A Summer Intenrship at Saath – Riya Bhaskaran

Inro:                                                                                                                                            Ms. Riya Bhaskaran is an undergraduate student at Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication and was an intern at Saath from 13th May to 23rd June, 2013 associated with Research Documentation and Communication Cell and Fundraising.

yoFUBu1u46Nlce3_XD0S4lu3TpcAiRrnEoqQ60QdOXkRiya Bhaskaran (on the left) during a Focused Group Discussion at our Vasna Urban Resource Centre

Here’s here experience of working with Saath in her own words:

These 42 days as exactly counted on my intern schedule were ones dedicated to learning different aspects of benevolent individual and what India immediately needs to cater to.  Terms like urban poor, unemployment, vocational training, women empowerment, and most essentially livelihood, all now are perfectly understood; which our social science textbooks tried best to comprehend for us.

A three day orientation was organised by the NGO so that we are aware of the various programs it runs and get to know about the values and missions it adheres to. These three days made it pretty clear Saath was one unique NGO.

Apart from working for the Research & Documentation Team and Fundraising & Marketing team; one of the most interesting works at Saath, was the research with the students from the Delft University of Technology (Netherlands). They were on a research to understand the system of public health and sanitation of the poor specifically women’s health. It was an amazing experience to interact with the people from the community and know their story of struggle and that how eagerly they all want affordable and cleaner facilities of toilets and bathrooms. It was surprising to know how women are still a victim of backwardness and thus lack of awareness. But on the same occasion it is extremely pleasing to realize how some women have opened up to new methods of personal sanitation and embracing it completely. Poverty still scars their lifestyle and hence discontinues their access to better health facilities frequently.

An internship worth giving credit to, for adding on an ocean of knowledge and knowing. An immense amount of information and understanding gathered directing through the clutter of India, making it quite clear what stays crucial and what action plan must be engaged. It was interesting to know that an NGO clearly does not live in a rosy picture we assume it does. It takes loads of strength mentally and physically right from identifying what exactly the problem area lies within and engaging the appropriate human resource for the same respectively.

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