Name. College. Year of Study.
Mridula Sriram. First year at School of Law, Christ University
Name of the organization. City
See the website here.
Duration of the internship .No. of days/week. Timings
October 15, 2013-November 9, 2013. 7 days a week from 9: 30 to 5: 30.
How big was the office? Team strength?
The main centre was a three floored building which was more than spacious. There were various units in the organization (Child Line, Foster Care Unit, SJPU etc.) which had like a minimum of 5 staff members in each.
Application procedure. Internship contact details
Contacted the HR Manager through firstname.lastname@example.org and eventually met up a few times before the commencement of the internship to discuss further details.
First impression. First day, formalities etc.
My first impression about the organization was really good as their website in itself gives you a particular feel about the organization. Further my opinion just got better with my visit to one of the centres during the initial application procedure as I was then assured that what they showcased them to be doing is what actually they were doing.
On my first day I was a part of the rescue team at the City Railway Station, Bangalore where I was given a brief orientation about their working. After this I started out my hunt to search and help kids in need along with a supervisor.
The day was practically a slow one, as I was initially let down by the fact that I couldn’t really approach a lot of those who might have actually been in need. But it just got better with time and with the extent I was pampered and supported by the staff there.
The evening was the best as it was then when I had my first official police station visit (had to go and register the list of children we rescued during the day along with supporting information).
Another thing I really liked or enjoyed about my first day was where I was made to read a set of guidelines and standards that I had to follow and adhere to in the course of my internship after which I had to sign on certain papers as well. So this gave me sort of a professional feeling.
Main tasks (in detail)
For the initial three days I was a part of the Rescue Team at the City Railway Station where I was to spot unaccompanied children, approach them, get them to tell me certain details about themselves and then take actions accordingly.
After which I had to submit a list of the rescued children to the Railway Police Force in order to match the information in hand with the complaints registered.
Moreover back at the centres I got to be a part of the counseling process where we talk to the rescued children in private and obtain from them information regarding their family, the place they hail from, contact details and so on.
I was then part of the West Division of the Special Juvenile Police Unit (SJPU). It was here where I actually got an opportunity to know and learn more about the judicial process relating to juveniles.
I made a lot of visits to various police stations across the city when we received information about a juvenile either in conflict with law or in need of care and protection. Depending upon the situation, we either dealt with it at the police station itself especially in case of non-serious offences or the juvenile was produced before the Juvenile Justice Board or the CWC.
I even got to visit the Observation Home and interact with a few children there charged under serious offences and made case studies relating to the same. I then assisted my supervisor in a specific case where I got to attend a sitting of the CWC as well.
It was here where I received utmost exposure. I learnt a lot about the procedure relating to juveniles in accordance with the Juvenile Justice Act, various sections of the IPC, the extent of the working and the implementation of the JJ Act and many ,many more aspects. I almost had the JJ Act and the UDHR by heart by the end of my internship!
Also, during the last week of my internship I got to organize as well as participate in a National Level Consultation on Foster Care in which dignitaries from the UNICEF, NLSIU, advocates and other such people were a part of.
Work environment, people
The people I worked with were all down to earth, real friendly and chilled out the maximum level possible. And as a result the environment was calm and easy going.
The showered me with chocolates all the time and made themselves approachable in case I was either lost or needed help. They made sure I never felt out of place and brought in this feeling of belongingness.
I simply enjoyed my time with the SJPU. The best would be everything I got to do and learn here, all the visits to the police stations, the observation home, reading more about child rights and the JJ Act, the sitting of the CWC that I attended, in short my time with this particular department was the best as it gave me this weird sort of rush about human rights.
Bad things? (Nothing is all good)
The timings and working on Sundays was of course a part of my internship that I specifically did not enjoy. But at the end it all turned out to be worth it.
What did you do to chill? Co-interns, colleagues
We made it a point to have our lunch together every day. We then spent the free time we got in a while by playing and engaging the children with different games.
We ourselves played a little of those games and eventually when we got like a day off we went around exploring the city as most my co-interns were either from the north east or abroad.
Anything else you’d like to tell; Biggest lessons
The most important thing that I learnt, apart from those as to how to work in a team and make myself a little more outgoing, was that though we have certain standards, measures and procedures that need to be complied with when dealing with juveniles as prescribed by the JJ Act itself, most people aren’t really or in actually concerned with complying with the same.
There aren’t many people who check the efficiency or appropriateness of the system.