Tag Archives: Surat

Empowering vulnerable youth through entrepreneurship training

30 years old Ms. Ranjan Solanki is a resident of Kosad area of Surat and is a member of Saath’s Youth Force initiative. She has taken micro entrepreneurship through the programme and now earns Rs. 3,500 per month.

Ranjan used to live in Ashoknagar, Katargam area of Surat, where she and her New Picture (3)husband ran a grain shop. They were very happy in the area and their business was running good. When the Surat Municipal Corporation decided to demolish their slum area, they were promised to give new house in other area. After the demolition they were provided a house in the Kosad area which is at quite far from the city centre. Due to this Ranjan and her husband lost their business, and Ranjan was left with a lot of other issues as well due to shifting in the outskirts of the city.

The main issue faced was of livelihood. They had lost their business and did not know what to do. The financial problems also started as they were using up their savings very fast. During this time Ranjan came to know about a micro entrepreneur training organised by Youth Force and she was advised to join the training. At that time she was not sure about the joining the training but Shital the youth leader convinced her by explaining the importance of training for her future.

She spoke with her husband about the training and he said to her to join the training program. The training program lasted for 4 days and she was very happy with the knowledge she gained during the sessions. She got an idea to start a new business. Before the training she used to work in hospitals and in the houses but wans’t able to earn enough money. Now she has started her own venture and she sells vegetables and is able to earn Rs. 3,500 per month. She is now in a better position to support her family.

Talking about her experience she says, “I am thankful to Youth Force for giving me training through which I gained enough confidence of starting my own business and now I want to move ahead in life. I want to grow my business and I am planning for the future. I am very happy that I am also contributing to my family. Our life is now slowly coming back on track. Saath is doing very good work which is really helpful to people everywhere. Thank you Saath.”

Home is where the Heart is

Approximately 86% of India’s urban population, constituting Base-of Pyramid, needs affordable homes today. Roughly 50 million units will be required by 2030. At present many of these people live in ‘informal settlements’ in rental or ownership accommodation where there is no security of tenure, civic services are poor and the home asset is not ‘mortgage-able’ in the formal space. This leads households into a vicious cycle of poverty. Numerous studies have proved that at least 2/3rd of people currently living in ‘informal homes’ can afford to buy a home in the, ‘slowly but steadily growing’, formal affordable housing market. A substantial portion of these people need assistance to navigate the complex process of home ownership. An entity that can work on a ‘social enterprise’ mode is therefore absolutely essential to provide this hand-holding.

Griha Pravesh is our housing facilitator that enables potential affordable IMG_0286home buyers in getting prepared for home ownership and in navigating the process from selection of a property, accessing housing finance through to taking the first step over the threshold of their new home. Griha Pravesh seeks to make it easier for base-of-pyramid clients in realizing their dream for home ownership. To understand how Griha Pravesh works read below the story of one of the beneficiaries Mr. Vinod Tiwari who fulfilled his dream of owning a house with Griha Pravesh’s help and here’s his experience in his own words:


When I came from Madhya Pradesh to Ahmedabad, the sky above and the earth down were my residence. I started my business in Amraiwadi area where I used to sell clothes on the roadside and in the evening I used to sleep at the same place hence my the address of my business and home were the same. Slowly slowly I rented a house, but after every 11 months we had to vacate the house and find a new place. These time became stressful and also affected the education of my children and so finally I decided to buy a house of my own, it may be small but it will be in my name. I started searching for houses but I faced challenges because of pricing and loans. After some time it looked to me that I will never be able to buy my own house as I didn’t have enough documents for availing loan.

When Griha Pravesh kept a stall in Amraiwadi area I visited the stall. I became a IMG_0043member of the company and they started showing me houses as per my budget. I selected a house in Vatva – Gairatpur area which I booked and my loan process was started and in Gruh – Finance my loan was Pre-Sanctioned. On the day of filling the bank processing fee due to immediate work I had to go to my village and use the money I saved for the processing fee. When I submitted the check for fee on Monday it bounced and my loan was rejected. My happiness vanished into thin air. But, the Griha Pravesh team gave me consolation and started working on my loan again. With their efforts my loan was passed and I think that if the company wasn’t there I would not have been able to fulfill my dream of my own home as the strength, inspiration, information and help that I required my own people would be unable to provide it. ______________________________________________________

Started in November 2011, Griha Pravesh working in cities of Ahmedabad and Surat has reached more than 32,000 people till date, has 932 members and has helped 250 members to book their own homes. In the future with Griha Pravesh we aim to  to aid as many people as possible the dream of own-house of the low income section of the society. Given below are the contact numbers for Griha Pravesh, if you are interested and do spread the word:

  • Ahmedabad – 8980007833 (Isanpur), 8980002607 (Bapunagar)
  • Surat – 8980001208