‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others’ — Mahatma Gandhi.

Following this quote, Sanchetana Community Health and Research Centre is constantly striving to encourage people to help those in need, encouraging them to keep alive the trait of Humanity in humans.

Infield since 1982, Sanchetana started with the belief that extending a helping hand brings happiness to both — the receiver as well as the giver. Also acknowledging the potential of the poor to evoke a change in their lives will boost their efforts to achieve the same. It started out with a small clinic, helping people acquire expensive drugs at an affordable rate. It was founded by Dr. Lakdawala offering services for the betterment of the body as well as the mind to the poor people in the slums of Ahmedabad. On 16th August 1983, we got registered as a charitable trust.

Thereafter it has not only brought together those who have the greatest traits humanity possesses- Kindness and Generosity but also founded a community of people who truly understand the meaning of ‘Altruism’.

They guided those in need, encouraging women to find their own identity by founding development programs like Income Generative Activities, Shakti Mahila Sangathan, and Sakhi Credit Society, and addressed youth issues and organized them under Milap Yuvak Sangathan.

In 1990, when the country as a whole was divided due to religious matters, Sanchetana worked on the field, talking to the youths of the nation and working together with them to combat communalism and thus helping in re-establishing the ‘secularism’ in India by founding IFIE(Institute For Initiatives in Education) which focuses on replacing the discriminated society with an unbiased community by bringing minority and majority on the same platform through the medium of formal and non-formal education.

Women, in particular, were shown a beacon of hope to make them aware of their rights and capabilities. Unifying the women together, unifying their ‘Shakti’, Sanchetana has raised them to take upon any role in the society, right from artists to entrepreneurs. They have successfully inculcated important qualities like self-dependence, self-confidence and thus have made them learn how to accept their womanhood. Educating them about their own bodies, the changes they undergo, appropriate nutrition required, awareness about cancers, knowledge regarding pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and instilling in them the qualities they need to become self-dependent is the top priority of Sanchetana since its foundation and was focused more since 2000.

Throughout these years, Sanchetana has managed to successfully conduct many health awareness programs, children and women development programs, seminars, symposiums, group discussions, solving problems and getting work done by the civic authorities, uniting people to celebrate various festivals thus creating an example of an ideal community of the people, by the people and for the people.

The leaders who emerged during the previous decades have taken forward the development work in the communities till now.

Written by,

Ms.Srishti Anil Chaudhari, Intern, Sanchetana CHRC

Originally published at https://sanchetana.medium.com on March 31, 2021.

Sanchetana Community Health and Research Centre is a grassroots level nonprofit organization working with slum communities of Ahmedabad Gujarat

Sanchetana Community Health and Research Centre is a grassroots level nonprofit organization working with slum communities of Ahmedabad Gujarat