Tag Archives: URC

Youth Stories – Riyaz Mirza

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 completi1508003_582797488456278_1577041726_nng 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.”


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.


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”.


Urban Resource Centres: Deepakbhai’s story

Saath’s Urban Resource Centre’s are also providing loans for Auto Rickshaws and today we are sharing with you the story of one our client Mr. Dipakgiri Sureshgiri Goswami, who availed the loan services from our URC center.

Dipakbhai is leaving with his family in Guptanagar since last 25 years. New PictureThere are 11 members in his family, his father, mother and 2 elder brothers both married and have two children each. His father, an asthma patient is unemployed due to health reason.

His mother was working as a domestic worker to run the house. His elder brother left his studies to start earnings through a private job. They have a family house in Changodar village.  Dipakbhai started driving the rickshaw on rent to help his family. He was giving Rs.100 as a daily rent for the rickshaw. Maintenance cost of the petrol rickshaw was high and after deducting all the expenses, he was earning between Rs.150 to Rs.200 and that wasn’t enough. Dipakbhai then decided to buy his own rickshaw. He came to know about Saath’s Urban Resource Center through one of our field workers, who informed him about Auto-Rickshaw loans that URC’s provide. He took a loan of Rs.30,000 from URC and borrowed Rs.15,000 from his friends and bought a second-hand rickshaw for Rs.45,000.

Now, he is earning through the rickshaw and is also working in a packaging factory to repay his loan.  He shares his experience in his own words: “I am thankful to Saath’s Urban Resource Centre. They have given me a loan and now I am earning Rs.5000 to Rs.7,000 per month after deducting the loan payments.  I will be able to repay my loan soon and also I am saving my money for future. My sister-in-law who is working in Saath’s Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Ltd  has taught me the benefits of savings which she has learned from Saath’s Micro-finance Centre. Now we are capable enough to give proper education to my brothers’ children and also secure their future through our savings. Thank you very much Saath for your different programs for people like us who are unaware of savings and it’s benefits. And also for URC’s Rickshaw loan scheme.

Saath visited by EDI

Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDI) is an autonomous and not-for-profit institute set up in 1983. It’s mission is to increase the supply of new entrepreneurs through Education, Research & Training. On the 6th of July 13 students from the new batch of  ‘Business Entrepreneurship & In Development Studies’ visited Saath along with one of their Professors.

The aim of the visit was to give the new students an idea about how organizations work from the grass-root level. Their focus was to give the students exposure about how the not-for profit sector works, and how they run their individual programmes and implementing the same. They also wanted to visit a slum and see the real situation of the people living in slums and understand their problems.

IMG_0773EDI Students at Saath office

The students were given the overall presentation of the different programmes of Saath. The focus of the presentation was on the history of Saath and about how each individual programme was developed. The students asked the questions regarding the target group for programmes and lively discussions were done about the implementing strategies and steps taken by Saath so as to create an inclusive society as per its vision. After the presentation the students were taken to Vasna where they visited the Urban Resource Centre (URC) run by Saath. Here they interacted with our Staff members Geetaben and Ramilaben and learned from them about how Saath developed over the years from working on Education and Health to Slum infrastructure to Microfinance and the URC’s for the upliftment of the slums. After this they visited the Vasna area and interacted with various people of the area and learned about their problems and the work done by Saath in the area.

IMG_0780Students at our Vasna URC centre interactive with URC staff members Geetaben and Ramilaben

Here are the responses from some of the students:

I cam to know something new about the development sector from Saath. It was a pleasure to interact with the community. It is an excellent work that Saath is doing. I’m looking forward to meet and do combined work in development sector” – Sanjay Romala

My visit was really motivational. Saath is doing a commendable job reaching to the problems at grass root levels which affects development. Keep up the work!! Looking forward to working with Saath” – Niharika Bhatia

“The presentation was awesome and very informative and got to know a lot about Saath. The interaction with slum dwellers and people was an experience worth having.  Got to know about Saath’s work and it is impressive. Looking forward to work with Saath” – Mallika Bakshi

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.