Submitted by Shreya Jain of Amity Law School, Delhi (IPU)
I did my summer internship at Rural Litigation Entitlement Kendra (RLEK), Dehradun which is a NGO. I was an intern there for a month and would like to share my experience with you.
The first few days
I would like to start with the very first day of my internship at the NGO which I would say was very boring. The working hour for the interns was 10 a.m.- 5 p.m from Monday to Saturday and we were made to sit in the library.
When I started going there, the previous batch was in their last days of internship and I was shocked to see that most of the interns were busy watching movies, downloading movies or gossiping.
While I even interacted with a few who told me about their field work and other things they did at the NGO. My first impression towards the NGO wasn’t very good because I was given no work to do during the first few days in spite of asking the faculty for work plus whatever I saw there.
Initially, I was given a work which was to sort all the visiting cards of different organisations and people and compile them on the computer.
The new batch
However when the new batch came (5 days after I joined), instructions regarding the work were given to the whole batch and a meeting was also held which was addressed by Mr. Avdhash Kaushal who is the founder of the NGO where he told us about the NGO and the works it had done.
While the instructions were being given, we were specifically told that whoever wanted to work had to come to the faculty and ask for some work. This being my first internship, I was very enthusiastic to work and try different things.
There were around 30-40 interns and we all were divided into groups, each group with different tasks like:
Group 1: Field Work
Group 2: Adult Education
Group 3: Photography
Group 4: Research work
Group 5: Web designing
Group 6: Editorial
The Adult Education Group
My group was Group 2 i.e. Adult Education; we were a group of 3 girls.
We were to research and make tools for the adult education for the use by the State Resource Centre (SRC) and my topics were:
a. Rights, duties and roles of citizen of India.
b. Sexual Harassment.
c. Domestic Violence.
I prepared 3 different charts for my topic which were to be made in Hindi and had to be colourful with lots of pictures so that it is easier for the illiterate adults to understand and also to arise interest among them.
This work done by me was very much appreciated by the SRC department for which I even received a Letter of Appreciation.
I started enjoying my work there as we were given all kinds of help for making the adult education tools which included providing all the stationery, reading material, bare acts and so on; plus my work was also appreciated which encouraged me to work.
Laws and Reforms
While making these tools, I came to know various provisions under different acts like Bonded Labour (abolition) Act, Maternal Benefits Act, 1961; Factories Act, 1948; Minimum Wages Act, 1948; Labour Act, Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, Constitution of India, etc.
An interactive session was organised by the NGO which was addressed by Justice Madan Lokur on e-reforms in the judiciary. Where he discussed the three pronged approach which shall help in removing the backlog of cases and corruption in the judicial system and also gave information on e-governance.
We were against divided into various groups for preparing and presenting a PPT on electoral reforms. All the groups were heard one by one and valid points were taken from each PPT which was later on compiled and the final report was later submitted to the Election Commission.
I also participated in the debating competition which was held on the World Population Day, organised by the NGO. A play was also performed by the interns for recognizing the World Population Day.
The Verdict I
RLEK usually prefers an internship for 1 complete month, however many students do it for 3 weeks also.
As an intern, I enjoyed my internship at RLEK and learnt a lot there. There were many people who came there just for internship certificated and came to the NGO for either gossiping or downloading movies.
The faulty made it very clear at the beginning that those who wanted to learn something should themselves approach the faculty and ask for work.
Lunch time was given from 1:30 p.m.- 2:30 p.m. and those who had their lunch in the mess had to wash their own utensils and dishes after having lunch.
The lunch which is provided is of a good quality and the best part was that fresh lichis were provided along with the lunch. There were a lot of lichi trees around during the lunch break; a basket full of lichis was kept on the table for everyone to eat.
Field Work and Bunks
Many outside Dehradun interns came there for internship who also had to go for field words to different places. The bad part was that these interns were not provided with any transport facility by the NGO and it was difficult for them to locate the villages they had to go to.
Many interns even bunked or went for side scenes in the name of field work and submitted a wrong report for the same. There was no one to check that. However, other works done apart from the field work were checked thoroughly.
The Verdict II
In the end, I would like to say that RLEK is a very good NGO for those who actually want to learn something and are willing to work.
Rest, for those who are there just for the certificate, it is a good place for them as well because there is no one to keep a check on them and also the weather of Dehradun is just too awesome to roam around.
On the whole, my internship experience at RLEK was very satisfactory and I learnt a lot of things there.
Everyone there was very helpful. However, I feel that Saturday should be an off; still, sometimes we managed to make it a half-day for ourselves by working more during the first half.
The entry was a part of the Summer Internship Experience Writing Competition organized by LexisNexis and Lawctopus. MyLaw.net was the learning partner for the competition.