College: – Indira Gandhi Institute of Technology
Organization interned with : – Institute of Social Studies Trust
How did I spend my 1st internship stipend?
“The summer had just begun, and Haldiram’s at CP was brimming with more energy than usual, because right in the centre was a table of a gang of girls creating a ruckus (p.s. we call it catching up with the best friends from the school days).
So there we were, talking of NGOs, internships, life in general, and suddenly we were discussing of doing something meaningful, together, believe me stipend was the last thing on our minds. You can call it a fluke, because one of us was interning with ISST at that time and wanted a few more people on board, and we the model dutiful friends obviously complied.
Before we knew, we were sitting in a Mudrika bus that would take us to the remotest of the villages and slum clusters in Shahbad Dairy, Narela, and Kirari amongst the other districts of North West Delhi. It was surreal, it was Delhi you usually don’t get to see and know. We didn’t know what to expect, just knew that we were together in this. We had to survey the women in these households to find the extent of implementation of the Gender Resource Centers in these areas.
Now, allow me to be rhetorical, how would you feel if I tell you that most of us have been living our lives wearing a blindfold. The shock we felt on surveying the women in these households was actually palpable, each day for them was a new challenge, bereft of electricity, clean water and with houses sans bathrooms, still hell bent on overlooking these glitches in their lives. Still trying to get their daughters the best education possible, trying to form entrepreneurial units to help the men in their houses with extra salary, most of them were laborers.
It is experiences like these that give you the right perspective. We may whine and moan all we want about the hardships in life, but these are nothing compared to the travails that thousands of less privileged people go through each day while we are bickering about the fallacies of the new government in power. These are our real crusaders.
I did not earn much stipend, whatever I got was a reimbursement of the expenses that were incurred in covering over two hundred households spanning five villages over the duration of two weeks in north west Delhi, but the experience and the social awareness that got cultivated in me gave more satisfaction than any hard earned money.
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