Saathi is a non-governmental organisation working with the vulnerable communities of Bastar, Chhattisgarh, in helping Saathi emphasises the participation of the local community in development initiatives so that the people can think about their own goals and the means of achieving them. We invest our time in understanding the community and its challenges from the community’s perspective and finding local and contextual solutions. Most of the communities we work with life in geographically disconnected regions with continuous exposure to conflict between the State and Naxalites, leaving them vulnerable and deprived of basic necessities. Keeping this in mind we try to strengthen local resources and strive for self-sufficiency in addition to making crucial services accessible in the community.
We believe that empowerment doesn’t only mean speaking up for the ones who are suffering. But in assisting the people to strengthen their voices. This is why at the core of all our programs is the idea of nurturing people’s skills and assisting them to become competent decision-makers.
We follow the community development cycle where community participation, empowerment, ownership and development are the basis of all the work. And we do so by establishing a strong bond with the local community and understanding their needs. Therefore, we’ve also constantly been active in introducing programs to make the quality of life better in every aspect.
Our values come from the Gandhian ideology of bringing social change, which postulates the change makers to develop a close relationship with the lives that they seek to change. We’re always in proximity with the people and fight the same battles, understand the lives and problems and work for communities development by being a part of the community. We’re not guided by the idea of quick and instantaneous change either. Our focus lies on sustainable change, even if it comes at a slower pace.
The objectives have clearly defined Saathi’s scope and depth of our work. All of Saathi’s activities are aimed at the development of the craft and rural community in Bastar. Their strategy has been to understand the needs of the communities related to their livelihood, education and other aspects of their life, and intervene accordingly to achieve the vision.