Kamlesh is a resident of Jahangirpura area of Surat. He left his studies after 12th standard and followed his dream to become photographer. He worked hard to become a photographer and now he professionally photographs weddings and events to earn. He has spent his life in poverty and struggle. He always wanted to help people in his area and community so that they could also improve their life like he did.
His dream is to help the society and uplift the life of the youth. In between, he came into contact with SAATH ’s Youth Force programme. Within no time he said yes to join the program.
Kamlesh’s views of Youth Force…
“I am very happy that Saath founded Youth Force, which is essential for slum youths. The aim of Youth Force is to make a youth group and change their life. Earlier the youth of our area were not attached to each other. They were busy in their individual life. But after joining the youth groups they have started youth activities and with these youth activities they have bonded. We all are working on social agendas. I want to share one very important incident.
Earlier we use to live near Tapi River and we used to face lot of problems during the monsoon season. So the Municipal Corporation provided us with housing in Jahangirpura area. In those buildings they did not built solid walls. Because of this, several people were injured and some even lost their life. In our youth group, we thought we should something about this. So we wrote an application to the Surat Municipal Commissioner and to build the walls. We are still negotiating on this issue with the municipal commissioner. We are committed to fighting for this until our demands are met for safe living conditions.
We also run other activities like games and touring together. Recently, we all visited Saputara, where we had a lot of fun together. Personally I feel my life has changed a lot. I am much more positive and have made lot of friends as a result of Youth Force. My Business is increasing with the help of our group. I am heartily thankful to Saath for giving us Youth Force. In this program we feel that we have got the platform to express our self and live our dreams.”
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.”