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 spirit 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.
Nihal 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.
Posted in Intern Stories
Tagged CFS, child labourers, Children, intern, Intern Experience, Juhapura, meghdhnush, Nirman, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, PDPU, SAATH
Today we bring you the story of Riyaz who has recently joined Saath and is currently working as a part time coordinator of our Juhapura Urban Resource Centre (URC).
22 years old Riyaz is from Bhavnagar and is currently completing his Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering in Ahmedabad. His father is a well know and respected community leader, who is working since past many years for the welfare of the people of the weaker section of society in Bhavnagar. From his childhood Riyaz was very much impresses by his father activities and always wanted to follow in his footsteps.
When he came to Ahmedabad for his studies, here also following the footsteps of his father he used to help the people of the community as much as he can. During this time he came in contact with Zuberbhai, the coordinator of the Juhapura URC at that time.After that during the course of the days he used to meet Zuberbhai quite often and Zuberbhai later on asked him to come to URC after his college was over in the day to help the people. After this everyday after finishing college Riyaz started coming to the URC daily to help in any way that he can.
When Zuberbhai left the URC, seeing the dedication and commitment of Riyaz he recommended him to Saath to take him in and Riyaz joined Saath officially in December 2013, and currently is the Part-time Coordinator of the URC. Talking about his work, Riyaz says, “I really like working for the people and in an area like Juhapura there is much need of the services provided by the URC. I want to focus on the issue of education as there is really low awareness in the area and parents are not aware of the importance of the education and I want to change this.”
Shaikh Nilofarbanu Muhammad Hanif (13 years old, studying in 7th standard) lives in Juhapura area of Ahmedabad. She lives with her mother who is the sole bread earner of her house. Her mother earns her livelihood by doing household work for which she gets a mere 500 rupees / month. After her father’s death in 2008 the financial condition of her family worsened and her mother was forced to put her two elder sister’s (age 17 years and 15 years) in orphanage. But then also poor financial condition didn’t deter Nilofarbanu to pursue her studies.
During that time, for the development of under privileged women SAATH started a Women Development Center (WDC) in Juhapura area so, when she read the pamphlet of WDC she visited the center and showed her interest in English speaking course. Later on she was enrolled for the course. Initially for few days she came to class but then she disappeared and never again came to the center. To know the actual reason behind her absence center coordinator visited her house. “When I visited her house and asked Nilofar about reason behind her absence from the class she told me that she really wants to learn English but her mother only earns 500 rupees a month so she could not afford the programme fee (500 rupees)of English speaking course. “ says Zaheeda Shaikh, Center Coordinator, WDC.
Women in WDC Computer Course with their teachers Shahin Shaikh(In the front) and Menaz Saha(In the Back). Menaz first joined WDC as a student and later seeing her enthusiasm she was hired as a teacher.
After listening to her story and looking at her enthusiasm and willingness to learn English, center coordinator decided to give her a special consideration and eventually her course fee was exempted. Now Nilofar comes regularly to the center. When Zaheeda asked about her aspirations in life she told her that she just want to complete her studies first.
Established in August 2012, based out of Juhapura, WDC is a community based women empowerment and livelihood center ‘Falah-e-Niswa’ as the women themselves have named it, aims at linking vulnerable women to various ‘sources-of-income’ which at the end of the day uplifts their power and dignity. Currently providing trainings in English speaking, Computer Courses and Beauty Parlour Courses. The vision of programme is to provide the information to women on issues like Domestic Violence, Educational and Health issues etc. and try to guide them to overcome those. Centre will also create linkages with other programmes of Saath like Micro Finance, CFS, Urban Resource Centre etc. This will holistically support the women approaching the centre.
A total of 97 women have been trained till date in the courses of English Speaking, Computer Course and Beauty Parlour.
“This kind of centres should open for not just women from minority group only but also for the underprivileged women of all the sections of society so as to empower them and give them a voice” says Zahida Shaikh, Coordinator, WDC
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
For todays Daily Dose of Saath we serve the story of Shahin. She used to work making kites and now she attends a formal primary school. Read below how Child-Friendly Spaces learned her to fly.
Shahin’s father abandoned her and her family. She lives with her mother and four siblings. Shahin’s oldest brother works cutting hair, and the rest of her family works at home making kites. Her two elder sisters and Shahin stitch thread on the kites from 7-10pm every day. Given her family’s situation, Shahin’s work is needed to help cover the household expenses.
Shahin joined Juhapura CFS in October 2009. CFS teacher, Firdosben, says that when she first came to class, Shahin did not know how to read and write, and had a serious stammering problem. Firdosben, who had previously received training on how to help children with speaking difficulties, helped Shahin overcome her problem. Shahin’s mother, Rihanaben, says that she is happy that her daughter is now able to read and write properly. She also noticed that after attending CFS, Shahin became more disciplined and responsible.
Shahin with her CFS teacher Firdosben
After 4-5 months attending CFS, Shahin was ready to transfer to a formal school. However, because she did not have a birth certificate, she was denied admission. Saath trained Firdosben on how to approach formal schools and explain them that by law they have to accept children lacking such identity document. The school’s principal was initially reluctant, but ended up accepting Shahin for the bridge course. She finished the course and took the final exam, which she successfully delivered. After these summer vacations are over, she will start classes at her formal school.
Shahin enjoys attending CFS center and playing with other classmates. She loves her teacher, especially when she makes them play in class. In an interview, she said that she would like to complete post-secondary school and become a teacher in the future.