Here are a few stories of lives changed by Saath.
The state of Gujarat has over 80,000 women working in the construction sector. Women have to shoulder much greater responsibilities than their male counterparts. They struggle to strike a balance between motherhood, housework and their role in supplementing the income of the family.
Shantaben Amruthbhai is a resident of Behrampura, Ahmedabad and has a family of seven members. To supplement the income of the family, she worked as a helper/labourer at different construction sites for a few years. Shantaben felt that there was no scope to grow for her and learn new skills as nobody was willing to teach her. Moreover the wage was seasonal. She had lost hope that things would change for her. Shantaben came to know about the Nirman training programme through the road shows conducted by the Saath team. She visited the center to get more information about the timings, the structure of the course and the fees. The course was tempting to her since the fees were meager and the timings appropriate. At the training center she got a formal training in Masonry like how to use the tools, how to make cement-concrete mixture and sprinkle water on the plastered walls. She explains “Along with the training given in the masonry department, I also received training in development of soft skills and was given information about the importance of savings and the necessary safety measures that need to be taken into consideration while working. The training has helped me to enhance my income by Rs.50 per day. I have become more independent then before. I am in a better position to bargain for my wages and work hours. It has enabled me to strike a balance between motherhood and work.”She hopes to become a skilled worker someday. Shantaben has become a role model for other women of her community.
Then there’s the story of Devendra Dobikar. 26-year-old Devendra is the son of an auto rickshaw driver. A resident of Gomtipur, he got married in 2010. He has completed his B.Com from H.A. College of Commerce, Ahmedabad. His father’s irregular income posed a problem for his family because of the rising inflation. After his graduation, Devendra worked at Photocam, a photograph development company as a Production Supervisor. However, he was not satisfied with the growth opportunities that the job offered. Also the various acids and chemicals used at the studio posed an occupational health hazard. He was keen for a change in his work environment.
Devendra’s sister who had seen one of the road shows conducted by the Saath team, advised him to join the the organisation’s Ummeed programme. Devendra visited the Saraspur center and was impressed with the course facilities. He quit his job and enrolled himself for the Tally course. He had a wonderful experience at the training center. He says, “I was extremely eager to learn about the tally software. The trainers at the center were more like mentors rather than teachers. The environment at the center was such that we could get our queries and doubts solved at any time by the trainers. It was an environment that allowed us to grow as individuals. Along with the technical training given in Tally, we were also trained in spoken English and basic computers.” On the completion of the course, Devendra got placed at Eureka Forbes. However he quit this job after one week as he was not satisfied with the work assigned to him. He approached the Ummeed center for a new job. The placement cell took immediate initiative and set up another interview for Devendra for the position of relation executive at HBL. Devendra was selected for the job. He now earns Rs.7,000 per month and is extremely happy at HBL. He is thankful to Saath for the growth opportunity provided to him.