Intro: Jinesh is a student of BNIM college affiliated to Kutch University, studying MSW. He interned with Saath for a month and worked with the Youth Force programme. A big thanks to Jignesh from Youth Force and Saath’s team for all his work. Given below is his experience with Saath in his own words:
“SAATH started by legendary Mr. Rajendra Joshi as a small plant, now has grown into a big tree. Saath is providing amazing opportunities for helping poor, leading youth, linkages and many more. Saath is reaching 25 years soon and I wish it to win many awards this year.
Saath is running so many great projects and Youth Force is one of them with its focus on young generation. I worked with Youth Force and got to visit many areas of Ahmedabad such as Juhapura, Odhav, Behrampura, Maghaninagar, Vasna etc. Through my work in Juhapura I learned a lot of things about the Muslim society which I was unaware of before. The field activities were the one that I enjoyed the most. Now, I can interact with people more easily, with my increased skills due to field work.
I also liked the Urban Resource Centers run by Saath. I think its a great programme that really helps people in information regarding various services such as ration card, marriage certificate, widow pension etc. and in availing these services.
I am very thankful to Saath and all it’s staff for for helping me, standing by me and supporting me. I am specially thankful to Mr. Kunal Patel, RDC Coordinator and Ms. Jenny Parekh, RDC Assistant Coordinator, as whenever I faced any problems they were there to solve it for me. Also, special thanks to Mr. Paresh Sakariya – Youth Force Coordinator, Mr. Sandeep Panchal – Ahmedabad City Coordinator and Ms. Farhana Shaikh – Group Leader and all the other group leaders for Youth Force”.
I was familiar with the activities if Saath by visiting the Urban Resource Center run by it. I joined Saath in the project Youth Force and was assigned field work for the programme. I knew the process of surveying a person. For the first 4 – 5 days I went in to the field with the field workers. By the fieldwork I learned about how to talk with respondent and how to acquire information from them.
By working with Saath’s Youth Force I also learned about the planning of an event and what needs to be done to make it successful. I learned about working in a team and also managerial skills. For my work and surveys everyone was very cooperative and I got good support from the group leaders of every area, Mr. Sandip (City Coordinator) and Mr. Paresh Sakariya (Gujarat Coordinator).
For the Youth Force I will say that the activities which are held by the them for the social work are excellent. These activities have been very successful. I hope that in the future more and more boys and girls join the Youth Force programme and achieve success in their lives.
In the end I am very thankful to Saath for giving me a chance to work with their organisation.
- Roshni Arvindbhai Kareliya
- MSW Student
- Intern with Saath – Youth Force (11th June – 25th July, 2013)
Harpreet is currently studying MBA in Tech – Civil from NMIMS. He was an intern with Saath for 1 month and worked with Saath’s Nirman Programme and RDC Department.
Given below is his experience with Saath in his own words
“The decision of me joining SAATH for doing internship has become one of the most worthy and important decisions in my life that truly paid off well. By joining SAATH I got the chance to learn things, I wasn’t aware only of. At SAATH, I went for field visits and by them, I realized that the belief that our nation as a whole is growing every day is completed incorrect, only a sections of the society are developing, not all. Some people still struggle for their daily necessities every day just so that they can survive. Even toilets, clothes, food and shelter are not available for all.
On the first day of internship, I just thought of SAATH of just being like other NGO’s who just take so many initiatives and hardly fulfill very few of them. But gradually as my internship carried on, I realized that SAATH was very different from other NGO’s. Each member is SAATH is very active and very dedicated to his work. When time passed by I truly understood that why do people respect SAATH very much, and I am very proud to be a part of it.
Harpreet on the right with the RDC team
The working atmosphere at SAATH is very friendly as well as professional. No staff member is to be seen wasting time, but all of them are always there to help with our doubts without any hesitation. Though I was there for only some but still I was treated very well. A special thanks to the RDC Department for taking me as an intern in their prestigious organization.”
Let me introduce myself; my name is Elle de Jong and I am a student from Utrecht University. The University is a place where I have gained a lot of theoretical knowledge on development in general, however the practical side is considerably different. These is the main aspect, which I desired to experience by doing an internship at SAATH; having a practical encounter with development and learn from an experienced organization.
SAATH asked me to do research on the quality of the anganwadi’s in Juhapura, which I immediately found an intriguing and motivating research topic. After a literature study in the Netherlands I came to Ahmedabad and had a warm and welcoming meet with SAATH. I started off with an extensive introduction of the organization, understanding their line of thought and their means of working. Soon I realized that the theoretical knowledge that I had granted to be so important had completely different meaning in practice. Moreover, certain features of Ahmedabad and Juhapura in specific, made some of the literature I had read unsuitable. When finalizing my internship, the art will be in combining the knowledge that I have gained from theory and the experiences I have in the field.
The first experiences with Juhapura were enchanting for me; the colourful streets of markets with all various products and the endless kindness of the people made me even more motivated to start with the research. After five weeks I started with conducting the actual interviews, which demanded some patience and innovative thinking. All together I have already had the experience I wanted; learn about the practical side of development and see that theoretical knowledge is not everything. Currently I am conducting the final interviews with the workers of the anganwadi’s, and many more interviews need to be done with the parents to formulate a complete overview. As I am only halfway my internship, I hope I can gather much more information and formulate a useful report for SAATH. I will let you know when I’m finished with this research!
Warm regards, Elle
Polash Mukerjee was an intern at our organization in June 2011. He is studying Development Studies at the IIT in Chennai. Read his story below!
I worked with one of Saath’s rural initiatives, RWeaves. Through this initiative, Saath promotes traditional Tangaliya and Patola workers, through microfinance loans, procurement assistance and through facilitating sales in Ahmedabad and other cities of India. My internship consisted of working on the pricing of RWeaves products, in order to determine the optimum price, in accordance with fair trade standards. In my opinion, RWeaves is an excellent programme that helps not just sustain but enhance the livelihoods of the rural artisan of Northern Gujarat. Saath is doing its part in reviving the heritage and the vision of cottage industries that Mahatma Gandhi had.
Interning at Saath was an excellent experience. Although Saath was my first formal internship, I didn’t really feel out of place. The entire process helped me learn not just a bunch of stuff that I couldn’t read about, in a book, but more importantly, how to learn on the go. I learnt how to work in a group, and individually. I learnt what it feels like to be yelled at (no names mentioned!), and what appreciation feels like. The people I met at Saath, including some of the artisans, were really warm individuals who excelled in their own spheres. I really have to mention Kiranbhai, who was more patient with my requests than required, and Narsinhbhai of Kataria, Limbdi, whose Patola Sari’s were products of exemplary skill and craftsmanship.
Overall, I have to say my learning experience at Saath was fun, exciting, frustrating, and eye opening.