Through its Nirman project Saath has been working towards breaking the gender stereotypes regarding work. Through its Nirman project Saath has trained over 96 women as Masons. Saath has also started training women as Electricians a trade predominantly male and considered unconventional for women. Recently we have started speacial batches for training female electricians and have trained over 18 women as Electricians and given below is the story of Ashwini Parmar one of the Nirman trainee of the electrician batch in her own words.
There are seven members in my family which includes my mother, 2 sisters and 1 brother and my uncle and aunt. My father passed away 10 years ago. My mother does housework, my uncle has a private job and we get pension of my grandfather through which we are able to earn Rs. 8,000 per month. I being the eldest child in my family had to become responsible at very young age.
I was always interested in working as an electrician and used to do small repair works within my home. When I came to know about the Nirman electrician training programme I decided to join it and got full support from my family to join the course. I learned a lot during the training and thoroughly enjoyed the course. In the future I want to start a small business on my own and currently will do some small electrician’s work within my neighbourhood.
Ashwini at the Nirman Centre
Through Nirman and Saath I also got an opportunity to travel and attend a workshop in Delhi where I got to meet other women like me who like me are doing jobs that are considered unconventional for women. These women are doing incredibly good and their strength and passion has also inspired me. The workshop was also a great exposure and an amazing learning experience that I will never forget.
Currently I’ve got a job working in Divya Bhaskar. Along with it I’ve been selected as a faculty in Nirman to teach the electrician course to other women joining the training. I’m really thankful to Saath and Nirman for putting so much trust and faith in me and I will do my best to meet up their expectations.
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
“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”, 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.
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.”
Posted in Community Channel, Daily Dose of Saath
Tagged Ahmedabad, case-study, Entrepreneur, Informal Sector, Innovative, Invention, Inventor, life skills, Nirman, odhav, success story
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 seven. 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.
Over 70% of housing supply across Indian cities is being built by home owners with the help of masons. The urban poor in India have no access to architectural and engineering services, widely perceived to be necessary only for the elite. With urbanization taking place in highly seismic zones this poses a catastrophic risk to life safety also poor quality of construction affects health and quality of life.
So to cater such challenges of urban poor and to provide them innovative solutions, Micro Home Solutions- a Social Housing initiative and Saath together organized a three day training of the mason batch at Khodiyarnagar center. Main aim behind organizing such an innovative training was to make trainees associated with masonry aware about how to make strong and durable frame structures using optimum available resources.
During three day training two architects Ms. Swati (On the right) and Ms. Shreya Krishnan from Micro home solutions taught the masons of Khodiyarnagar batch following technical concepts of construction through manual and simple graphical presentation.
- Basics in Construction
- Designing Earthquake resistant buildings
- Do’s and Don’ts of construction- How to build better and safer buildings
- Through Case study-Understanding the structure
At the end of the training session a quiz was organized to access how much understanding the masons has acquired at the end of the training.
Winners of the quiz competition with their awards.
Through Nirman programme Saath is providing skill trainings to the masons, so this innovative training will add up a new dimension in their learning it would also enhance their knowledge skills regarding engineering designing and construction. Based on the outcomes of the pilot training Saath would further like to incorporate these concepts into its curriculum and would like to develop a booklet which will be highly beneficial to workers associated with Masonry work.
A new initiative: Technical Assitance Kiosks (TeAK).
TeAK is visualized as an integrated,multilevel structure that links households engaged in self-construction to a network of centers sited within communities and managed by local entrepreneurs. The first two pilots will be initiated with SEWA Mahila Housing Trust and Saath Urban Resource Centers in Ahmedabad, India. The long term goal is to catalyze this market by influenceing construction practices, training masons, enhancing awareness on safe and quality construction standards and advising stakeholders in the supply chain.