a lovely morning coffee from Shobhnaben as soon as you reach the office, you forget all the problems of your life. The motherly nature of Madhuben would often make me forget that I was a bit far from home. The interactions with Parulben used to be very interesting as she would tell me many things from her previous work and life experiences. She’s always ready to learn something which she didn’t know. The ever smiling Jayaben would fill me with positivity as she believed that things will happen no matter what but it becomes easy if you take everything with a smile. I learnt a great deal of professionalism by seeing Bellaben. She is a disciplinarian in and out.

I developed a special bonding with some people of Saath family. Shyambhai, Irbaazbhai, Kunalbhai, Vama and Shabya became very close. They shared every happiness with me. They were the people who I turned to for everything which I wanted to know. The growth from being a student to a small step towards being a professional was guided by these people. They acted as mentors. I got the insights of the rural India with my endless discussions with Shyambhai. He would tell me of the various problems of the financial sector in the villages and the possible solutions for it. He would talk about banking regulations, the changing business environment, the emerging challenges to the organization and the ways to make it growing.

Kunalbhai and Irbaazbhaifrom the Research and Documentation Cell can be simply be termed as ‘Tom and Jerry’ of Saath. They will tease each other, make fun of each other but can’t live without each other. Kunalbhai loves to talk. Give him a topic and he can talk endlessly. He has a very good command over Gujarati, Hindi and English. There are times when he would bring a unique term in Gujarati during a discussion to make his point which would make everyone to think. This art makes him one of the most loved guys in the organization. Irbaazbhai is a cracker in a nutshell. He looks calm and composed almost all the time but reality is the other way round. He loves to read and because of this passion, I could connect to him more often. He has an exceptional talent of writing. He can be seen running in the office all the time because of the work. But then, it is because of the dedication he shows in the work which is reflected everywhere and that garners respect.

Vama is the in-charge of the fund raising department of Saath. She is the woman with a plan all the time. She can be called as the Google of the organization as she knows everything and everyone in the field. Her innovative ideas of raising funds have been appreciated by everyone.

Shabya is one of the closest Bihari friends ever. She remains straight forward all the time. I have seen her ina chilled out mood most of the times. She is a passionate photographer at the same time.

I would like to thank each member of the Saath family to have me there. I would have missed a few names but they will always remain in my heart. There are a lot of things which I have learned over time but then it’s the relation with the people which keeps you going every day. It was a really great experience working with the entire team. I was really blessed to have each one of them.

Saath has always worked for the inclusive development of people. It stretched its arms and included me in their journey towards the making of a better world. May the organization achieve newer heights and spread its love to newer horizons.

I would like to sum it up in a quote, ‘life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.’

My Journey with Saath, Subhika Sharma

Subhika Sharma is currently pursuing her Media studies from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communications. She did a six months internship with Saath where she worked with Saath’s Udaan livelihood centre in Gandhinagar. Given below is her experience with Saath in his own words

My six week internship with SAATH was a mesmerizing experience for me. Shubhika SharmaThanks to my college Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, I got this marvelous opportunity to work with SAATH and do my share in the betterment of the society. Working at this NGO was more than just a “job” for me. It made me get to know about that part of our society that remains unseen and unheard.

My internship started with the basic orientation in which I was introduced to all the programs that are conducted by the NGO. I was also taken to most of these centers where I interacted with the program managers to have a better understanding of their work. My work was at UDAAN, a youth training center where I was assigned to interact as well as teach the unemployed youth the courses of life skills, personality development as well as the basic English speaking. Working at UDAAN was a life changing experience for me. I never thought in such a short period of time I would get so comfortable with the people. Not only the teaching, but the whole experience of interacting with them and getting to know them was completely fascinating. Initially I was a bit hesitant to talk to the students but as time passed by, it started becoming very easy for them to be able to open up with me. Also to overcome this gap, I made them do such activities which involved coming out of their shells and opening up with the others and making them realize they have people to share things with.

An 11th grader dreams of having his own retail shop someday, a mother of two children dreams of completing her PhD in Philosophy and becoming a lecturer, one graduate wants to join an NGO and participate in social work and so on there are millions of such dreams which were expressed by the students. It was amusing to know how everyone talked about having a great future with a respectful job and tons of money.

I started with writing a motivational thought and a new word in english with its meaning and use in sentence everyday on the board and later on explaining it to them. After their usual class, I used to take sessions in which I conducted various interactive, expressing as well as personality development activities. These activities usually involved getting to know oneself better and accepting the way you are. They also shed a light on emotional content that they shared comfortably with me and the rest of the group. Along with this, they also talked about their likes and dislikes, their interests, their dreams and regrets. I made them talk to me on one on one basis and encouraged them to practice ways of public speaking with a confidence.

Apart from life skills, I started with teaching them fundamentals of grammar, sentence formation, giving introduction as well as to have a telephonic conversation. I also conducted a few classes on spelling and pronunciations. Along with this, I gave them suggestions on how one should dress up during an interview and tips on how to carry them while sitting in front of the interviewer. I even gave them tips on how one should conduct them in a proper office environment that involved greeting their seniors and juniors and behaving in a particular way with their colleagues. On my last day, a bunch of students planned a surprise farewell for me and arranged cakes and snacks and presented me with token of best wishes.

New Picture (1)Subhika at the centre with staff

It was an amazing experience, in a nutshell. Not only I taught, I learned so much from them. Majority of them come from lower middle class and have heartwarming stories to tell. There are so many obstacles that they face and yet lead such an upbeat and positive lives. SAATH has been doing its best in working for the underprivileged. I feel honoured to be a part of this esteemed NGO. I would like to thank my mentors Mr. Kunal Patel, Miss Jenny Parekh, Mr. Nitesh Oza, Mr. Rajendra Prajapati and Miss Keren for being my guiding light throughout my journey with SAATH, Though my internship ended, I would always remember the time I spent here and would love to assist them in the near future as well.

Shubhika Sharma                                                                                                               S.Y. Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication                                                 Intern at SAATH

Entrancing Experience at Saath, Nihal Bhatt

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 DSC00832_20140613182038212spirit 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.

20140517_111308Nihal 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.

Youth Stories: Mayuri Raval

Mayuri Raval, 19, is a resident of Bapunagar, Ahmedabad and comes from aNew Picture (21) family of seven. Mayuri is a third year B.com student, studying at PD Pandya Commerce College and has to travel a distance of almost 10 Km daily to reach her college. Her father works at a textile finishing workshop while her elder brother is an estate agent (realtor). The monthly family income of Rs. 20,000 is enough to meet the demands of the family but it leaves no room for future savings or asset creation. Mayuri would return home from college at 12:00 and thus always had an ample amount of time left for other activities or for a part time job. She felt that instead of wasting her time she could utilize it and get a job and earn some extra money. Her elder sister who had witnessed one of the SAATH road shows suggested her to visit the UMEED Saraspur center. Mayuri visited the center and the trainers at the center gave her details about the courses offered, the timings, the charges of the program and other relevant details. Mayuri always had a keen interest in the nursing field however due to her mediocre performance at school level she was not able to pursue further education in the nursing field. She immediately enrolled her name for the BSPA – Bed Side Patient Assistance course at the center. The course timings of 1:30 to 5:30 were perfect for her as it meant that she did not have to miss out on her studies and also had ample amount of time left after the completion of the day’s lectures. She describes her experience as “The UMEED course acted as a turning point for me. It was an opportunity which I felt I had to grab. The first thing I learned at the center was that the main goal of a nurse should be to provide help to others, without thinking of any kind of personal gains. Along with training in the BSPA, I received training in spoken English, Basic Computers and Personality Development. To develop our social skills the trainers at the center conducted a number of activities on Saturdays which also gave me a chance to bond with my batch mates. On the completion of the course I got a job at Ashirwad hospital which is extremely near to my house and thus I do not have to waste my time on conveyance. I am able to balance my time between studies and the job and still have some time left for recreation. I hope to become a part of the Government nursing management programme in the near future”.

This story was documented by Ishan Bhatt, who interned at Saath for a month. He visited the field and met with youth from the Umeed Groups.