Founded in 1997 as an interfaith cricket club, SAHER (SOCIETY FOR AWARENESS, HARMONY AND EQUAL RIGHTS) shaped up into an organization addressing communal conflict and rebuilding faith between people. Registered in 2005, SAHER’s work started in Jogeshwari, Mumbai where settlement patterns, even otherwise demarcated across communal lines, were completely ghettoized after the ’92-93 communal violence. Some of its key youth programs were incubated with Changelooms support. SAHER realizes that growing up in segregated communal settlements has not equipped young people to develop competencies to operate in a diverse world. SAHER works towards empowering communities, by enabling people to aspire, lead and contribute in bringing meaningful changes in the society, effecting a shift from social conflict to a just and equitable society. Its core programs are:
- Parwaaz: Nurturing Active Citizenship – Has reached out to 1000 young people intensively through a curriculum with components of citizenship education, conflict management, reproductive health and gender issues and sustainable development.
- Bridging the Digital Divide: Creating access to Quality Education for Children – 200 children from schools and madrasas attend weekly sessions on improving learning and higher order thinking through a computer based curriculum.
- Mohalla Hamara: Building Responsible Communities – Young people from diverse backgrounds come together to exchange ideas to build a shared understanding on issues of governance, citizenship, and careers.
- Neenv: Enhancing Employability – More than 2000 youth have gained information on livelihood options, career counseling and guidance for internships and employment.
- Sports for Peace and Development: Affirming Children’s Right to Play – While 200 adolescents have gone through a Sport based curriculum on Life skills for building Peace, a cohort of 50 young people are currently enrolled for weekly sessions on Sport for Peace and Development.
Rama Shyam (Changeloomer 2006-07) As the co-founder of SAHER, she is working with youth and adolescents on peace building through active citizenship and has facilitated workshops youth and adults on issues of self-awareness, deconstructing identities and stereotypes and politics of development. She has worked as a consultant facilitator with United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC) and was member of the Global Summer School NY. She was a consultant with Magic Bus as a master trainer for a UNICEF programme on Sport for Development with a DFID Research on Faith Based Development Organisations anchored by the University of Birmingham, UK. With a Ph.D. in Social Sciences, she completed a short stint as an Assistant Professor at TISSS. In January, 2013, she joined We, the People, learning the contours of Citizenship. She has recently joined Apnalaya as the Head of Programme for Responsible Citizenship. She lives in Mumbai with her partner Masood Akhtar son Kabir. Her interests include discussing politics, working out in the gym, reading and tossing up global cuisines in the kitchen.
To know more about SAHER, visit http://www.saherindia.org/