Internship at Pratham NGO – Isha from Miranda House

Internship at Pratham NGO

Stop waiting for things to happen; go out and make them happen. Isha (the girl at the bottom left corner) is pursuing Social science and shares her wonderful experience of internship days.

I pressed the submit button. And a minute later, I wondered if I did the right thing. In the coming month I could study so hard that I beat the records. But that idea vanished as soon as it came to my mind. This is because every summer I thought this way, which never happened and somehow didn’t push me out of my comfort zone.

I got rejected earlier at two important interviews as I was too shy to handle the coy eyes of the interviewer. The situation embroiled me thinking that I will have to give the interview again. Perhaps, I thought, it was determinism working all the time.

A couple of days later, when the selected applicants were to be mailed, I spent all my day pondering if my application was powerful enough. By the night, with no new mail, I was completely shattered and broke into tears as if it was the end of my life. I slept with a choke down my chest with an exasperated feeling.

The voice of my dad shouting woke me. I checked one, twice, thrice. No new mails. This poignant feeling ended with an acceptance mail in the evening. I was tremendously happy but the dulcet voice if my left brain again wanted me to be safe and stay in my comfort zone. But I breathed and moved along the flow.

Days later I was called up by their coordinator. I wanted to be confident, so I faked it till I made it. This telephonic interview excited me although my stomach churned and my voice pitched louder while answering. I was overwhelmed. A few days later I received final mail mentioning the venue and timings and I jumped with the feeling of clearing an interview and the thought of my first internship.

The first day of the internship began with acting and singing and discussing but my shyness cocooned me. Also a ‘Ta- Ka- La- Ka’ which our head used to seek our attention. But what I did realize that it was the beginning of a new journey ahead. I met people from other universities and colleges having varied views and distinct backgrounds. The coordinators were happy to help with a big smile. A feeling of awe arose and I found a purpose of being there. Not only shedding my insecurities but also to help others as a part of our society.

The next day our task was to write and share our goals pictorially followed by formal mentoring of what and how we have to proceed through the weeks by following our deadlines. Later, we were allotted teams belonging to a particular area. I was delighted to meet my team members; Neha, Rohan and Dipali. We started devising our plans, sharing our life stories and laughter.

The first task for the first week was to gather information about the MCD schools and Anganwadi’s in the area given. We spread in pairs, in the summer heat and searched every nook and cranny for completing the task. Our day was spent talking to people, some of whom were happy to help while others reluctant to give information after hearing the fact that we were members of an NGO. I wasn’t too good at making new friends but Neha made me comfortable and I was glad to have her. Soaking up the heat wasn’t easy, but I realized I was contended rather than irritated. After mailing the review of the day to our coordinator, I felt proud to have finally stepped into the realm of facing real challenges by doing this internship. I peacefully slept with the same thought, that is of accomplishing at least some thing that day. This feeling multiplied in the days to come. I changed to believe in myself and was motivated to do my work. The leadership weekend was held in which we shared our experiences with other teams through presentations and discussions.

I ached for more tasks as the sleepy Sunday did not dissolve. Then it all came rushing and we started with another week with different set of tasks. I got to know more about Dipali and Rohan. Dipali was a senior and had done research for two years. I had so much to learn from her. It came to me as a thought that right now what we all are doing is actually collecting primary data or research and it was so much fun. Till then I had lacked a purpose of life. But this was a life changing moment. I decided that I would do research and I could contribute to the society this way as well. Despite all odds, I started working harder.

Day by day, I started doing bettering conversation with people and my team mates. I began my day with a clear mind, as I turned from short- tempered to humble. We would casually chat, tell our stories and jokes, laugh and comprehend yet being deeply focused. I learnt that play and work go hand in hand.

The next week we had to interview children and parents, in which I started improving my language in both English and Hindi. I became better with handling stress and deadlines and stopped procrastinating all together. I contributed a beautiful chart at the leadership weekend and felt endeared when it got maximum votes for the best and most lucid chart. We regaled followed by live musical performances and talks by known activists.

The last week was to get involved with the society at an even deeper level. We had to teach children English language. We met children zealous at the thought of learning English. But there was a major hurdle. We had to rush around finding a room to teach children for three long days. We searched community halls, parks (which are usually not safe), gurudwaras and places close to the area. At last we were happy to find a family who were happy to help us and the kids by sharing the basement room. The classes began with loads of enthusiasm and of course ‘Ta- Ka- La- Ka’. Although I am not good at teaching, Dipali, Rohan and Neha proved to be a big motivation.

At the end of this program, all of us felt that we as students or the youth is the channel for growth and the beginning of a positive chain reaction. The toiling was worth the effort and time and I felt proud of our team and the children being great listeners and learners. The final meeting was concluded with a sense of joyfulness because I felt that each hour of the day can be made so productive that we will be left with no time to think negative. The experience through this internship has given me the skills that will be embodied in me for the rest of my life. To motivate me to stay strong and try harder. Situations are powerless without our reaction. I dared to step out of my comfort zone and believed, and the best happened. I am thankful to the nights that I slept with pride, friends that gave me a recharge of laughter and my dream of grooming myself, which now is a reality.

If Isha’s experience motivates you, you can check the latest internships in Delhi and NGO internships.

Editor’s note- Have you got an internship story to share? A chance to win cool Internshala T and other cash prizes by sharing your internship story here.

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