Giving labors a deserving life.

Name- Naresh Kumar Sijapati

Yatri year- 2016

Age- 24

NGO- Panah Foundation

Year of establishment-2015

Have you imagined a life of labour that goes to work every day just to feed his family in the night? What about those who leave their country in search for better lives? Unfortunately, their voices never make it to the mainstream. 

This is a story of a labourer who wants to create “smart labour”- Naresh Sijapati. He himself is from migrant labour family from Nepal and saw the struggle since childhood. Naresh decided to work for such population who is stuck in transit, fighting with disenfranchisement within the boundaries of other country and living an uncertain livelihood like he has been through.

Naresh found that there are so many government schemes for migrant labours and daily wage earners but they have no idea about their rights and if trained properly how well they can earn. Knowing the pain since childhood, he always to stand for his society, give them a dignified life, who have travelled thousands of kilometres with a hope of minimum earnings?

In 2015, Naresh left Teach for India and started Panah Foundation from his savings. He started talking to labours that did not have proper documents, did not get money for work they have done and have no idea which door to knock for their rights. Even after being from same community creating trust and managing finance was the main problem. He went to the ground every day, talked to them and finally got first two labours to start with.

During this journey, he joined Jagriti yatra in 2016. ‘It was one of the biggest turn of my life. I started thinking out of the box. After meeting other yatris I learned that there is no limit to explore our inner self. I came to know about life and opportunities exist which I never had an idea about. After listening to many yatris stories, making new friends from not only India and other countries I got confidence and different approach on what can be added more in Panah foundation” – said Naresh.

After Yatra, apart from migrant labours, Panah also started working with slum residents, children, women, youth and vulnerable people in urban and rural areas but faced financial problems. Grants they got from various sources were not enough. At this point of time, Mr. Naresh and board made long term plan. They started charging minimum fees from labors for services and skills training provided.

Panah runs programs in various sectors which include Training and Livelihoods (KOUSAL – A Skill development training Program), Education (Child-Friendly Center – Education Support for Labor Kids) and Governance (Information Centre for labour). In the last 1 and half years, Panah has expanded into Ahmedabad, in different areas and has given dignified life to more than 1300 individuals.

With forever learning attitude, Mr. Naresh Sijapati, aims to reach maximum labours by contacting international helplines. He believes everyone should have an eagerness to learn, as it is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.

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