Internship Experience @ Ekta Parishad, Bhopal: Work for Tribal People, Life Changing Experience

Your Name

Yogita Bangar

Name of Organisation

Ekta Parishad. Address: Dindori, Madhya Pradesh.

Website: www.ektaparishad.com

Application Process with contact details

I did one summer course on Rethinking Development at Sambhaavna and there they placed me to work for this N.G.O.

Contact: [email protected]

Duration of internship and timings

June 10, 2014- July 7, 2014

First impression, first day formalities, infrastructure

There were no formalities. My first day was shocking. I had to stay first night in one regional office building in remote village in Katni district. There I found that the NGO employees were filling survey forms to be done on village women themselves.

They were ticking the questions randomly. It was a survey to be done on women health and related issues for which they got grants in lakhs. I recorded that on my mobile camera secretly and sent that to NGO head.

Main tasks at the Ekta Parishad internship

I was staying with my mentor and our task to travel to villages in forests where tribal people lived. I would tell them their rights under Forests Right Act, 20015. We would travel 100 km in one day on kinetic to meet these people.

They were being harassed by local police and Forest Department. They were supposed to get title over forest land but because of lack of awareness and corruption they were only getting beatings from police.

We would educate them about free legal aid and other rights under Indian Penal Code in case of arrest.

ekta parishad internship

Work environment and people

I worked with a women in 40s who left her government job and abusive husband to work for tribal rights and forest conservation.

I stayed in her home and she was like a mother to me.

Best things

I learned how laws are implemented at village level. It was all field work internship.

Tribal people told me stories of their tribe and customs. I learned all about forest conservation techniques from these indigenous people. I traveled through forests and lived among tribal people which was life changing experience.

Bad things

Tribal people would fall in my feet thinking I am lawyer and beg to help them protect their land under cultivation. I felt so helpless.

This internship made me cynical about my field. Till today when any teacher teaches me any law I only think what is there in it for those tribal people and I realize maybe nothing.

Stipend

No stipend.

Biggest Lessons

Lessons:

1. Even N.G.O.s have corrupt people which can frustrate you.

2. Nothing is more beautiful and important than nature so better conserve it.

 

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Comments Till Now

  1. Adv. E.S. Jagadeeshwar says:

    Dear Yogita Bangar,

    Warm wishes to you for having wonderful experience. Now you understand what is theory and what is practice? Tribal people are very sincere, honest and want to follow their traditional customs very strictly. You can study about the rights of indigenous people, indigenous techniques and technologies.

    While interacting with tribals it is better to keep silence and prepare to listen their woes. You will know their frankness, desire to develop. Many reputed Law firms may not be within their reach but many Advocates without expecting anything in return are working silently. Of course, those Advocates may not get any recognition but feeling as they are rendering services to their motherland.

    Corruption is everywhere. Because of this corruption our country is not developing. Eradication of corruption is also one of the operational principles of Human Rights. To broadbase your knowledge visit these links. You change your thinking towards human rights. Then you will have abundant materials from local level to global level.

    visit these links : These booklets were published by the United Nations – Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva.

    Fact Sheets
    http://ohchr.org/EN/PublicationsResources/Pages/FactSheets.aspx

    Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations Human Rights System
    http://ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/fs9Rev.2.pdf

    For Fact Sheets

    Special Issue Materials

    Reference Materials

    Training and Education Materials

    Policy and Methodological Materials ….
    http://ohchr.org/EN/PublicationsResources/Pages/FactSheets.aspx

    The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: A Manual for National Human Rights Institutions … Published jointly with the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions
    http://ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/IPeoples/UNDRIPManualForNHRIs.pdf

    Land and Human Rights Standards Applications
    http://ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/Land_HR-StandardsApplications.pdf

    Land and Human Rights Annotated Compilation of Case Law
    http://ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/Land_HR-CaseLaw.pdf

    Declaration on the Rights of Persons belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities
    http://ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Minorities/Booklet_Minorities_English.pdf

    Toolkit .. Share, Learn, Innovate! Methods and technologies to share human rights knowledge and ideas
    http://slitoolkit.ohchr.org/

    Visit the above links. You will know what you learned in your Law Schools/Colleges/Universities as is very less. What you have to learn is more wider. Without visiting Tribal habitats you cannot understand their standard of living, their problems, their backwardness, their helplessness. Tribal people are attached with Nature whereas Urban people are attached with more and more comforts and luxuries, don’t satisfy with what they possess. Even without having any comforts Tribals are living peacefully whereas modern men/women are living with a lot of dissatisfaction.

    If you want to study about the Tribals and their rights, commence your studies from International Human Rights, compare with our national human rights, environmental laws and climate change etc. Within few years you will become the best Human Rights Lawyer.

    Once you prepared to study after few months you love the legal profession. You will also know why Advocates even though they don’t have guaranteed monthly income, willing to continue the profession. It is not the question of money but professional satisfaction. If you want more and more money the said method of Law practice is different.

    Wish you all success in your endeavours.

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