Internship Experience @ HRLN, Kolkata: Engaging Ambience, Approachable Seniors

Name, College, Year of Study, Email ID

Dhrubojyoti Chattopadhayay; Department of Law, Calcutta University, Hazra Campus; 2nd year (4th Semester) [email protected]

Name of Organisation, Location, Team Strength

Human Rights Law Network; Kolkata; 4 interns per shift.

Application Process

I had to send my CV along with an application form provided on their website that included a write up on human rights which served as my ‘Statement of Purpose’ to [email protected]

They intimated me through a mail and a phone call as soon as I made it through. Duration of internship and timings The internship lasted for 30 days.

The timing was 11 A.M to 7 P.M which did not fluctuate too much.

First impression, first day formalities, infrastructure

Although this was not my first internship, it appealed to me like no other.

The ambiance was ever so easy going and calm but at the end of the day, a good deal of work was taken care of.

It was definitely not how some NGOs might be stereotyped!

We were all supposed to carry our own laptops along with dongles and wear formal clothes as instructed beforehand. We had a small informal orientation session.

The NGO was actually a 3 BHK flat transformed into a neat workplace.

The thing that first caught my eye was the rather huge collection of legal books maintained.

The receptionist at the entrance guides you to your work station where we got to have have our own tiny cabins!

Main tasks

We were given a plethora of work.

Ranging from translation from native languages to English, writing articles for the NGO, double checking their important documents to field tasks where we got to work closely with that part of the society who apparently have no rights, advantages or amenities over a good livelihood, we had to do it all.

Work environment and people

The workload was quite a bit which made the ambiance engaging and not so open ended but the whole learning process was undoubtedly a lot of fun!

I was lucky to work along side an old friend and a number of my new HRLN buddies.

The employees were not intimidating and hence, approachable and amicable.

Best things

The co-interns who had joined prior to us were not overtly competitive and were generous enough to share work with us and show us the nitty gritties.

We also had co-operative mentors ready with answers to our queries.

Bad things

There was no food joint in the proximity so we had to walk endlessly just to grab a bite at lunch and would comeback all exhausted!

For field trips, we had to pay our travel allowances as well as food and water.

Although promised otherwise, none of that was provided to us.

We learnt it the hard way!

Stipend

Not applicable

Biggest Lessons

NGO work is hard!

Although the satisfaction is incomparable to anything else that we did there on the job, it was unexpected how physically strenuous it would get at one point.

Also, I have to confess that I had no clue how difficult it can be for a person born in an under privileged household to make a decent living out of it till this internship served as an eye opener to me.

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Comments Till Now

  1. Can you kindly provide us with the year and month when you had interned? And just saying, there are a lot of options for eating around HRLN, Kolkata office which is in Hazra with Jai Hind Dhaba right downstairs. Also the receptionist has a lot of menus with her where you can order and they would deliver for free. Maybe you did not know about it then, but hopefully anyone else who goes on to intern here would now be aware.

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