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.
Transformation of the marginalized through holistic education, advocacy and training so that they may empower themselves and their communities.
Holistic transformation through Self Help Groups, child development, medical assistance, vocational training, advocacy, urban governance, education and training.
Child Development Centre
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.
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.
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
Children At Risk Issues
RTE drives, Trafficking training, etc
PTA. Training and Awareness
Training and Awareness programmes
Lives Transformedsome stories of people we've helped
When Pradip was born in the slum in 2016, his parents assumed that they would not be able to afford a birth certificate for their son. Pradip’s grandmother happened to mention this to Sugandh staff when they came for a home visit in the slum, and the family’s case was taken up promptly. They helped the family fill out the necessary paperwork and within a few days of submitting the application, baby Pradip was granted his Birth Certificate. The feedback from the parents was this “We are from a poor family and cannot afford to get documents made as they cost a lot of money. But thanks to Sugandh’s help we were able to get Prince’s birth certificate without any expenses”.
Rajwati is a ‘veteran’ Sugandh SHG member, having saved with the federation for about 8 years now. Recently, she borrowed Rs. 6000 from the group for medical fees, a large sum for her family considering that her husband earns Rs. 7000 a month. This is her account:
“I have been a part of Sugandh SHG for the last 7-8 years. I am now a group supervisor. Sugandh showed me a new way and because of them I now save my money. It has been really beneficial for me and my family. Because of my savings, I have been able to borrow and have always paid back the loans on time. I recently borrowed Rs. 6000 to pay for my daughter in law to have a safe delivery in a hospital. Sugandh loaned me the money. My daughter in law and my grandchild are now safe at home. Because of Sugandh my family is very happy and safe. I would like to thank Sugandh because they have been there for me during my problems. I try my best to get as many women as possible to be a part of Sugandh’s SHG”.
Smita is 9 years old and has been a student at Sugandh’s Child Development Centre for the past 2 years. Like every other Sugandh student, Smita and her parents have been encouraged by Sugandh to also seek admission at the Government school. The parents were very reluctant to do this as every time they had tried, they were denied because they did not have the right paperwork. Sugandh staff then helped the family to apply for a family Aadhar card, and once the card was granted, they helped to get the other necessary documents. They then accompanied Smita and her parents to the school and got her admission process completed.
Arpita, at age 14 had not joined school since her family migrated to Delhi 5 years ago looking for work. In September 2016, Arpita’s family came to Sugandh for help. Arpita was advised to study at Sugandh for a few months to catch up on her studies and also wait for next academic year admissions to open. In June 2017, a Sugandh worker went along with Arpita and her father to the government school. They were told what documents would be needed for admission, and Sugandh helped the family to apply for an Aadhar card . Finally, after a lot of work, Arpita finally got admitted to class 5.
Feedback- Arpita’s father said that they were very thankful to Sugandh. They said that if it was not for Sugandh then their daughter would not have been able to go to school. They did not know anyone in Delhi who would have helped them.
“My name is Beena . I’m from West Bengal. In 2004 our slum was destroyed and we were given land in the resettlement colony. In the beginning we faced a lot of problems. After a while my husband and I found work in a factory as labourers. I earned around Rs.4000. I got to know about Sugandh through one of my neighbours after which I joined the Sugandh SHG. I started saving my money properly because of which I was able to take loans 3 times. The first loan was to get a house made in our village. I took my recent loan to get my house in Delhi build. I have been a part of Sugandh for the last 8 years. I have received so much help from Sugandh. My household is running very well. Because of Sugandh my family and I are happy. I would like to thank Sugandh for all their help.
Roshan’s parents tried to apply for his Birth Certificate and were told it would cost them Rs. 400. When they shared their problem with Sugandh staff, they were informed that the only payment actually required was Rs.10 for the form. A Sugandh worker went with Roshan’s father to the MCD office and got the birth certificate made.
Feedback from Roshan’s family “I did not know that there were groups like Sugandh who will actually help poor people like us to save money. We thought the only way to get things done was to pay more money, which we cannot afford. We are very grateful”.
Jenat and her family are from Assam. They have been living in the same slum in Delhi for the last 8 years. Jenat is a housewife and her husband works as a cleaner in a hospital. They have three young children.
When Janu tried to open a bank account, she was told that she would need a PAN Card first. She tried to apply, but was told that it would cost her Rs. 500. Janu then visited Sugandh where she was told that the real cost of a PAN card application was only Rs 107. Kamal (Sugandh staff) then helped her with the form.
Feedback from Janu “We are very poor people and we cannot afford to spend a lot of money. We went to Sugandh NGO to share our problem and in return were helped. They helped us to get our PAN card and helped us to save money as well. Thank you for listening to our problem and helping us”.
Mohan, age 19, lives with his parents and younger siblings, one of whom studies at Sugandh. The family have lived in a slum in Delhi for the last 10 years but they did not have any documents to attest this. During a home visit, Sugandh staff found out that Monu was made to leave school after he finished Class 10 as his parents wanted him to start working and earn money to support the family. Monu told them that he wanted to study further, and had even tried to re-join school of his own accord, but the school would not take him was his family did not have a bank account. A bank account is necessary as the government pays students money for education directly to the families’ bank account.
Sugandh staff then sat down with Monu’s parents and persuaded them that Monu would have a better chance in life if he had a better education. With their permission, they went with Monu to Punjab National Bank where they got Monu’s Aadhar card as well as bank account made. This helped Monu to get admitted into school. Sugandh also provided Monu with school books.
Feedback from Monu “Sugandh has helped me a lot and encouraged me about my studies for which I am very thankful. They even helped to make my parents understand. I am very excited to start school”.
“My name is Kiran and I’m a housewife. Since I am usually home looking after my 5 children, I started to sew bags for Sugandh. I even stood for community elections and I received 250 votes although sadly did not win. But being a part of the political process helped me to learn a lot which will help me in life. I am a part of Sugandh’s SHG and I deposit my savings every month on time. My daughter had started school and I did not have the money to afford their fees. I took a loan of Rs.6000 from the SHG to pay for my daughter’s fees and she is now able to attend school. Being a part of Sugandh has been very beneficial for me and my family and I plan to continue being a part of Sugandh”.
My name is Jaywanti and I have two daughters and a son. Both my daughters study in a government school. I took a loan from my Sugandh SHG group for Rs.3000 to buy a cooler. We now have a cooler at home which has really helped us a lot during summertime. My children are happy to stay at home where it is cool. I never used to save money but after joining Sugandh’s SHG I now understood the importance of saving.
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.
LAJPAT NAGAR 2
REGISTERED SOCIETY #34210