Internship Experience @ Delhi State Legal Services Authority: Visits to Children Homes, Observation Homes and Tihar Jail

Name, College and Year of Study

Kanchan, National Law University, Delhi , II Year.

Name of the organization, Address, Contact Details

Delhi State Legal Services Authority, Central Office – Patiala House Courts, New Delhi, 011- 23384781.

Application Procedure

I got internship through the college. However, I think that individual applications can be e-mailed at [email protected]

Duration of Internship

8th July, 2014 – 26th July, 2014

Timings

Timings are flexible. It depends upon the place that you are visiting. For eg. If you are visiting Supreme Court, you have to reach at least half-an hour before the Court starts.

Get free by 1-2 pm.

Accommodation

My University is in Delhi so, I had no accommodation problem. There is no particular area which will give you advantage of being close to the office as you do not go to their office but visit various institutions like Children Homes, Observation Homes, All courts, Tihar jail etc. Actually, you travel almost entire Delhi.

First Day, First impression, First work

We had to go India International Centre on first day. We were to register ourselves with DSLSA. They also gave us option of visiting various heritage sites of Delhi by travelling in  Hop On Hop Off Bus- absolutely free of cost. We had two days Orientation Programme.

First, we were introduced with the main provisions of Legal Services Authority Act, 1987 which creates this organization. Various learned judges and lawyers gave us information about the most commonly used laws by the masses like Right to Information Act, Labour laws, Family Laws, special laws for women, POSCO, Criminal law etc.

It was a nice experience. This orientation was to make interns aware about the basic laws so that they can help in spreading legal awareness and literacy among the masses.

Main tasks

This aim of the internship is to build interns into Para legal Volunteers. Para legal Volunteers act as a bridge between the masses and the justice.

Considering the socio-economic conditions of majority of Indians, it is a common fact that majority of Indians are not legally aware. The poor people, particularly, fear the Justice delivery System and face lots of hardships to get access to them, far is the administration of justice.

With this objective in mind, they give information about the basic laws used by the masses (already mentioned) so that we can help them on how to assert their rights, whether they can make their claim, under which law etc.

If the Para Legal volunteer feels that he/she can’t help the person by telling the procedure, he/she can take that person to any office of the Delhi State Legal Services Authority and the lawyers present there would guide the persons.

Now, let me throw light on the work that you do when you visit various places.

So, when you visit Police Station, you are told about FIR, the procedure of investigation, arrest, Charge-sheet etc. You are shown various registers maintained by them like Station Diary, FIR register, malkhana register, History Sheeter register, Non Cognizable Report register etc.

We also visited Special Police Unit for Women and Children where we were explained the entire procedure to deal with matrimonial offences cases.

In courts, you try to understand the proceedings of the Court. Well, it depends how lucky you are to get a court which has good cases listed up, the type of lawyers, Public Prosecutors etc.

Some PP and lawyers present there are really helping and friendly. They allow you to see the case-files and also explain the various documents.

You are at liberty to go to any other court room, so, if you feel like that you will not get anything substantial in the court room which is allotted  to you, you can always go out of it and enter any court room which you like.

There, I got to know that how actually lawyers play their tactics and prolong the proceedings of the cases. In my first court, all the prosecution evidence and defense evidence proceedings etc. could not take place for some reason or other. That time, only one thing came in my mind – Tareeq pe Tareeq, Tareeq pe Tareeq

In Children Homes, you are told the procedure that how children are admitted into the homes and how do they find their parents. We also interacted with the children. In observation homes, you interact with those children who are accused of crimes.

Tihar jail – I was amazed to see it. It was very large, had many gardens, factories like hand loom, power loom , shoe- making factories, bakery, dance rooms etc. Tihar prisoners have their own brand named TJ. Though it looks like that prisoners have very good life there, but actually, survival is a struggle there.

Visiting Gender Resource Centre was the most beautiful experience for me. Gender Resource Centre acts as a link between the policies of the Govt. and the people. Plus, they also work very hard to spread legal awareness among the people, especially women.

They saved so many girls from eve-teasing and send those eve-teasers to Police. They also teach self-defense training program to girls and women.

We also visited Child Welfare committee, IBHAS and had one day course on Disaster Management.

Work environment

People in all the places are really very friendly and helping. You never feel out of place there. They love interaction. Interact with them and learn as much as you can. Except courtrooms, where the work is highly formal, in all most all other places people interact with you personally.

They also share their anecdotes and some jokes. They also offer some drinks like fruit juices, coffee, tea etc., biscuits and other snacks.

The co-interns were also very friendly. You make a lot of friends during the internship, particularly if you get mixed with people easily.

Best Things

You get the opportunity to work with people who help not only those who come to them but work hard to reach out to those who are not in position to come to them.

Get diversified practical experience from various places which is very difficult to get from just one organization otherwise.

Bad Things

There was nothing bad as such. Yes! sometimes, you feel really angry about your co-interns coming late.

Stipend

No stipend. Actually, the kind of work experience that you get compensates for stipend.

Places to chill out

I am not a person who loves hanging out frequently but there are lots of places nearby destined workplace where you can hang out during the internship .

Other things

You do not have any wok to do at home during the internship unlike internships with lawyers and judges etc. where you have to do research work.

So you have enough time to engage yourself in other things like you can be a part of some research project if you like.

Lessons from the internship

This internship gives you insight that how people are working so hard to bring about justice in the society. It is not the time to just sit down with the defeatist attitude but help them to bring justice for all.

After doing this internship, you have become a Para Legal Volunteer.

In words of these people you have become a “DOOT” (link) between the people and officials. After doing this internship, you get various opportunities to help these people for eg. recently they invite Para legal volunteers to help in Rape victims counseling and they also pay you stipend for that.

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