Ronita Singh is an engineering student currently studying at Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University. She did his internship with Saath last month. Given below is her experience of working with Saath.
My 24 days internship as exactly counted in my schedule has been a truly learning experience and was totally dedicated in learning the struggling life of various slum dwellers. It was through Saath that I was able to see the ‘unseen world’ that needs immediate attention.
A two day orientation was organized to give a proper insight to the various programmes run by Saath. It helped me in knowing the organization in a better way and made it clear that this was one of the respectable NGO’s.
I started working at Saath under the Research and Documentation Cell. My work focused on collecting case stories based on different programmes run by this NGO for the Annual Report. It provided me with a great opportunity to reach out to the people of various communities and know their life history. When I visited these places for the first time, the people were really welcoming and accepted me and patiently answered my questions to the hardships they were facing.I was inspired to see that in spite of the dreadful conditions that they live in, they still continue to have a big smile on their faces. Their dream to get affordable and cleaner civic amenities still runs in their blood. It was through the stories that I came to know that Saath has greatly helped them in giving the basic health and education facilities.
Ronita (in the front) at our Child Friendly Spaces centre
Apart from all of these, working with this organization has also given me so much more.I learned professional skills, made some great friends here and got a platform to travel and meet different people all across the city. It taught me how to work in a team and inculcated inter personal skills. Looking at the poor conditions of these people who strive so hard to earn their breads that I realized that I have nothing to complain about. Saath also helped me discover my philanthropic side and sensitized me to the issues that the world needs to cater to.
At last, I would like to thank everyone at Saath for making me feel at ease with the working environment. All the officials really helped me grow as an individual. A special thanks to Irbaaz sir and Kunal sir for believing in me and my work. They have been really supportive throughout my internship. I would also like to congratulate Saath for the completion of 25 years and wish them luck for their future endeavours. Indeed an unforgettable experience for me!
Parth Kapadia is an engineering student currently studying at Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University. He recently finished his summer internship with Saath. Given below is his experience of working with Saath.
My working with Saath was truly a mesmerising experience. I worked with Saath from 15th May till 7th June. I was always keen on working for a social cause and a course from our college, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University gave me an opportunity to do the same. Our main aim was to get sensitised to the issues of slum dwellers, which by working as an intern at Saath really made it possible. In a short period of 24 days I was exposed to the distressing condition of the slum dwelling people.
I started my internship at Saath with an orientation to all the programmes and initiatives taken up by Saath and was thoroughly convinced with the programmes which demonstrated high level of transparency and accountability.
I was assigned a job under the Research, Documentation and Communication Cell (RDC). Because of this I was able to interact with the community people and was really touched with the dire condition through which people have to find their way through. I made various case studies and talked to people of every age, from kids to elder citizens. It was a quite challenging task to prise things out of them and at the same time making sure that their sentiments and values are not hurt. Many people just happened to burst into tears while talking about their problems.
Parth with the CFS centre children
Alongside getting an insight of the people’s life I really learned values that we should be really thankful to God for what we have and never complain about it because there are many others who actually are craving for a life like what we have presently. I developed my interpersonal skills and got first hand experience of a professional environment which was quite overwhelming. I made new friends here and travelled across various places at Ahmedabad mainly the slums.
At particular I am most awestruck with the working of CFS which I felt is the most amazing programme taken up by Saath as it is rendering children with basic facilities of elementary education. The slum dwelling kids are so enthusiastic about it and they readily drop into CFS centers for learning new things everyday!
I would like to thank all the officials at Saath for heartily welcoming me and for such cordial behavior all throughout my days at Saath. It was really great working with all of the members at Saath.
Today we share with you story two of our interns who were part of the RDC team in Saath for approximately two months Ada-Sophie Hieronimus and Heidrun Kerl. They both are from Germany and currently studying in Maastricht University. They did a great job here and for which we are thankful to them and here’s their experience with Saath in their own words:
Our Experience at Saath – Heidrun (on the left) and Ada
Our experience at SAATH has been truly amazing. It is not only the warm atmosphere (and climate, let’s be honest, I have never in my life been so thankful for fans), it is the people you work with and the work you do. We felt welcome from the moment we arrived until the very last moment of departure. Not only were the people at RDC good friends, they also gave us tasks that we highly enjoyed and that – as we hope – contributed to the work they were doing.
We additionally feel very lucky to have worked at an organization that has an admirable approach to the challenges India is facing and once again we realized that you have to understand people and problems before you help them – and that is exactly what SAATH is doing. When we talked to the people in the field, we really got the impression that the programs have an impact and provide help where it is needed. I think most impressive was the visit at the Child Friendly Spaces, and once again we were more than touched to see that there is help and perspective provided to the poorest of the poor.
We want to thank everyone who has made our time in India to the amazing experience it has been. And we want to thank SAATH for giving us the hope that there is change and that there is improvement where it is needed – and we want to thank SAATH for giving us the opportunity to contribute, even if it was not much, to what they are doing.
Keep up the good work – we will be coming back!
Lots of Love,
Heidi and Ada
Inro: Ms. Riya Bhaskaran is an undergraduate student at Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication and was an intern at Saath from 13th May to 23rd June, 2013 associated with Research Documentation and Communication Cell and Fundraising.
Riya Bhaskaran (on the left) during a Focused Group Discussion at our Vasna Urban Resource Centre
Here’s here experience of working with Saath in her own words:
These 42 days as exactly counted on my intern schedule were ones dedicated to learning different aspects of benevolent individual and what India immediately needs to cater to. Terms like urban poor, unemployment, vocational training, women empowerment, and most essentially livelihood, all now are perfectly understood; which our social science textbooks tried best to comprehend for us.
A three day orientation was organised by the NGO so that we are aware of the various programs it runs and get to know about the values and missions it adheres to. These three days made it pretty clear Saath was one unique NGO.
Apart from working for the Research & Documentation Team and Fundraising & Marketing team; one of the most interesting works at Saath, was the research with the students from the Delft University of Technology (Netherlands). They were on a research to understand the system of public health and sanitation of the poor specifically women’s health. It was an amazing experience to interact with the people from the community and know their story of struggle and that how eagerly they all want affordable and cleaner facilities of toilets and bathrooms. It was surprising to know how women are still a victim of backwardness and thus lack of awareness. But on the same occasion it is extremely pleasing to realize how some women have opened up to new methods of personal sanitation and embracing it completely. Poverty still scars their lifestyle and hence discontinues their access to better health facilities frequently.
An internship worth giving credit to, for adding on an ocean of knowledge and knowing. An immense amount of information and understanding gathered directing through the clutter of India, making it quite clear what stays crucial and what action plan must be engaged. It was interesting to know that an NGO clearly does not live in a rosy picture we assume it does. It takes loads of strength mentally and physically right from identifying what exactly the problem area lies within and engaging the appropriate human resource for the same respectively.
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.”