Your Name, College, Year of Study, Email ID
Apurva Mahalwar, University School of Law and Legal Studies, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Second year, email@example.com
Name of the organisation, Location (city), Team strength
Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, Village Devdungri, District Rajsamand, Rajasthan. Team strength varies from time to time as new interns join in and keep going.
Application process with contact Details
You can submit your CV and a small write up on how you can help MKSS. The E-mail ID for the same is firstname.lastname@example.org
A minimum of 28 days are compulsory for an intern at MKSS. I interned from 1st july to 28th july. There are no fixed timings. Interns travel in group and on certain days, you will have to work late night.
First impression, First day formalities, Infrastructure
The whole purpose of the internship is to experience how a Mazdoor or Kisan, who works on a minimum wage, lives. So do not expect anything special. Interns sleep in a big hall which is very basic.
Food is cooked in a KUCHA kitchen where everyone has to contribute in any possible manner. No first day formalities as such.
You just have to go and meet Shankar Singh Ji (popularly called Shankar Mama). A meeting will then be held where all the workers and interns will introduce themselves and you will get to know about the basic work that the organization undertakes.
The major task at MKSS is grievance redressal. You will be asked to visit MNREGA sites and villages to interact with people and get to know about their problems. We also attended the ratri choupals and panchayat diwasis that were held in and around the area.
I was fortunate enough to be a part of the central committee meeting of MKSS where I got to hear about how the organization works from the people who started it all, namely Nikhil ji, Aruna ji and Shankar ji.
We were also encouraged to put forward our views regarding the working of the organization. We also attended protests staged in Jaipur regarding various issues of national importance.
Work environment, People
The MKSS office at Devdungri, where all the interns stay, is a very warm and friendly place to be in. The interns were all very friendly. The caretaker of the office Meera aunty is a very friendly lady who will take care of you in every possible manner.
Field work is a tough job where I walked for about 8 kilometres on the second day in order to cover villages before a panchayat diwas. The people are very friendly and will always welcome you with open hands.
In short, the working conditions at MKSS are hard but the work is great. It is a pleasure to see the joy on the faces of the people when they know they have someone to tell their problems to.
The amount of things that you experience and learn from this MKSS internship is the best thing. All your concepts regarding Pensions, Ration, minimum wage, MNREGA, RTI and various other aspects will be cleared with expert inputs from Shankar mama who has spent his entire life doing these things.
The humility and the warmth of the people, even when they live without basic facilities, is a real eye opener. Everyone in the office is very friendly and knows how the work is to be done. It is a great experience to be among such great people.
Safety is a prime concern at MKSS. We always travelled in groups and not no point of time felt unsafe. All my lady co-interns felt the same way.
While travelling for dharnas, you get to visit various cities like Delhi and Jaipur.
A visit to SWRC in Tilonia is not to be missed. The best uses of renewable energy are demonstrated in the day to day working at SWRC.
As this MKSS internship is mostly about field work, it can get hectic at times. Please make adequate arrangements to protect yourselves from sunlight. Be ready to walk for long distances.
There will be certain experiences which will really affect you. So this internship is not for the faint hearted.
Any Other Thing
The nearest town is Bhim. The aamras shop in front of the Dak Bungalow is a must try for eternal aamras. Also make sure you try the pyaaz kachori and dal baati which are the local favourites.
It is important that you respect the local customs and not make fun of them. In the words of Nikhil ji “Take the best of things from your internship and put aside the bad experiences.“
This MKSS internship is a great thing to do and is different from all the internships that you may commonly undertake. It is an adventure in itself.