Name, College and Year
Aryaman Kaushik, 4th Semester, UPES School Of Law, Dehradun
Name, Address and Timings of Organisation, Team Strength
GOONJ, Head Office- J-93, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi-110076, Phone Number: 011-41401216, 26972351, Email: mail[at]goonj.org.
Timings: Monday-Saturday 10.00 AM- 5.00 PM (Sunday closed) (Call & Material Dropping)
Apart from me, there were 6 more volunteers working in the same branch- of different age groups. A batch of 6 more interns joined on my last day
Duration of Internship
You can intern for any duration. I did a four-week internship from 1st June 2019 to 1st July 2019.
How to apply?
To intern, please contact them on email. There is a rigorous selection process. You’ll be asked to write on the initiatives that are run by Goonj and also about the tasks you’d like to take up in the due course of the internship.
Once you’ve formulated your strategy you’ll be called for a personal or for a telephonic interview depending upon your availability.
First Day Formalities, First Impressions
This was my third internship in an NGO and fifth in total. I had previously interned in Parwarish that is an NGO for parenting and in Sshrishti which is an NGO working for the underprivileged and the downtrodden. I had great working experience and both of my internships were fruitful.
‘GOONJ’ is founded by Mr. Anshu Gupta who is an Indian Social Entrepreneur, awarded Magsaysay Award for his work on transforming the culture of giving in India and for highlighting material as a sustainable development resource for the poor.
He’s popularly known as the ‘Clothing Man’. Forbes Magazine has listed him as one of India’s most powerful rural entrepreneurs.
‘GOONJ’ envisions to grow as an idea across regions, economies and countries using urban discard as a tool to alleviate poverty and enhance the dignity of the poor in the world.
Address basic but neglected issues of the poor by involving them in evolving their own solutions with dignity and urban material as a reward. It offers a sustainable economic model for eliminating poverty and related issues.
I met Ms. Bitopi and Ms. Harshie on my first day. I had a brief meeting with them where they discussed the strategy I had formulated.
I was given an orientation regarding my responsibilities and how to fulfil them. I was told that I’ll be working in the processing centre for three days and we discussed the tasks that I’ll be taking up in the due course of my internship. My working hours were from 10 AM to 5 PM.
I worked in the Processing Centre for the first week. I was given the task of shadowing where I was assigned a worker and had to become his shadow for the entire day and help him in his day to day activities.
I worked in different units like book sorting unit, clothes sorting unit and learnt about the kind of work that is done in each of these units. I used to interact with the male and female workers working there too which gave me a good learning experience.
I started formulating a strategy for the urban and rural campaigns that Goonj has taken up. I worked for this initiative called ‘Spread the Sight’ where we encouraged people to donate their old spectacles and sunglasses to us which will in return be donated to the villages- to people in need after cataract surgeries.
I did few location recces and zeroed down a place called Ballimaran in Chandni Chowk which is a wholesale spectacles/sunglasses market. I had to set up donation boxes there and create awareness for this initiative.
I was simultaneously working for another initiative called ‘NJPC’(Not Just A Piece Of Cloth) where we had to collect katran from different places that were then used in making sanitary napkins that are then distributed across India.
This has been made possible as Goonj has established a system in cities where households can contribute their old cotton or semi cotton clothes.
The workforce then follows a nine-step system to create the pads from the clothes received. Then these MY Pad is used as a tool to open up discussions on the issue of menstruation, thus breaking the culture of shame and silence around women who can take the initiative towards their personal health and hygiene like the nutrition garden, private space for bathing and changing pads.
I was also a part of two collection camps that were conducted in Gurgaon and Chanakyapuri respectively. These camps were conducted keeping in mind the havoc created by cyclone Fani in Odisha.
I also formulated a social media plan for Goonj and also did the Transcript work.
Interning in Goonj has by far been an enriching learning experience for me. The type of work I was doing was different and unique. I had the freedom of being creative and think out of the box which helped in my overall character development.
I got to work and interact with people coming from different backgrounds working for various social causes which helped me discover myself and also played a significant role in building important qualities like empathy, humility, patience, and optimism. Putting in these hours of constructive work in the NGO has been both interesting and challenging.
On my last day, I had a formal interaction with Mr. Anshu Gupta (Founder Goonj). There’s a lot to learn from him. He broadened my perspective towards various issues that were present in society and how young minds like us can tackle it and contribute towards the betterment of society.
He also told me as to how important it is to enhance your skillsets and how skill-based volunteering allows you to use your existing skills to give your contribution to the society and in the process, you learn and develop both soft and technical skills.
I strongly recommend every student to take up at least one internship with a genuine NGO like Goonj. You can expect to use all your skills optimally as you are likely to be given a lot of responsibilities. Though this can be challenging and force you out of your comfort zone, however, it can be hugely empowering too and you are likely to surprise yourself about your capabilities.
How to reach
To reach Goonj you can take the metro to Jasola Vihar Shaheen Bagh Metro Station. Once you get down to take an e-rickshaw for J-Pocket. The charges are Rs.30. If you need to go to the processing centre then take a left on your way to Madanpur Khadar Village.
Since my parents had just shifted to Delhi, I had no issues pertaining to accommodation. For those from outside, best would be to take a PG at Sarita Vihar in K-Pocket. The Goonj Head Office is a 5-minute walk from there.
No stipend, considering it’s an NGO and they are usually unpaid internships. You will have to spend money on transportation and accommodation (if you do not belong to Delhi).