Case Studies



AHMEDABAD - 380 018.

In 1996 SHARDA Trust along with The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, SEWA Bank and SAATH had corroborated on a project for the Sanjaynagar slums. Called the 'Slum Networking Project' it had provided basic necessities like roads, sewage pipes, electricity, waste disposal materials, drinking water in individual homes, septic toilets etc. At that time Fuljibhai had worked as an active leader for SHARDA Trust

The same SHARDA Trust officials had once gone to Sanjaynagar in 1998. This time round it had been to give the slum dwellers information about their Driver's Training Programme as well as their Garment Operator's Training Programme. The Driver's Training Programme had caught Fuljibhai's attention.

In Fuljibhai's family there were 5 members. He himself (44) had been a retrenched employee of Arvind Mill's Printing Department. He had worked for 20 years when the ancient department had been shut down in favour of modern technology. As he had known only the old printing method he had had to quit, additionally, no other mill had any use of persons like him Hence in the late 90s he had attached a grocery shop to his house.

His wife, Manguben (40) though illiterate helped him run this place. They had earned a total of Rs 5000/- (five thousand rupees) a month from it.

Fuljibhai has always had an independent personality and he strongly believes in doing business rather than in being a salaried employee. Service was never his cup of tea as he didn't like to be answerable to anyone ; didn't like, in his own words, "slaving for anyone". He much rather preferred a small business where he could take his own decisions, could work at hours convenient to him, could earn as much as he worked.

Hence, in February 1998, when the opportunity had come up he had thought of joining the Driver's Training Programme. True to his entrepreneurial spirit he had had a picture of buying himself a vehicle and being his own master. Reasoning with himself, he had come to the conclusion that this would help him raise his standard of living, plus collect a nest egg, plus give a better life to his children.

Shortly after he had trained his elder son, Vinodbhai (23), and his elder daughter, Kanchanben (18), had undergone training for SHARDA Trust Driver's Training Programme and Garment Operator's Training Programme respectively

The other family members included Nitaben (21), Vinodbhai's wife ; their daughters Sushila (3) and Sonia (8 months) ; Fuljibhai's younger children Sangitaben (16) and Manojbhai (14).

None of these members earned anything. All of them had been residing at the Sanjaynagar slums since 1980 in a three roomed house which boasted of a separate toilet and bathroom.

Fuljibhai's training had lasted for forty five days at Life Driving School. He reports to be completely satisfied with all the three aspects of the training viz. the course content, the faculty and, the duration. In the midst of the training itself he had heard that The Arvind Mills was offering a contract for Collecting Solid Waste.

The entrepreneur in him had awakened and he had started to and mastered the art of driving a tractor. After that, in July 1998, with SHARDA Trust's help he had bagged the contract for Collecting Solid Waste.

At the time of the interview, in 1999, Fuljibhai was in an enviable position. He and his four employees work from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The workers collect the waste from each of the departments, cart it in their lorries and deposit it at the pre determined spots. Fuljibhai, being the boss, drives the tractor wherever needed. Initially, his driving had been hesitant, but with time he has become an expert in maneuvring the turny twisty vehicle. There are 18 such lorries in The Arvind Mills being used for this waste disposal method.

Upon completing their training both the siblings i.e. Vinodbhai and Kanchanben had found suitable employment through SHARDA Trust. 4 Vinodbhai draws Rs 2000/- (two thousand rupees) a month as the driver of one of the Presidents of Arvind Mills : whereas Kanchanben brings in Rs 35/- (thirty rupees) per day as a garment operator at the Khokra Garment Factory. Out of the Rs 400/- (four hundred rupees) that Fuljibhai earns per day he pays Rs 200/- (two hundred rupees) as salary to his men. All the three family members are satisfied with their respective occupations and his remuneration.

Fuljibhai states that 4-5 persons had availed of this Driver's Training, all in the hope of securing a job paying at least Rs 100 - 150/- (one hundred to one hundred fifty rupees) per day. They had been under the impression that after undergoing the training they would earn more than what they had earned before. The problems had arisen because after the training, as apprentices, they had all drawn between Rs 1500 - 2000/- (one thousand five hundred to two thousand rupees) per month. No wonder none of them had been interested in taking up a job. Why ! Even he would not work such long hours for this paltry sum. The entire community feels that one should be compensated adequately for their training, skills and labour.

SHARDA Trust had on and off held meetings to talk about their Driver's Training Programme, also they had helped the trainees to secure jobs. Surprisingly, Fuljibhai is the only successful trainee out of the entire lot. The others fell behind on account of giving up the job citing similar reasons of long hours and less pay.

In addition, most of them had felt it useless to pursue a drivers profession as it earned them lesser salary than their original jobs. Thus they had lost their enthusiasm for a driver's job.

Fuljibhai is a success story as he had been given employment near his house ; suitable to his age ; according to his abilities and ; of an independent stature. Also, he earned in proportion to the work hours and labour that he put in.

The credit for his success goes to his initiative of continuing to have constant interaction with SHARDA Trust officials even after he had got the contract. In this way he got continued advice and support from them thereby increasing his motivational level. Subsequently, this led to quality work which in turn raised the quantum of work.

Like any other human being, Fuljibhai has had a mission since he was a young man. He dreams of sponsoring his father's pilgrimage costs and also of digging him a bore (unclear) on their ancestral land. Both these are expensive propositions hence ; he aims to work more and earn more to be able to fulfill them.

In the near future , with SHARDA Trust's assistance he hopes to bag two more assignments of 'Collecting Solid Waste' --- from residential societies as well as from Arvind Mills' Santej Division.

Taking the training has thus, proved to be a turning point in his life. His standard of living has risen dramatically ; has been able to send his children for training ; has a much higher standing in society ; has a substantial ability to save for the future. His entire personality has undergone a change as his vision has broadened.

Fuljibhai says," Earlier I shaved once a week, didn't mind unironed clothes and kept an untidy house, but, now I understand the importance of shaving every alternate day and never moving around in unironed clothes as well as maintaining a presentable residence. Our diet has improved and in general we are all leading a better life these days."


Had no knowledge of driving. Learnt how to drive.
Couldn't drive a tractor. Mastered the tractor very fast as he knew how to drive.
Was the sole earning member of the family The family gained three Earning members.
Family income was Rs 5000/- (five thousand rupees) Family income rose to Rs 13000/- (thirteen thousand rupees)
Couldn't save Can save a decent amount.

As Fuljibhai is completely satisfied with his life after the training he has repaid every single penny of his fee loan to the Trust.