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 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.”
This is the story of a Youth who has undergone change in his life and is now sharing responsibilities in taking care of his family.
Hemant Sanjaybhai Ravtode, age 19, is a resident of Jhangirpura Surat. There are 6 members in his family, his father is working in a company, his mother’s a home maker and he has two sisters and a brother. Hemant is the second child. His elder sister Ashwini is doing teaching course in an institute and his other siblings are studying. Hemant is 10th dropout and was jobless at the time of joining the Youth Force. His father is earning around Rs 6,000 per month which is not enough for the family. Hemant realised early in his life that he would have to start working to support his family. That is why he was looking for a job. But because of low education, no skills and low confidence he was not able to find any good opportunities.
Nishant Chaudhari the City Coordinator of Youth Force Surat visited Jahangirpura to talk with the youth of the area about the Youth Force programme. Hemant heard about Youth Force and decided to join the youth group. Hemant says “I like Youth Force because it’s for us (youth) and our development. I really like the activities they we are doing such as learning through playing games, visiting different parts of Surat like Auto Expo, Musical Events, Temples with the group. The meetings of the weekend are what I enjoy the most and look forward to.”
He further says “Within 15 days of joining Nishant gave me information of interview call in Harsh-Surgical’s. Nishant gave me tips for the interview which really helped me and I passed the interview. The company offered me a salary of Rs. 4500 per month, which I consider a good amount as this is my first job and now I can help my family as well.”
Hemant has undergone a huge transformation since he has joined youth force. His family is also very happy. His father says “Earlier Hemant just used to wander around with friends whole day. I feel proud to see my son working and shouldering responsibilities of his family.” Hemant’s review from his employers is also positive and they say he is hardworking, honest and a quick learner. The company has also decided to help him for his further studies.
Hemant is very happy with the change in him. His expresses “Youth Force has changed my life and way of thinking. I have a good job and I never miss our weekly meetings of the group. I am proud to be a member of Youth Force.”
Bhavesh and Daksha Sagathiya were married in 2009. Four months after their marriage, Bhavesh fell from the fourth floor of a building he was working on. Bhavesh was a painter. The fall led to Bhavesh falling into a coma and the doctors not giving a very positive diagnosis of the situation. The family and Daksha were devastated. “I thought we’d lost him. The doctors told me he would at the most have two days to live, ” shares Daksha with tears in her eyes. The coma lasted 2 months and today Bhavesh is back on the track to recovery, however going back to his previous job was completely out of the question. “I still have trouble with walking and any activity that has too much of a physical strain,” says Bhavesh looking on at Daksha.
“The road show team came by our house and my in-laws told us that we both should sign up. I was not sure, but they were very encouraging and said that it would support Bhavesh. So we both signed up for the course,” says Daksha. “I am in the ITES course and he is in the hardware course. We come and go together. It’s nice.”
Bhavesh (22) has studied in college, but failed in his final year. Daksha (20) has passed the ninth standard. They live in Tulsinagar, Wadaj with Bhavesh’s parents and younger brother, who works in a cloth shop. “We teach each other. Since I learnt in an English medium school and college, I teach her English and she is very good at computers. Sometimes, when I cannot grasp a particular practical or concept, she patiently goes over it with me as many times as I need,” says Bhavesh.
“The centre coordinator Sharmistha has been very supportive and the faculty take out extra time when we need it. I have learned how to spell names and type on the computer. It’s been a month since we joined the course. I enjoy the life skills activities the most,” Daksha says, sharing a private smile with her husband.
For Bhavesh and Daksha it’s a new life, a new beginning, “And this programme has given us new hope,” adds Bhavesh.