Saath ( Initiatives in Equity in Development)

Giving Ahmedabad’s urban poor a ray of hope

Mother of a young boy Shyam, Alpaben is currently doing a beautician training course at Saath because as she puts it, “mere ghar mein kamane waala bas ek hi hai, aur baki ke sab khaane wale hai.” (My husband is the only earning member in my family. His family needs to support 5 of us, which is not enough.”

A graduate in Arts, Nirmalakumari, was unable to get a job in a company or call center after completing her degree. She is doing a Tally course at Saath’s to develop a hard skill that will increase her chances of getting employed.

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How it all began

Saath was started by Rajendra Joshi to alleviate the problems of the urban poor – be it education, healthcare, unemployment, infrastructure or microfinance. Born in East Africa, Rajendra Joshi came to India in 1977, when he was almost 20 years old. His upbringing and education there played a large role in motivating him towards the social sector. He says, “The education system over there lays a lot of emphasis on equality.” To goes on to explain how this is driven by the fact that many African countries were getting independence at that time. By 1962-63 most countries had gotten independence but there were few that had to fight for it – South Africa, Mazambique, Angola. Though Tanzania was not a rich country, it supported liberation movements of its neighbours.

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A glimpse into the lives changed

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.

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Volunteering Opportunities

Over the years, Saath has hosted several volunteers from both India and abroad. Depending on a volunteers’ skills and time availability, an appropriate task is given. In the past volunteers have contributed in numerous ways – from helping with research work to spending time with the children at the aanganwadis. Send a copy of your resume along with details of your time availability to and they’ll be happy to work out an opportunity for you.

Recognition Received

  • Innovative Livelihood Promoter 2013”, Citi Micro Enterprise Awards, Citi Foundation
  • Awarded India NGO award, 2011 and 2010 for Western Region

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