Internship @ Rajagiri outREACH Kalamassery, Ernakulam: Work with the elderly, special kids

Name of the organisation

Rajagiri outREACH Kalamassery, Ernakulam

Duration

28th April 2014 to 16th may 2014

The Internship experience

As part of our course we the first semester BA,LLB (Hons) Criminology students of Government Law College Ernakulam had a fifteen day internship programme.

Since we were the first semester students our internship was to work with an NGO (rather than law firm) so that we could understand the society we live in a better way.

Our college authorities made the arrangements for our internship at Rajagiri outREACH. As the area we had to cover during this programme was somewhat near to our college our accommodation was not a problem.

We were not given any stipend for the internship, further we had to bring our own meals. The whole internship programme can be divided in to three parts.

1) ” Pakalveedu” visit

2)  Surveys

3) ” Souhrudham” camp

Pakalveedu visit

“Pakalveedu” is the Malayalam word meaning “day time home”. The idea of “Pakalveedu” was to provide a day care home for the elderly .

The “Pakalveedu” we visited was at Kothad, Ernakulam. The inmates were elderly people who were alone at home during day time as their family members go out for various activities like work, schooling etc.

The aim of “Pakalveedu” is to provide these lonely elderly a time of enjoyment with their peers.

It was the time I realised the difficulties of old age like weakening of body, muscular pain, memory loss, hearing problems etc. I understood the pain of being left alone from their words.

Surveys

The second major event was survey. We were divided in to a group of six students each and each group had to survey sixty houses each from two wards of Kalamassery municipality.

The survey was aimed at finding the availability of basic facilities like water, roads etc in those areas along with other social conditions. We had to fill survey forms by communicating with family members.

The area which we got for survey was in a very remote place where even buses were rarely available. The most tiresome part of our internship was the long walks.

When our team members are cool, funny and enthusiastic the long walks become entertaining.

I really enjoyed the 2 – 3 km walk everyday as they were thrilling (walking in a remote place for the first time in your life along with people in your same condition is really thrilling), funny (when one of your team member is being chased by a dog while others laugh out loudly) and entertaining (when one of your teammate starts flirting with a girl passing by and others start coughing hard and the shout at him).

The plight of family living in two cent and four cent colonies welled our eyes. For the first time in my life, I saw a family of two living in a one room house.

The visit to a family were both the kids suffered autism made us cry. The facts that I understood from this experience are:

1. Fate sometimes play villain in many lives

2. Poverty in many families are created by irresponsible, drunken fathers ( here man himself determine his fate)

3.  Never forget to thank the Almighty for what we have

Souhrudham Camp

“Souhrudham” is the Malayalam word meaning friendship. This three day camp was organised by Rajagiri outREACH for children around the age of 5 – 17.

The theme of the camp was Family Farming which was one of the UN themes of the year 2014.

We interns were the teachers for those 200 kids who participated in the camp.

The children were divided in to groups and many programmes were organised to educate and entertain them.

On the second day of camp we ourselves prepared  “PAYASAM” (a special dish of Kerala which is distributed at the time of happiness). This event inculcated a team spirit among the kids.

The time we spent with the kids actually brought back the good old days of childhood. It reminded as that the best part of our life is the innocence of childhood.

Conclusion

The whole internship programme was an eye opener. It made me realised the condition of people belonging to lowest class of the society.

It gave me a new angle to view upon the society, one with more concern, love and care for others.

Further I found the words of Paulo Coelho “when you really want to achieve something the whole world conspires you to achieve it”(The Alchemist) manifesting infront of me.

lexisnexis lawctopus collaborationThe entry was a part of the Summer Internship Experience Writing Competition organized by LexisNexis and Lawctopus. MyLaw.net was the learning partner for the competition.

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