Partner Profile: Samerth Charitable Trust (SCT)
Stepping toward a better tomorrow!
The Samerth Charitable Trust was founded in 1992 in recognition of the severity of conditions in marginalised communities in the states of Gujarat and Chhattisgarh. Working to help these communities to gain access to their social and economic rights, Samerth was set up by Gazlay Paul, a social work graduate, along with Mr Akhil Paul, Mr Pravin Sindh Jade and the late Mr Madhakar Suryavanshi. The organisation began by building earthen check dams and wells for the people of Rapar who had suffered for so long without sufficient drinking water. Having supported over 37 villages and 69 hamlets in this arid landscape, a place heavily affected by the disastrous earthquake in 2001, the Samerth trust continued to change lives.
Due to the harsh and hostile climate of Gujarat many families were forced to migrate during the drought season. Understanding that education was vital to the sustainability of a prosperous life, The Samerth Trust provided lodging and tuition facilities to over 147 children from migrant families.Â
In 2010 Samerth began to focus on sanitation as India has the highest rate of open defecation in the world (WHO-UNICEF, 2010). For the poorest people, this means they must walk miles each day to access a relatively safe and private open space. For women, children, elderly, or disabled people, fulfilling their basic human needs becomes a dangerous and degrading ordeal. By building individual toilets for around 2251 families in Nakhatrana, people were able to reach their full potential with reduced spread of disease and more free time to gain income.
This year Samerth partnered with us to collaboratively tackle these complex issues families face in Gujarat and Chhattisgarh (Our first time working in Gujarat!). After building numerous wells and check dams, Samerth realised that the best method to combat the water shortages was a focus on reviving traditional water structures such as step wells as well as building individual rain water harvesting systems.