Located across the road from the Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram, Ramapir No Tekro, also known as the Tekro, is one of the largest slum areas in Ahmedabad. Although the area is considered an encroachment, it has existed for more than 60 years. The neighborhood has a diverse socio-economic population, with main sources of livelihood including driving rickshaws, rag-picking, cleaning homes, shining shoes, and working as potters or day laborers. Manav Sadhna started working in this area in 1995, focusing mainly on encouraging children to attend school, offering an alternative to child labor and working on improving health through a community clinic and awareness campaigns. In 2004, through the support of the community and donors, we created the Manav Jatan Community Center, our pilot effort after which we have modeled our subsequent centers. We built the Center from local recycled materials and involved the community in building it. After working for more than 23 years with this locality, we have witnessed a meaningful change in awareness and habits around education, hygiene, health, community sanitation, and livelihood. We continue to address challenges around gender equality and women’s rights, addiction, higher education, nutrition, and breaking through superstitions and stigmas.
Regular Daily Beneficiaries: 709
Manav Gulzar (manavgulzar.org)
Situated in the interfaith community of Ram Rahim No Tekra in Baherampura, the Manav Gulzar Center serves a slum neighborhood that is home to more than 40,000 Hindus and Muslims, who actively maintain harmony, even during communal riots. Here, due to high levels of poverty, many struggles to meet daily needs and face poor health, malnourishment and low education levels. A lack of girls’ higher education is also a pressing challenge. Our engagement with the community began in 2005, when we started running a Street School. We would set up a classroom for a couple of hours, daily, on the sidewalk to offer the children basic education, guidance, nutrition. Over time, we would help re-integrate them into school. Eventually, the locals asked us to build a Center and requested more initiatives for the larger community. So in 2013, with the support of Flowering Tree, we built Manav Gulzar between an Islamic Dargah and a Hindu Temple, a sacred spot chosen by the residents. In cohesion with the meaning of ‘Manav Gulzar’ (blossoming of humanity), we offer our holistic education program, health and awareness, computer literacy, tailoring classes, women and children’s savings programs, a young men’s support group (Yuva Mitra Mandal), a Scouts and Guides program, weekly bhajans for the elderly, Anna Daan and more.
Regular Daily Beneficiaries: 483
About 30 years ago, several leprosy-affected families settled along the low-lying, outskirts of Ahmedabad and depended largely on begging for survival. Despite the eradication of the disease through treatment and the integration of Vastral into larger Ahmedabad, the community still remains physically isolated and stigmatized. Consequently, though the third generation are studying and working hard for their futures, their parents continue to struggle to secure jobs. This community, however, is one of few where there is equity between genders and girls are encouraged to pursue their education. Manav Sadhna has been supporting the community through healthcare, values education, and livelihood since 2006. In 2010 we built a children’s playground and a Community Center for the residents, where they run a supplementary values-based education program, women’s savings project, Bhav Nu Bhojan and use it for community events. As of 2018, we have been running the Dream Homes project in collaboration with De Montfort University with the aim to construct low-income housing for needy families in the community. Though we work with a specific number of daily beneficiaries, we support all 125 families through our health and community initiatives.
Regular Daily Beneficiaries: 105
Efforts in this pulsating community started with a Street School in 2005, which gradually evolved into the Manav Seva Community Center built in 2016 in partnership with Team Seva. Shankar Bhuvan is a very dense locality, with a large stray dog population, where lack of hygiene and sanitation prevail. The area is inhabited largely by two dominant communities, one of which, though extremely vibrant and unique, continue to believe blindly in their traditions and superstitions. As a result, enabling change in perspective and behavior around family planning and girls’ education is a serious challenge. Through values-based education, better health and awareness, better livelihood opportunities and more exposure we hope to nurture the true potential of this community. In addition to holistic education, we run a women’s savings group, awareness campaigns and health initiatives, Anna Daan and the Shakti Center, a space for adolescent girls to gain awareness, life-skills, and livelihood training.
Regular Daily Beneficiaries: 314
Situated in the sprawling community of Sabarmati, Manav Mitra was launched in 2016 with the support of Dry Creek Foundation. It is our newest center. This community largely migrated from the rural and tribal villages of North Gujarat. The area still suffers from a lack of clean drinking water and access to basic sanitation facilities, such as toilets. Sabarmati, prone to flooding due to its location in a low-lying area, is part of an interconnected series of slum neighborhoods. The level of poverty here is alarming; often children attend our centers just to use the toilet or receive a nutritious snack. Through the Center, we run a branch of Paryavaran Mitra and a holistic values education program for 1st-6th standard. After surveying the needs of the community, we are launching a skills training program for women. We will gradually expand our programs to reach more children and community members.