Internship Experience @ People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Jaipur: Field Trips, Surveys and Workshops

Intern Details

Name – Anuj Jain

Name of the College – National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS), Kochi

Year of Study – 1st Year B.A L.L.B(Hons.)

Duration of the Internship

November 26, 2015 – December 23, 2015

In my first internship, I was placed at People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Jaipur.

About the Organisation

The organisation fights for Human Rights and Civil Liberties of the citizens covering mainly slums, villages, economical and social backward section of the society who are unaware of their rights and at the same time cannot approach legal aid.

This is the ideal place for a first semester law student since it covers both legal as well as brings you closer to ground reality of the Human rights issues.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

Application could be directed via e-mail to either [email protected] or [email protected] (Kavita Srivastav, President, PUCL Jaipur).

Internship Period

The internship period is a minimum of 4 weeks with a day or two holidays in the middle. It could be more if you are lucky.

No holidays on Sunday per se.

Accomodation

Accommodation is very easy and accessible. There are many PGs near and around the PUCL Office.

If you get accepted, you’ll get an acceptance letter along with the contact details of one of the administrative staffs who will help you with accommodation.

First Day

On my first day, I reported the Office at 9:30 am. I was supposed to register and write a written application form. The office is small since it runs from the it’s own pocket. It hardly constituents to work as majority of the work is done outside the office.

Work Environment

The work environment is very good. I met a lot of people from other colleges from India as well as abroad. This helped me make new friends and meet a diverse set of people.

I also met a lot of senior activists whose work is both commendable and inspiring. Apart from work, its fun to travel with the other interns.

Work Experience

The experience varies day to day. I went for field trips, surveys, workshops and attended various sessions by reputed activists.

Following is a highlight of my 4 weeks internship:

  • Session on declining sex ratio by Center for Advocacy and Research. The session was based on the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCBNDT) Act, 1994 which provides safeguards to prevent female infanticide. Followed by a field trip where we visited Diagnostic centers and gathered opinions from different doctors on the PCPNDT Act, 1994.
  • Visit to Ajmer along with members of the Law Commission of Bangladesh to analyse the functioning of Food Security Act, 2013. The Chairman Justice A.B.M Khairul Haque was also present. Visited various Ration Shops and its Customers for the survey.
  • Workshop on ‘Emerging identities, increasing control and violence against women’ by Mrinal Gore Interactive Center for Social Justice and Peace in South Asia.
  • Session by a member of Rajasthan Human Rights Commission on the structure and functioning of National Human Rights Commission.
  • Workshop on ‘Using Law on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights’ by Human Rights Law Network, Delhi. The interns had a personal conversation with the founder Colin Gonsalves. We were also taught how to file a PIL.
  • Session by various activists on the ignored impacts of Globalisation in India and the other side of Naxalites in Chattisgarh.
  • A Homeless Nights Survey was conducted where interns were supposed to collect stats of the number of Homeless from all over the city.
  • Visited Umang, a school which helps  children with disabilities by enabling them to achieve their potential and mainstreaming them to become self-reliant and participate in the society.
  • Visited the Lokadalat and experienced the proceedings.
  • Visited the High Court and the District Court and experienced the proceedings.
  • PUCL sat on a Dharna outside the Police HQ against the inefficiency of the Police Department of which the interns were a part of.
  • Session on Sexuality by ‘Nazariya’ which also covered Section 377 of IPC and its related judgments.
  • Session with Mr. Ramesh, a famous film director who directs movie potraying Social Issues. Saw movies like ‘Jai Bheem’ on atrocities of Dalits, ‘The Final Solution’ on Gujarat Riots, ‘Red Ant’s Maati ke lal’ on the Naxalite movies etc. It tells you about the ground level hidden situations of the country.
  • Visited a small village called ‘Rathodin ki Dhani’ near Ajmer where the villagers’ land has alleged to be falsely acquired by the Government. On the legal aspect, this gave us an idea about the Land Acquisition Act.
  • Visited ‘Neem ka Thana’ village where people are suffering from the Factories of MNC’s.

These sessions and workshop not only made me familiar with the law but also made me introspect myself, my role in the society. Being among the privileged ones, I realised my duty. Some sessions also made me feel helpless, but also gave me hope for a change.

After every session and surveys we were asked to make a report on the same which is a good exercise to help us write research papers in the future.

Apart from sessions or surveys, we often had an interactive dialogue with Kavita ma’am on many contemporary issues and she helped us showcase a different picture of the activities around the world.

Although the internship is hectic, its worthwhile. You make a lot of contacts by the end of internship.

Bad Things

With all the good things also come the bad things.

The Internship often got very hectic with almost 7 days a week.

There was no time flexibility.

We could be asked to report at any time of the day even at night. But the acceptance letter clearly cautioned us about this since the work required dedication.

Stipend

Although this internship doesn’t provide any monetary stipend, it provides something which no other internship could possibly provide, that is Hope. Hope that this world can still be a better place.

This Internship if nothing made me more sensitive towards various Social Issues.

There were often moments where I felt helpless while surveying the atrocities faced by the underprivileged and the forgotten section of the society. It made me learn to see a bigger picture of the activities and incidents around the world.

The contribution of the activists especially Mrs. Kavita Srivastav gave me hope, inspiration and a belief that humanity yet exists.

It made me realize what important role I  could play first, as an aspiring lawyer and then as a citizen. It made me realize my existence being among the privileged ones and how our little efforts will lead to a big difference as a whole. By the end of four weeks, if nothing I reformed into a better person.

This entry has been submitted for the LexisNexis-Lawctopus Internship Experience Writing Competition 2015-2016. iPleaders is the learning partner for this competition.

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