Daily Winner for: – 14th August 2012
Name of the intern: – Tanvi
Institute: – Jaypee University of Engineering & Technology
Organization interned with: – HelpAge India
Editor’s note: Do check out Tanvi’s video about her internship at the end of her article!
This summer saw me doing something I had always wanted to do: work with an NGO. This particular NGO turned out to be HelpAge India, a national level NGO that works towards the welfare of senior citizens helping them fight isolation, poverty and neglect. How successful the internship was is evident from the fact that I have almost convinced my father to open a day care center for the elderly in the future.
I always used to think that a rich man had a wonderful old age with all the required comforts. However, my numerous field visits during that one month helped me overcome this myth. Old age is universal. No matter which country, class or religion you belong to, at the end of the day you are left at the mercy of the people around you when your body stops listening to your brain. I visited both paid as well as government aided old age homes. I won’t hesitate to say that the people who are the reason for our existence, their existence seemed least important. The never ending wait for their loved ones, that ‘temporary’ smile on their face on seeing a visitor and that want for death, disheartened me. Loneliness is what kills them, not old age. There were times when the HelpAge Office seemed more of a film set because the things I had seen only in movies were happening right in front of my eyes. I remember a well-read old lady’s visit who had come seeking legal help to get rid of her son and daughter-in-law who not only ill-treated her but also beat her at times!
The best part of the internship, however, was the team I got to work with. Despite the fact that I was 7 years younger to the youngest employee, I was treated at par with the rest and my opinion mattered as much. HelpAge India has innumerable programs like SAVE, Ayush MMU and ‘Save a Grandparent’ that are helping the poor senior citizens to become self sustainable and most importantly lead a respectable life. The evening hours were happy hours. All the grandmas and grandpas of nearby areas would drop in for physiotherapy and other physical fitness activities under the guidance of Dr. Joshi. Their chats covered all possible topics and various life experiences. To hear them chat, gave me immense pleasure. That is when I realized the true essence of the phrase ‘young at heart’. :)
All in all this internship turned out to be more eventful then I had ever thought. It gave me a lifetime of experiences and associations and above all, my true call. This summer could not have been better! P.S: There is a movie I have made on this internship and I would like to share it with everyone.
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