Internship @ Hope Foundation, Kolkata: Working With The Less Fortunate; No Stipend

It was my very first internship with Hope Foundation NGO, Kolkata during the summer vacation from 14th of June 2014 to 12th of July 2014. I really enjoyed my internship. Also I got to learn many things likely what is the joy of teaching, the moment when you, with your knowledge educate the small kids of street side.

HOPE NGO, not merely focuses on only educating street children, it also nourishes their talent be it dancing, drawing or singing or writing.

The NGO has four centre of it in Kolkata itself, four situated at four corners. I did my internship from New Market Centre which was under the supervision of Mrs. Gauri Pandit, assisted by Mrs. Suparna and Mrs. Indu.

We were four interns, who had to assist the faculty there. Reaching the New Market centre from Howrah station takes about 30-40 minutes, if not stuck in a traffic jam. Commonly buses are the best mode of reaching to the centre.

The Hope NGO has its several projects and programmes running simultaneously. I felt very lucky to have been a part of one such of their project namely “Nabadisha”. For Hope, “Nabadisha” was a great success, as it had various welfare programmes lined up for street children right from categorising them into how care do they need to be treated a like other children to after providing them with the basic education, sending them to boarding school, hostels, colleges, etc for their further education.

The children there are categorised into Formal and Non-Formal groups. Formal students are the ones who attend school and the non formal are the ones who do not go to school.

During my internship, while carrying on the surveys I felt myself blazed and thanked to God for providing me with all those basic amenities with which I can at least enjoy my life, because we probably, the rich or the middle class are of the mentality that  “ What we have now is little less than what we actually deserve or what we should be having”.

I felt a huge difference within myself in my thoughts regarding the less fortunate people. In my eyes the amount of hard work we do is just vague in front of the efforts that are put in by the weaker section of the society just to earn a meal in a day or to construct their house. To clarify more on this I would like to say that, we people always want to look presentable by using lot of products. Whereas the case is just opposite with the poor people.

While writing my experience and also during my internship I was constantly reminded what my father says that “Life is fully enjoyed only by the middle class people and not by the poor or the rich class”.

Until my internship I was also of the same conception but after my internship it had changed my views about it what I strongly feel now is that if life is to be enjoyed to the fullest it is done by the poor people.

There are lot of things to be learned from the poor people specially by the children despite they are brought up in different and somewhat unfavourable circumstances to fulfil all their dreams yet they always stay happy as if they do not have any kind of stress or tension in their lives even after having the knowledge that they are poor.

Similar  to the above what I have stated, in my internship duration, I met a girl Ria Haider , who never used to be sad , she’s a happy go lucky girl at the same time she is very sentimental. The fact that her family is poor or does not have sufficient resources to fulfil her and her sisters dream least bothered her. She is determined to study and to work hard whatever the situation may be.

It was fun teaching the children, laughing, listening to them, making them learn, educating them, celebrating with them the smallest joy of life and of course learning from them never to be sad whatever the situation in life may be.

As Kolkata is better known as “The City of Joy”, it truly proved to be a city of joy for me. Till the time I was there in the centre I felt that I was taken into another world by these little children, a world that was full of joy happiness and off course a little bit of studies along with us but definitely far from worries tensions sadness and inequality.

The major difference what I found is that we people are so very much engaged with ourselves and our work that we are hardly interested in intermingling with other people hence forth creating a boundary wall around ourselves, a wall that is full of worries tensions sadness and all the other ups and down of life due to which “We are slowly forgetting the real us. Who we were? Who we are now? And what will we be in the near future?”

This is what our aim we are left with is and these are the things which are commonly heard and said to each other. Sometimes it feels like as to life it has become a question mark. We are in a rush of finding answers to all the above stated questions and we are hardly left with time to spend either with our family or to engage in other social activity or work.

I feel grateful to Hope Foundation, NGO, Kolkata for giving me a chance to do internship with them  and I thoroughly enjoyed my internship finding a thin line and a major difference between what it actually is and what is being portrayed either by us or to us.

Also, I would like to thank Hope Kolkata Foundation, Kolkata Police as the project was an initiation by the Kolkata police and the staff members who are associated with HOPE KOLKATA FOUNDATION.

As far as to my best knowledge the project “NABADISHA” had a great success, and it had finally achieved its motive in helping the street children in the best possible way it could do through its various other programmes that are a part of the project like “ Children welfare scheme” , helping out the students for various scholarships etc.

Contact Details of the organization:

39, Panditya Place,
Kolkata – 700029.
West Bengal, India
Tel: +91 33 24742904
Fax: +91 33 24542007
Email: [email protected]

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