Tag Archives: Urban Resource Centers

A short visit to Saath

Seiko Okayama, a student of University of Tokyo, visited Saath in January for her research. This was her second trip to India and read below her story of her experience with Saath.

It was definitely a memorable experience for me to join the short research program at Saath this January.

As a student of South Asian area studies in the University of Tokyo, I had been looking for some suitable way to connect to the local society in Ahmedabad in order to know about the situation of the human development there in this research trip.

The staff of Saath kindly welcomed me while my visit was quite a sudden one and arranged good opportunities  for me to talk with the people in various communities. In the preparation meeting, Saath coordinators listened carefully to the purpose and the methods of my research and gave me many helpful advices on how to conduct it.

During the small discussion with Saath’s workers, they recommended me to visit two areas where Saath’s Urban Resource Centres were located so that I have interviews with the residents there through the help by the program workers.

When I visited those places for the first time, local people kindly accepted me and answered my questions about the issues they were facing in the daily lives. From the stories spoken by them, I could see how deeply they were thankful to the Saath’s activities, such as medical, financial and educational services which were essential for their lives.

IMG_0403Seiko at our Vasna Urban Resource Centre

Even after coming back to the headquarter office, workers who specialised in various empowerment programs kindly spared their times to answer my questions again, which helped me a lot to understand the background situation of the comments offered by the residents during the field interviews.

As a whole, the days I spent with Saath brought me quite important clues for the future research on the city of Ahmedabad.

Seiko Okayama

Advertisements

SAATH: ‘Innovative Livelihoods Promoter of the Year’

SAATH won the prestigious CMEA Award 2013

 Since 2004, Citi Micro Entrepreneur Awards is organised for recognizing the enterprise development in the country. In its tenth year, the Citi Micro Enterprise Awards, 2013 was organised by the Citi Foundation and ACCESS for recognizing the community based enterprises and organisations that have played a pivotal role in promoting livelihoods. This year SAATH has won the award in the category of ‘Innovative Livelihoods Promoter of the Year’ as the organisation that is promoting and nurturing livelihoods and micro enterprises.

CMEA-2_______________________________________________________

The Urban Resource Centre and RWeaves initiatives of Saath have been instrumental in winning for this award.

Urban Resource Centre (URC) started in Saath in 2007 work as one stop centre for the urban poor. The URC bridges the information gap between the services providers and service users. It provides knowledge and resources to the urban poor to deal with important documents and processes. It also monitors and evaluates development in the community, advocate and run campaigns related to various issues of slum dwellers. Currently the 4 URC’s (3 in Ahmedabad and 1 in Rajkot) have a reach of 27,697 households, impacting approximately 1,38,485 individuals in a year.

RWeaves started in 2010 is a rural development initiative that provides livelihoods, training and marketing support to various artisans of Surendranagar district specially Tangaliya, Patola, Cotton and Recycled products. RWeavews is currently operating in more than 10 villages of Surendranagar district supporting 20+ artisans and marketing 80% of their products. An outlet has also been opened at the head office of Ahmedabad for promotion and sale of RWeaves products. _____________________________________________________________

The Award ceremony was held at Taj Hotel, Mumbai on 13th December and on behalf of SAATH Ms. Keren Nazareth, SAATH’s Executive Director, Ms. Devuben Parmar and Mr. Babubhai Rathod, Community Leaders were present to accept the award. Accepting the award Ms. Keren (Saath’s Executive Director) says, “This award is a recognition of the work that we do at Saath. We are committed to improving lives of the urban and rural poor and such encouragement and support, further strengths our opportunities to carry out our work. Saath works with a vast range of stakeholders which include, women, youth, artisans, construction and domestic workers, we have so far impacted over 4 lakh households through the years and aim to scale up our work to reach more and more such vulnerable communities”. Ms. Devuben (Previous head of URC and currently head of Urmila Home Manager programme) says, “We are thankful to CMEA for recognizing our work and spreading word about us. There are many areas in which we still haven’t ventured out where we will try to reach through our work this year and win the award again next year”. Mr. Babubhai (Community Leader and Artisan associated with RWeaves) says, “I’m very happy that Saath has won this award. In the future Saath will move ahead for the profit of its beneficiaries and keep on working for the welfare of the common man. I’m sure in the coming years we will win many more awards for our work”.

1

Urban Ressource Centres – Your one stop solutions

An Urban Resource Center (URC) is a platform for slum households to access information and services to help improve their quality of life. It identifies vulnerable families, individuals and links them to appropriate services. It also advocates for better basic facilities in the areas and helps the external markets understand the Bottom of the Pyramid population better.

Saath currently has 3 URC’s in Behrampura, Juhapura and Vasna area of Ahmedabad and 1 URC recently opened in Rajkot. URC’s act as one stop solutions for the urban slum dwellers, they aim to create awareness among the slum dwellers about the rights available to them  by the government. It includes providing knowledge and resources to them to deal with important document and processes. The URC’s also monitor and evaluate the development in the community, advocates and runs campaigns related to various issues of the slum dwellers.

Whenever I have a problem I contact the URC: Afsana

IMG_0453Afsana, our URC beneficiary with her FWWB training certificate

Qureshi Afsana Sharifmiya, 31 years old, is a resident of Narayandas ni Chali, Behrampura. After the death of Afsana’s husband, her in-laws threw her and her three kids out of the house. Without any support she was left alone with the burden of supporting her kids. She is living since past 1 1/2 year with her sister-in-law. She applied for Widow Pension Scheme, through an agent, but even after 1 year she got no result.  She lost all hope until one day she met Rehanaben (URC Field Worker) during a URC meeting near her home and told her about difficulties she is facing in availing the government services. Rehanaben informed her about the services provided by URC and gave her assurance that her work will be done. Through URC she got her widow pension, opened a bank account, filled election card, has undergone FWWB training and joined Urmila Home Manger programme.

Afsana says “Before I didn’t understand any of the procedures and paperwork, I used to go here and there without getting any results. Now, Thanks to URC I can easily avail government service benefits and any information I need I can get from the Urban Resource Centre.”

In the last year our URC’s reached out to more than 27,000 households and created 6,228 linkages for the urban poor.

Congrats, Rajubhai!

On November 6, 2009, SAATH Founder and Managing Trustee, Rajendra Joshi, was named the Schwab Social Entrepreneur of the Year [2009]. Along with Brij Kothari of PlanetRead in Mumbai and Padmanabha and Rama Rao of RIVER in Andhra Pradesh, Rajubhai was honored at the India Economic Summit in New Delhi on November 8.

Rajubhai receiving SEY Award

Rajendra Joshi receives the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2009.

The trustees, staff and communities of SAATH want to extend their heartfelt thanks to our supporters who have made this honor possible. We’re here because of you.

From the Press Release: 

Rajendra Joshi, Saath (http://www.saath.org), Ahmedabad

Today, more than 60 million people live in slums across India, lacking access to healthcare, education, employment and housing. In 1989, Rajendra Joshi developed Saath, which uses public-private partnerships to improve the lives of over 40,000 people per year. In 2009, Saath’s employment programmes with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation placed 8,000 slum residents in jobs at firms like Tata Indicom and Kotak Mahindra. Its Slum Networking Program has improved the physical infrastructure of 6,000 households while its four Urban Resource Centers in Ahmedabad have given 22,000 slum households access to microfinance accounts, insurance packages, preventive and natal healthcare, and pre-school education.

Click to Read More