Internship Experience @ PUCL, New Delhi: Choice Between Research Work and Field Trips

Name of Student

Anonymous

Name of Organisation, Location (city), Team Strength

PUCL, New Delhi, 1 Secretary, 2 staff members

Application Process

Application could be directed via e-mail to Mr. Mahipal Singh, Secretary to the National Office at [email protected]

Duration of internship and timings

3 weeks, 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. However, going by the ostensible NGO norms, one could excuse oneself right after lunch hour as well, subject to the then-going research or clerical work, as the case maybe!

First impression, first day formalities, infrastructure

The PUCL National Office is a shocker to the first expectation. Located in some dingy lane of a better placed locality, the office is as small as it could be!

A small board with the NGO’s initials shall help you recognize the office (located in Mayur Vihar Phase-1, which is a wonderful place in itself).

It is basically a small room, made to accommodate about 7-8 people (inclusive of its 2 member staff), alongwith some 3-4 desktops (one of which is occupied by the staff perpetually!).

But then again, you cannot be expectant of some extravagance from an NGO, as the say goes.

It is a warm place with warmer environment, all thanks to the staff, the co-interns and Mr. Mahipal Singh himself.

Main tasks

The task at PUCL, New Delhi is two-fold. Field work and research. As it goes, research could let you excuse yourself to sit back and work from home, whereas, field work would need lots of travelling to places of importance (or on-going projects) for PUCL at that time therein.

If you prefer research, you can either select any newfangled topic on human rights, or, let them provide you with one.

Note. – Research is more of a mundane task at an NGO, as far as I have noticed.

It kills your energy.

You don’t have to be burning holes in your wallet without having your labour published, at the least..!

Now if you prefer field work, like I said, get geared up for lots of travelling. We had to travel to Nangloi village each day for a week and a half and conduct survey on PDS (Public Distribution System).

It involved interviewing a lot of people, collecting and reviewing their ration cards and recording data, accordingly.

In the end, we were to compile all the data, make a report and put in our conclusion and suggestion as to the statistical record collected, which was ultimately published in the PUCL monthly bulletin.

Work environment and people

We were introduced to Mr. Mahipal Singh on the second day of our internship.

He is a man of a dignified demeanor. Quite affable and enthusiastic towards interns and their share of work.

He visits office for like some 2-3 days a week.

Rest of the days, the office if run by the office staff, Ms. Babita, and Mr. Ashok, and of course, the interns.

Best things

Of course, the timing. Allows you to be flexible.

And then, if not the best thing, but then the most meaningful – interaction during field trips. You get to see how people are devoid of their rights in actuality.

We see piles of news over the net and in the newspaper about human rights and its violation.

But how far do we see those people confiding what they lack? How they are duped? How maybe, they deserve 3-4 kgs of rice per month as per their ration card, but the sellers channel only a kilogram on the whole? And that too, a family of maybe ten has to be fed with that one kilogram of rice! You get the drive to do something for them.

You want to be the one they could look up to, if not for ever, but for a while atleast? You want to be their change.

You want to seem them content. And that, I believe, is what could make your internship worth it.

Contributing to human rights violation – live.

Bad things

The slumping of initial calculations you may have had from an NGO of national repute.

If they get a bit more serious apropos work allotted to interns, the place could be a bit more worthwhile to be!

Stipend

None.

Biggest Lessons

The only way to make an internship count, is to devote yourself cell-fully to the work at hand. Get something out of it. Just not let three weeks (or, four) go in vain.

At an NGO, your input should be as much as your expected ouput, and rightly so.

Any Other Thing

The surrounding location is ideal for walks and is a hub of eateries. Numerous joints selling street-food is what you may find throughout the locality.

The metro-station is quite close; a 5 minute walk. Also, a lot of PG’s, both for guys and girls, can be looked for in the area.

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