Welcome to Sugandh

Lives transformed through empowerment and education

Who we are

Sugandh, meaning “fragrance” in Hindi was formed in response to seeing the need of children living in desperate poverty in Delhi, often not going to school and instead working as ‘rag-pickers’ in the busy market, collecting the rubbish off the busy streets. Thus the Sugandh non-formal school was started, providing labouring children with a mid-day meal and basic education in reading, writing and numeracy. In due course other opportunities to improve life skills through vocational skills such as sewing, painting and card making was provided for young adults and teenagers.

In 2004, the South Delhi slum where Sugandh had been working was demolished. Many of the residents moved to another slum in South Delhi, and others to a resettlement colony in North West Delhi, 45 kms from their previous home. Being committed to these communities, the work of Sugandh also relocated to these two colonies.

Our Vision

Transformation of the marginalized through holistic education, advocacy and training so that they may empower themselves and their communities.

Our Approach

Holistic transformation through Self Help Groups, child development, medical assistance, vocational training, advocacy, urban governance, education and training.

Child Development Centre

Our vision is to restore the brightness and fun that should be a part of every child’s life, integrate the children into formal education and equip them with crucial life skills so that they may have good and hopeful foundations.

The Centre is located in a slum in South Delhi. Textbooks, mid day meals, stationery material, uniforms, shoes, school bags, and other supplies are given free of charge. There are 3 main classes and also tuition support for older children. Our school capacity is 60 students.

The children are mostly from migrant families from UP, Assam, Bangladesh and Bihar and most of the parents are involved in extremely low paid employment such as rag-picking, rickshaw pulling and driving auto-rickshaws

Our Tuition support program at the Sugandh Centre provides help for high school children from very poor families in the resettlement area. It has been a joy to see the tuition students pass their exams, especially the crucial Board 10th and 12th exam.

Women’s Savings groups / Self Help Groups (SHGs)

Saving money is hard for everyone, especially for the very poor. Despite new initiatives to open bank accounts for the poor, many still find it difficult to open accounts as many people from the waste collecting community are illegal immigrants without proper paperwork and documentation, and for many it simply does not make economic sense to deposit their hard earned 200 rupees ($3) and spend a quarter of that or more on the transport to get to the bank. However the alternative of saving at home also has its hazards as homes in the jhuggi are susceptible to robbery and even fires.

Our aim

To help women in the community manage their hard earned savings in an effective way. The groups also learn to work together and at the awareness meetings learn about important issues such as sanitation, education, health and advocacy.

Money from savings and low interest loans from the cooperative groups have enabled women to buy small plots of land in their villages, and fund children’s education, medical expenses, weddings, etc.

Advocacy & Training

Our aim is to help empower these poor and vulnerable communities to be a part of the process that determines their quality of life, from access to clean drinking water, electricity in homes and better access to government schemes and benefits.

Our work also include the following –
Emergency /  Relief Work
Medical Help
Children At Risk Issues
RTE drives, Trafficking training, etc
PTA. Training and Awareness
Community Education
Training and Awareness programmes

Lives Transformed

some stories of people we've helped

Akash and Monica

Siblings, Akash and Monica, dropped out of their local school four years ago, and Sugandh workers have been trying to readmit them. The government school will no longer accept them as they do not have the right paperwork. Although in age they should be in Class 6/7, their actual level is about Class 3/4. At the Sugandh Centre the teachers have decided to focus on their reintegration into formal education by helping them catch up with their studies and make up for those lost years. We hope that once they reach the age of 16 they will be able to join Class 10 through the Open School.

Rajesh

Rajesh was born at home in the slum. Like many families who have delivered babies at home, Rajesh’s parents did not know how to apply for a Birth Certificate. When they went to apply, the registry clerk demanded a bribe which the family could not afford. When they came to Sugandh for help, they were informed of their rights and with the help of the staff, Rajesh’s father was able to go and obtain the certificate without having to pay a bribe.

Saroj

My name is Saroj and I have been a SHG member for about 7 years. I am a housewife. I applied three or four times for a ration card but was rejected every time. I was getting very worried. In the end I asked a Sugandh worker to help me, he helped me file an RTI about why my applications were unsuccessful. When we got a reply and found out the reasons why, Sugandh staff helped me fill the forms correctly and I was granted a ration card without any more hassle.

Manju

My name is Manju and I have three small children. All of them go to school. I have been a Sugandh SHG member for many years. My husband works in a factory. I learnt sewing from my mother-in-law and borrowed low interest loans from the SHG to open up my own tailoring shop. Most of my custom is in mending old clothes and making alterations.


Neeta

Neeta has 4 children, her husband works in a small factory. She is an Anganwadi helper, and has been an SHG member since the program started. Geeta, while continuing her SHG membership with Sugandh, has even branched out and independently created 2 SHG groups in her community. Through a business loan from the SHG, Neeta bought some sewing machines and now earns a living as a tailor and also teaches sewing to others in the community.

Rajni

Rajni and her family had to move to a resettlement colony after their slum was razed. Having lost job and home, the family faced very hard circumstances. Rajni then joined a Sugandh SHG group and after six months membership she took a loan to start her business – running a small ration shop. Her business is supporting her family and she is able to repay her loan steadily. Rajni is planning to take another loan and expand her business

Asha

Neeta has 4 children, her husband works in a small factory. She is an Anganwadi helper, and has been an SHG member since the program started. Geeta, while continuing her SHG membership with Sugandh, has even branched out and independently created 2 SHG groups in her community. Through a business loan from the SHG, Neeta bought some sewing machines and now earns a living as a tailor and also teaches sewing to others in the community.

Fatima

Fatima is a rag picker and came from in Assam. She bought land in the village through her savings, and her daughter also saved money and they have bought another plot of land.

Sugandh Creations

Sugandh Creations exists for the benefit of the communities we serve, so over the years the products and the workers have changed according to needs and abilities. Currently there are women who cannot go to work due to family circumstances or for health reasons. We give them fabric to embroider, along with the pattern and equipment, and also give them training if required. The women are able to work at home and are paid a much higher wage than they would earn at a local factory.

Contact Us

Our Address

216-A/1 GF
VINOBAPURI
LAJPAT NAGAR 2
NEW DELHI
110024
INDIA

REGISTERED SOCIETY #34210