Internship Experience @ Ekta Parishad, Bhopal: Work for Tribal People, Life Changing Experience

Your Name

Yogita Bangar

Name of Organisation

Ekta Parishad. Address: Dindori, Madhya Pradesh.

Website: www.ektaparishad.com

Application Process with contact details

I did one summer course on Rethinking Development at Sambhaavna and there they placed me to work for this N.G.O.

Contact: info@sambhaavnaa.org

Duration of internship and timings

June 10, 2014- July 7, 2014

First impression, first day formalities, infrastructure

There were no formalities. My first day was shocking. I had to stay first night in one regional office building in remote village in Katni district. There I found that the NGO employees were filling survey forms to be done on village women themselves.

They were ticking the questions randomly. It was a survey to be done on women health and related issues for which they got grants in lakhs. I recorded that on my mobile camera secretly and sent that to NGO head.

Main tasks at the Ekta Parishad internship

I was staying with my mentor and our task to travel to villages in forests where tribal people lived. I would tell them their rights under Forests Right Act, 20015. We would travel 100 km in one day on kinetic to meet these people.

They were being harassed by local police and Forest Department. They were supposed to get title over forest land but because of lack of awareness and corruption they were only getting beatings from police.

We would educate them about free legal aid and other rights under Indian Penal Code in case of arrest.

ekta parishad internship

Work environment and people

I worked with a women in 40s who left her government job and abusive husband to work for tribal rights and forest conservation.

I stayed in her home and she was like a mother to me.

Best things

I learned how laws are implemented at village level. It was all field work internship.

Tribal people told me stories of their tribe and customs. I learned all about forest conservation techniques from these indigenous people. I traveled through forests and lived among tribal people which was life changing experience.

Bad things

Tribal people would fall in my feet thinking I am lawyer and beg to help them protect their land under cultivation. I felt so helpless.

This internship made me cynical about my field. Till today when any teacher teaches me any law I only think what is there in it for those tribal people and I realize maybe nothing.

Stipend

No stipend.

Biggest Lessons

Lessons:

1. Even N.G.O.s have corrupt people which can frustrate you.

2. Nothing is more beautiful and important than nature so better conserve it.

 

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