Internship Experience @ HelpAge India, Kolkata: An Eye-opener Aabout the Realities the Elderly Face

Your Name, College, Year of Study, Email ID

Kanchan Yadav, South Calcutta Law College, 4th Year

Name of Organisation, Location city, Team Strength

HelpAge India, Kolkata. They have two offices in different location, each with 10-12 working members.

Application Process with contact details

You have to send in your CV to [email protected].

If you don’t get any reply within a week, you can call the office at 033-22492526.

Alternatively you can just call the office and ask for Anuradha Madam. If she likes your CV, she’ll ask you to send in a recommendation letter from your college principal/HOD.

Duration of internship and timings

25th May-23rd June, 2016. 30 days.

First impression, first day formalities, infrastructure

I was asked to come in at ten on the first day. However, locating the office is hard. I had to ask around quite a lot. They asked me to wait till Anuradha Ma’am comes in, and handed me water. Anuradha Ma’am came in sharp at 10.30.

She asked me about my interests in law, politics and also in other areas in general. She also wanted to know why I chose HelpAge in particular.

After that, she told me to report to their Chetla office, where I was assigned to work with their mobile medical unit. I was to go out with the unit, collect reports and do case studies.

I went by the Chetla office that day itself, and talked to Satamita Di who is in charge there. She told me to come in next day at nine.

Main tasks

In the mobile medical unit duty, the MMU van used to travel to two sites per day, different sites each day of the week. I used to help out the pharmacist and the doctor, both of them were very helpful and very nice. I used to do case studies, write registers, took stock of medicines, etc.

Back in the main office there is almost no task for interns. We were asked to participate in an awareness program. Anuradha Ma’am had me doing a report about the legal situation and battles of elderly people in India, and what additional legal measures can be implemented.

There was also one health camp in Kolaghat, for which I was asked to make an exception and go there on a Sunday.

Work environment and people

The one week MMU duty was a bit hard, as the Chetla office was far from my home and I had to spend a lot of hours commuting. The MMU duty is also very taxing, as you have to sit in the hot MMU van all day, and there is barely enough time to get lunch.

However, the people of HelpAge the very best. If you are a little sincere about your job, everyone is going to love you. They also have interns from almost all over India, so you get to meet a lot of new people.

Best things

Definitely the people. Everyone made me feel at home from the very first day. Also the workload of the main office is almost nil, and I had a lot of day off, which is always nice.

After I finished my report, they gave it a lot of thought and discussed possible solutions for the legal problems of elderly people. So your work is not just a formality which ends up getting dumped somewhere.

Bad things

Nothing as such. But the health camp in Kolaghat was a bit too much in my opinion. Kolaghat is almost four hours away from Kolkata, everything considering; and as I had never gone to that route before, had to face a lot of hassles.

Not to mention that the environment there wasn’t exactly very friendly for a woman travelling alone.



Biggest Lessons

The internship was an eye-opener for me about how much hurdles our elderly citizens face.

Old women who are barely capable of walking used to walk two hours just to get free medicine from HelpAge, and they were always so grateful for it. This made me feel guilty for being privileged.

Any Other Thing

One thing to mention is that, they do not hand you out the internship certificate the day you finish. The certificates are sent from the Delhi office, so they take quite a bit of time.

It took me more than two weeks. As I live nearby, I went there to pick it up. However, if you live outstation, they will mail you a scanned copy.


I stay in Kolkata itself so I traveled from home. However, the office is located near Sealdah area and you can find lots of PG nearby.

Office Timings

I was assigned to work in the mobile medical unit of Chetla office for one week. The unit leaves the office at 9 and comes back at around 4. On its way back they used to drop me at any convenient location.

After that I went back to the main office, and the environment was pretty relaxed there for the interns. Anuradha Ma’am asked me to come in for 2-3 days a week at most, and work for 3-4 hours.



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