Internship Experience @ CHETNA (Childhood Enhancement Through Training and Action), Agra and Mathura: This internship taught me compassion

Name, College, Year of Study

Neha Singh, NUJS Kolkata, 2nd year.

Duration of the Internship

14th May 2015- 14th June 2015

Name of the Organization

CHETNA (Childhood Enhancement Through Training and Action), Agra and Mathura

Application Procedure

Curriculum vitae (CV) along with a scanned copy of Bona Fide certificate can be mailed at [email protected]

First day Formalities

They made the interns read some guidelines as to how to deal with children and sign some undertakings. They briefed us about the legislations that India has for the protection of Children.

First Impression

The office was actually a rented house in the residential area with decent infrastructure. Scorching summer was a problem as the office is not air conditioned plus the work was mostly on field. The day care centre was a small house near Mathura Railway Station.

Main Tasks

My job was divided into two parts:

1. Work with CHILDLINE i.e. Children Helpline (Team Agra).

As a part of CHILDLINE I had to assist the heads on rescue operations after getting information through the helpline.

Apart from the rescue operations we worked on creating awareness about the Standard Operating Procedure, we worked to make child friendly railway station.

We held meetings with the Child Welfare Committee, I had to make a power point presentation for the same and present it during the meeting with the CWC.

I worked with CHILDLINE three days a week and the other two days I visited the day care centre at Mathura.

2. Work at the Open Day Care Centre (Mathura).

This centre was a day home to children living at the railway station. The children were taught to read and write.

There were art and craft and dance classes as well. Children were provided with the lunch and there was an hour assigned for watching television. My work was to teach the children and interact with them.

Work Environment and People

The team had some ten members and we were two interns. The work environment was very friendly, the project heads were pretty young in age and we got along with them very easily.

Rescue operations were tiring but the days at the day care centre were pretty amazing. The children at the centre were very kind hearted and sweet and many of them were actually serious about doing great in life.

Most of the children were amazing dancers and they did teach me some good dancing steps.

Timings.

CHILDLINE Agra: 11 am to 4 pm .

They might allow you to leave early on certain days or else it might be late while assisting during the rescue operation.

Day Care Centre: It takes about 50 mins by Train to reach Mathura from Agra. Timings there were very flexible, at times I took a train at 10 am from Agra and reached around 11 am, the other days I would reach around 12 pm. I usually left the centre by 4 pm.

Lunch was not provided at the CHETNA CHILDLINE office Agra, you had to carry your own lunch box but Day Care Centre Mathura had arrangements for the same

It was not mandatory to work at both the places, one was free to choose either CHILDLINE or the Day care centre.

Best thing

This internship taught me compassion. It changed my whole perspective about the Children living at the railway station.

chetna

First day at the day care centre

I was a little nervous as to how to deal with the children. To my surprise, I was whole heartily welcomed by them. It was for the first time that I interacted with the children who had no home to call their own, who were either abandoned by their families or had lost them.

Few of them were very notorious but they had bigger plans for life. They diligently followed my instructions and studied so that post lunch we all could have the dance classes.

The dance teacher was himself a child who used to live at the railway station who later pursued his passion for dance and now lives a good life.

One of the children gambled and won Rs. 1000, he was of course scolded for indulging in gambling but he was so happy to have won that he treated all his fellow mates with Chips, cold drinks, chocolates and ice creams.

We as students who have a lot more money than those children, we think twice before spending Rs. 500 on friends but that child without giving a second thought made all his friends party to his victory. I was really inspired by each and every person I met there.

On the other hand I saw the brutal reality of the world while working with the rescue team. I met abandoned children, children who were sexually exploited by the people they trusted.

I read the cases where people who are supposed to rehabilitate the children were worse than those who exploited them. A man abandoned a ten day old girl child in the Kerela express train, I melted when I saw that girl who was so pink and cute.

I was not able to digest the fact that somebody had abandoned such an angel, just then my project head said – “Welcome to the real world”.

This internship made me see how pure the heart of a child is and how brutal the society can get at times. This was one good learning experience.

Bad things

The NGO people work very hard and yet society never respects their work. We often heard people say “Lo phir aa gaye NGO wale log (the NGO people have come again)” which was very disrespectful.

Stipend

No Stipend

CHILDHOOD ENHANCEMENT THROUGH TRAINING AND ACTION (CHETNA)

Biggest Lesson

A child at home or a child at railway station, both have hearts and talents. Love and respect both.

Any other thing

CHETNA has a day care centre at Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station in Delhi. So those who want to intern in Delhi can apply through the same procedure.

Advice

It will be better to work at the Delhi branch as one can easily get a PG in Delhi. Accommodation in Agra will be difficult until and unless you know someone there who can accommodate you for the duration of internship.

Agra is extremely hot during summers (similar to Delhi), and the internship requires filed work so be prepared to face the sun.

Travelling from Agra to Mathura was one tiring task so you can choose either of the place to intern to avoid the travelling.

If interning in Agra, do visit the Sadar Bazar to have amazing kulfi.

This entry has been submitted for the LexisNexis-Lawctopus Internship Experience Writing Competition 2015-2016. iPleaders is the learning partner for this competition.

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