Internship @ Maya Foundation, Kolkata: Shelter for Homeless People, No Stipend

Name. College. Year of Study.

Anshuman Bose. KIIT School of Law. 1st Year

Name of the organization. City

Maya Foundation. Kolkata

Duration of the internship. No. of days/week. Timings 

December 20, 2013-January 13 2014

How big was the office? Team strength?

The office consisted of 2 private chambers, one waiting room, and one antechamber connecting the waiting room to the workplace.

The team consisted of 7 people.

Application procedure. Internship contact details

To apply for internship send a mail which contains your resume and personal contact details.

It should also contain your reasons for applying for the internship. Namely, why do YOU want to intern with Maya Foundation, what do you expect to learn.

Accommodation: how, where, how was it?

The office was close to my home so I had no problems in travelling to work. Their primary office was in Khanna.  The city provides you with many paying guests and hostels, so accommodation is not an issue in Kolkata.

First impression. First day, formalities etc.

My first impression of the place can be very nicely summed up in one word. Busy. Everyone was busy. The doctors were busy tending to their patients, the accountants were busy with their work managing the accounts. Everyone was working. The place seemed busier than a beehive.

The first person I met was Dr. Minakshi Gangopadhay. She was the person who started the NGO in the first place to help the poor and the homeless.

She invited me into her office and inquired as to the reasons for me waning to intern at Maya Foundation. After that she introduced me to Mr. John Bagchi who was to be my supervisor. After that we sat down and thrashed out the details of my internship.

Main tasks (in detail)

Maya Foundation was in charge of a homeless shelter which provided free night time shelter to people sleeping on the streets at night. However it was seen that despite being aware of the facilities provided, many people still seemed to prefer sleeping on the streets.

It was my job to interview these people to find out exactly why they continued to sleep on the streets despite being given a different alternative. I was required to conduct the interviews, form a report and suggest legal remedies for the problem.

Work environment, people

The work environment was extremely informal but extremely industrious as well. Everyone seemed to be personally acquainted with everyone else.

Everyone especially Mr. Bagchi was very helpful. He personally took me to the homeless shelter and introduced me to the administration. He even helped me prepare the questionnaire and told me which areas to go to to get the best results.

Best things? (Nothing is all bad)

The people. Everyone was ready to help, be it with a quick tip  or with just a friendly cup of tea at the end of a long day.

Bad things? (Nothing is all good)

The timings. You could be called up any time of the week. The organization worked 24/7 and you were expected to do the same.

What did you do to chill? Co-interns, colleagues

Nothing much. We generally used to sit together and have tea and biscuits.

Stipend/month

No stipend

Anything else you’d like to tell; Biggest lessons:

No matter what you work for be it any firm or office or NGO, you should always take your internship seriously. NGO’s are related with the lives of many people, NGO’s internships are not to be taken lightly and one should give his or her best while interning in any NGO.

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