Internship Experience at Citizen Consumer and Civic Action Group, Chennai: Important Learnings

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Name of the Student, College, Year of Study

This is Shivani, a first-year law student studying at symbiosis law school Hyderabad.

I am giving my honest internship experience at CITIZEN CONSUMER AND CIVIC ACTION GROUP in Chennai as a first-year student.

Name, Full Address and Details of the Organization 

Citizen consumer and Civic Action Group

New #246 (Old #277B), TTK Road (J.J. Road), Alwarpet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600018, India

Phone Number: +91-44-2466 0387, +91-44-2499 4458

Email: helpdesk@cag.org.in

Opportunities: For jobs, internships, and volunteering opportunities, please write to at opportunities@cag.org.in

Duration of Internship

March 01 2021-March 30 2021

Internship Experience 

Being a first-year law student, I was looking for an internship opportunity at an NGO because as my mentor and many others in the field recommended it will help you to start off and gives wide exposure. But due to the on-going pandemic finding an internship was difficult. That is when I came across citizen consumer and civic action group NGO.

The NGO is situated in Chennai which works on wide range of consumer issues. The NGO came into existence in 1985 and has never failed to help consumers till date.

Their amazing work as listed on their website attracted me, because for so many years the NGO has sticked to its words and has helped many disadvantaged consumers who were unaware of consumer laws and has even contribute to making Chennai a better place to live. 

As a girl who lives in Chennai, I got to know Mrs Saroja, who leads the NGO’S consumer protection related work. As I live in Chennai, I could contact her personally but for others they can mail their cv to the above mail and they respond really quick, but applying at least before a month of the internship period will help.

Being a law graduate and a member of various consumer committees herself she is a great mentor. I had an interview with her through a call wherein she asked certain basic questions related to law and consumers in general and proceeded to explain their works. She even asked me on my interests and my opinion on the NGO’S works. Then I got immediately selected for a virtual internship for the period of March 01 to 31st 2021. It was an unpaid internship for a month exactly. 

First Day Formalities and Main Tasks

The formalities to join were pretty simple, I was connected with their office in charge who asked me to fill in some forms asking my basic details and asked me to maintain a excel sheet of the work that I complete on a regular basis, who also briefed me on my work and on their NGO. So, the work that I was asked to do include writing case summaries for important consumer cases and also on cases that the NGO works on.

Analysis reports on banking and insurance ombudsman: This included analysing the works, functioning and the cases dealt by the ombudsman and writing reports on the same.

I was also asked to write a paper on consumer rights and ecommerce as well as on consumer protection act 2019 and e commerce entities. Following the same I was also asked to summarise and analyse various consumer articles published in various platforms for their online newsletters and blogs.

Along with this I was given the opportunity to attend two webinars and meetings on their recent works and was asked to write a report the same. These reports were reviewed by Saroja mam herself, who appreciated when I did a good work and gave constructive criticisms on how to improve in case I went wrong. So, when my work was not of acceptable value, I used to work on it again keeping in mind the various feedbacks she gave and then got the approval.

On the other hand, as the international consumer protection day fell in the month of March, I was also assigned to Mrs. Savitha from their research team. She mentored me for a few days to work on data analysis on consumer-related issues, researching and writing reports on the same for the consumer day event, I was made to assist on the plastic project for the consumer day presentation that the NGO presented.

I was also given the opportunity to connect with many other researchers and was asked to work on Canva. I was also given the opportunity to attend the National webinar that the NGO conducted on consumer protection day.

So, apart from various legal work that I was assigned I was also assigned these extra works on weekends as part of the internship which helped me develop other skills. Mostly the weekends were off but certain weekends I was asked to work for the consumer protection day event. There is fixed time to work which is 9 to 5.

They have strict no phone policy which means you cannot use your phone for personal work in case you opt for physical internship this wasn’t applicable for me as it was online. On the other hand, you have to b punctual and finish the tasks within the deadline as they expect. 

Lessons Learned

The learnings were basic understanding as a first-year law student on how cases work in real life, great understanding on consumer laws and applicability in real life, huge researching related to consumer laws, knowing real life cases, exposure to drafting, understanding online work environment and functioning of work places.

It gave me immense exposure despite being an online internship and taught me a lot being a first-year student. It helped me learning other skills as well which include how to professionally communicate, attending meetings and taking minutes on the same, working on Canva and how to summarise documents easily.

I made a lot of contacts and learnt networking and how to work on word as well. But always opt for physical internships if it’s possible because it has its own advantages.

On the final day after submitting all my work I was asked to submit my work update to the office administrator, received feedbacks on how to improve my working skills and an appreciation mail from both my mentors from the NGO. I was also asked about my work experience and in case I have got anything for them to improve by the senior legal head Mrs Savitha mam. Post a few days I received a hard copy of my certificate of completion with such a beautiful review on me.

Anything Else?

Overall had a amazing work experience and learnt a lot and was always motivated to give my best throughout the process. My first legal internship gave me a beautiful insight to work experience without any doubt. 

Accomodation, Commuting to Office, Workplace

As I live in Chennai, I would also say that the NGO is situated in the hotspot of the city which has a lot of hangout spots, amazing restaurants and cafes and is even has shopping malls and is near to the famous Marina beach. The area has also got Oyo rooms and affordable PGs to stay.

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Disclaimer: We do not edit the internship experience submitted to maintain the originality of the intern’s experience.

Disclaimer: Internship Experiences are opinions shared by individual law students and tend to be personal and subjective in nature. The internship experiences shared on Lawctopus are NOT Lawctopus' official views on the internship. We also do not edit internship experiences (except to ensure readability) to ensure that the intern's voice remains intact.

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