Internship Experience @ West Bengal State Legal Services Authority, Kolkata: Talk to Prisoners and Listen to their Stories

Your Name, College, Year of Study, Email ID

Kunal Dey

Name of Organisation, Location city, Team Strength

West Bengal State Legal Services Authority, City Civil Court Building, First Floor. Kolkata- 700001.

Application Process

The application process is cumbersome because it is a Government Organization. One needs to firstly send their respective CV`s to [email protected] along with a Recommendation letter from the Director or HOD of the College.

Follow up is necessary. I got the confirmation in my third week of the process.

Duration of internship and timings

1st June, 2014 to 27th June, 2014

First impression, first day formalities, infrastructure

I was asked to report in the office by 10:30 am, which I did but no one actually turned up untill 11:30. I was accompanied by another intern who was from Aligarh Muslim University, who was waiting since 10:00 am in the Lok Adalat room.

The office looked really nice. The Lok Adalat room was officially the intern room, opposite to the room of the Member Secretary. After waiting for almost an hour, an employee of the organization turned up and gave both of us two huge files consisting of materials on Jail visits and Juvenile Home visits. We both were asked to prepare a report on the same and submit it within a week.

Because it was my first internship, I was very serious with my work. Around 1:00 pm few more interns arrived. Out of them, 4 were of ICFAI, Dehradun and 1 from Amity Unversity, Noida. They had a good time for an hour or so after switiching on both the split ac`s in that medium sized room and left around 3:00 pm. Well, still like a dedicated child, continued my work till 5:00 pm.

Main tasks

We were often taken for jail visits, by the car of the Govt. of West Bengal and it really is a great feeling. I was working on Prisoner Rights and therefore I had to interact with alot of life convicts and under-trials. A small seminar was also hosted inside the Alipore Male Correctional Home premises.

We were also taken to Alipore Female Correctional Home and Juvenile Homes. We were asked to prepare a detailed report about the condition of correctional homes especially the sanitation and hygiene which did not even come close to be called humane.

We were also taken for Sessions Court, Magistrate Court and High Court visits to understand the procedure and hierarchy of the Indian Judicial system.

Work environment and people

The Member Secretary of West Bengal State Legal Services Authority and that of the District Legal Services Authority of South 24 Parganas were active and helpful at the same time.

It was because of their initiative that we made so many visits to the Correctional Homes and the Juvenile Homes, otherwise we would have ended up with just submitting our report at the end of our internship period to claim our certificate.

Best things

The Correctional Home visits. Getting to talk with the prisoners and listening to their stories and realising the most important fact of life, Freedom.

Bad things

No such bad things but I would have love to watch few more proceedings of Lok Adalat.

Stipend

No stipend.

Biggest Lessons

Life always offers you a Second Chance, its called tomorrow. This is what a life convict told me.

Read More

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