Your Name, College, Year of Study, Email ID

Anonymous

Name of Organisation, Location city, Team Strength

Counsel to Secure Justice (CSJ), GK-I, New Delhi. The total team strength was about twenty.

Application Process with contact details

The application process is fairly simple. Applicants are required to mail their CV along with a writing sample at: engage@csjindia.org

This would be followed by a telephonic interview.

Duration of internship and timings

June 13, 2016 – July 5, 2016

First impression, first day formalities, infrastructure

I was told to arrive at 9, but I reached a little early to be on the safer side. The office was extremely neat and organized. It was also well decorated with colourful curtains and paper butterfiles to ensure children who came in for counselling and other purposes felt comfortable.

On my first day I was introduced to all the members of the Research team. The day began with a morning meeting (this is a part of their daily routine) where everyone gave inputs on what they were working on.

Following this, I was taken to the research room and briefed about the tasks that I was going to be assigned.

I was also given a copy of the POCSO and Juvenile Justice Act, and was told to read both the legislations carefully as they were relevant to the work that was being carried out in the office.

Main tasks

CSJ is a non-profit organisation which provides legal and psycho-social support to child victims of sexual abuse.

Interns in the research team are primarily required to assist the team in preparing reports recording and analysing the data collected by them during their work.

I was required to work on the database maintained by the team and verify information in the database on the basis of the detailed case records maintained by them, as well as the chargesheet filed in each case.

I was also given the task of preparing transcripts of a few client interviews that had been conducted. These tasks may vary on the basis of the work undertaken by the research team at a particular point of time.

At the end of my first week, CSJ had organised a two-day police-training camp to sensitise child-welfare police officers about the procedural portions of POCSO and Juvenile Justice Act.

Interns were required to help with miscellaneous tasks such as arranging the venue, guiding the police officers to the venue, checking the scores of a test conducted for the officers, etc. which was a lot of fun.

The session itself was well organised, and was conducted by social workers and lawyers who discussed various aspects of the legislations.

Work environment and people

The work in CSJ is divided between three teams-

(i) Pscho-social team: This consists of social workers who are generally the first ones to receive information about new cases. After receiveing information about a case, they conduct a home visit to talk to the child and his/her parents/relatives to gather details about the case and brief them about CSJ’s services.

The social workers are required to assist the child and his/her family in pursuing the case in court. There is also a counsellor in the team who provides regular counselling to the child victim.

(ii) Legal team: This team consists of lawyers, who assist the public prosecutor in the case. They also ensure that they are constantly in touch with the child victim and the family, by calling them to the office to inform them about the details regarding their case, and to prepare them for their examination-in-chief, and cross-examination.

(iii) Research Team: This team primarily documents the work done by the other two teams, and uses the data to analyse how POCSO has been implemented, and to prepare various reports to give their reccommendations.

The work is well divided between these three teams, and thus the work environment though relaxed, is highly organised.

Although I was working with the research team, I had quite a few opportunities to interact with the lawyers and social workers. All of them were extremely friendly, interactive, and fun to work with.

Best things

The best thing was the interaction that I had with various people in the office, which gave me an insight into the significance of the work they were doing.

Whenever children came to the office for their counselling/testimony preparation, everyone got together to make sure that the child felt at ease. Once, for instance when a child came in for his counselling session, all the workers decided to give him a surprise by getting a cake for him as it was his birthday the next day.

Such simple gestures displayed by all the members of CSJ’s team definitely reflects their committment to their work, and such experiences were the best part of my internship.

Apart from this, there are amazing food joints near the office so students staying in PG’s need not worry, you will easily get great food at reasonable prices.

Bad things

There were no bad things.

Stipend

There was no stipend.

Biggest Lessons

The primary reason why I had decided to intern at CSJ, was because of my interest in the area of providing legal aid to victims of sexual abuse.

However, my first few days were quite difficult as I often felt disturbed after reading the case records about each client.

This made me realize that one needs to have extreme emotional as well as psychological strength to guide victims of abuse, particularly child victims and to provide support to them.

Any Other Thing

Ideal for first and second year students, basic knowledge of IPC and CrPC may prove to be helpful.

They also have a legal fellowship programme for law graduates, click HERE.

Accommodation

I did not require a PG as I am I Delhi-ite, however PG facilities are available nearby as the office is located close to Lady Shri Ram College.

Office Timings

The office starts sharp at 9:00 a.m and ends at 6:00 p.m. The timings are strict, and interns are also told to adhere to it.

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