Internship Experience @ Narmada Bachao Andolan, Barwani, MP: Worked under the direct guidance of Medha Patkar Ma’am!

internship narmada bachjao andolan medha patkar

About the Interns

  1. Anchit Jain, 3rd year BBA. LLB (Hons.), ICFAI University, Dehradun (Uttarakhand)
  2. Sanjana Chhetri, 3rd year B.A. (Political Science), Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi
  3. Satya Prakash, 3rd yearB.A. (Hons.), Cluster Innovation Center, University of Delhi

Duration of Internship

1 Month

Office Name and Address           

Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), Barwani office, Barwani (Madhya Pradesh)

Application Process

We asked our companions to get there. Otherwise, you can do mail to Rahul Bhaiya on

Satya came through Sambhavna Institute, Himachal Pradesh.

First Impression

A house’s all rooms filled with files, records and documents. It’s the common feature of every room there. Other interns will welcome you. The same house is office also. The supreme-cum-disciple-cum-public figure Medha Patkar Ma’am (Tai) will be there for interacting with you.

NBA follows a timetable and the work begins at 6 in the morning. Tai can be seen writing the docs at 4 or 5 AM also. They will provide you with food, accommodation and transportation. Yes’ they do not charge.

Other Andolankaris from the local vicinity are also there. The interns are from different courses like Arts, Literature, Journalism, Social Works, Engineering, Law etc. Hence, the work allotted as per the interest of the intern, which is guided by Tai and the work details discussed in the morning meetings.

Work Environment and People

  1. Work should be very properly, conclusively, systematically done.
  2. One must be very clear with the given instructions and confusions regarding the work should be asked very specifically in the morning meeting or whenever the work is assigned otherwise it’ll be a trouble. We recommend clearing the objective behind the work so that it can become more visible.
  3. Tai herself gives the orientation session regarding the journey of NBA and situation of Sardar Sarovar Dam. That will cover up all the plans and policies. The internship will run on this orientation, so attending it very carefully and clear all the doubts are important.
  4. Other interns and workmen/ Karyakarta were always there to help and guide.
  5. Once we went to encounter sand mafia group and to catch them red-handed but as expected the situation worsened and we landed into an argument and mafia was trying to snatch our instruments and devices but then there I saw the power, command and control of Andolan and its flag.
  6. We attended protest marches and did ‘Gheraav, Jal satyagraha and Rallies’ against the government officials. these silent tools are accessed because Andolan follows Gandhi’s philosophy and when the authorities stopped responding to the affected families then these kinds of marches boost the Andolan always.
  7. Sticking to a diary and Black Gel floating pen is a basic tip, that should be brought in every morning meetings necessarily.
  8. A lot of chances to learn and file RTIs as it is a very important tool for sourcing the authentic information from government records that can back up arguments.
  9. A lot of villages and Resettlement & Rehabilitation (R&R) sites are affected. These sites are planned and announced by govt. for shifting the affected families to a safer place but visiting these sites help me understood the difference of govt. policy on paper and in reality. We were sent to villages for survey and data collection to understand the gravity of the situation.  People, there are very accommodative and provided us with food and accommodation. Once, we also organised a trip to the tribal villages of Bhitada and Bhadal where we rode a boat for crossing the river Narmada. The internship was full of adventure, track, survival, organic life and living Gandhian philosophy. Out of the 4 weeks, we spent 1 on the field.
  10. All the interns, twice in a week, went for an evening walk and that’s a package full of chill and fun. You can go and feed yourself because in the house the food is for survival only. Once, Kesar maai who cooks for the family served Nimaricuisine also.
  11. The best part is the lunch invitations. Villagers do invite as soon as they receive their compensation. In 4 weeks we went 5 times for Dal- Baati food platter.
  12. The timetable is very clear that, sleep at night and work all day. One can see Tai working until 1 AM and then resuming at 4 AM again. 20 hours, at least a day. Interns work for at least 15- 18 hours a day and that’s the most refreshing part.
  13. The environment is very bookish there as Tai created her own library in a room, accessible to everyone and in the evening people from institutions like JNU, NLU or other prime universities can be found debating and discussing on any topic. One can get a brilliant level of exposure because interns there are from every corner of the nation sometimes international also. Very enriching, indeed it is.


They have endless work.

  1. In the legal team, drafting is the primary task. One can draft petitions as many as he can. There are ample cases. We drafted petitions, criminal complaints, summarization of NGT orders, NHRC complaints, Affidavits and so many applications. We have to maintain our speed and this is the work which we were doing all the time. Tai personally checks the petitions and corrects them.
  2. As the members of the legal team, we had to go to police stations for lodging FIRs and discussing with cops. We also went to met authorities and judges for concerned purposes.
  3. We got to attend the proceeding in Labor Commission and Grievance Redressal Authority at Indore and there I saw Tai pleading before the bench. That moment I can’t forget as Medha Patkar was pleading herself and she’s still so energetic in her olds.
  4. We addressed villages for their participation and activeness in the Andolan and discussed social causes.
  5. Writing press notes, translation, data sorting, segregation, record keeping, photography, videography, editing, site visiting, surveying, sampling, social media handing, promotion, public addressing etc. are works which can be given as per the interest and field of the intern.

Good things

  1. Totally relevant work
  2. Directly working with Medha Tai and learning from her.
  3. Exposure
  4. Table and field work
  5. Adventure
  6. Exploring
  7. Understanding Andolan’smechanism
  8. Organic life in the Gandhian way for the whole period
  9. Different Cuisine
  10. Learning and Chill at a time

Bad things

  1. Heavy workload
  2. Confusions in work
  3. Misty instructions



Accommodation, Food and Transportation

They’ll provide and it’s free.

It’s kind of a Barter which can’t ever match up.

internship narmada bachjao andolan medha patkar

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.

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