Social cause for this summerNews — By The Desk on April 14, 2011 at 11:50 AM
Times of India: Summer is not necessarily the time for vacation, especially for the students who want to pursue a social cause. From teaching underprivileged children in informal playschools to understanding the nitty-gritty of the socio-legal system, to working with displaced communities in remote parts of the country – the summer months offer an opportunity of adding a whole new dimension to one’s work and resume by working with an NGO or a youth group.
The Centre for Youth Development Activities, with a host of activities essentially revolving around involving young people in pressing developmental issues, is on the lookout for city youngsters between the ages of 18 and 30 for their summer internship programme. “There is a selection procedure before these candidates are placed with other NGOs working with assorted underprivileged communities across the country. This is an invaluable experience in understanding grassroots social issues. The students also get a chance to participate in people’s movements led by activists like Medha Patkar and Anna Hazare,” said programme director Satish Bansode. The summer internship would last anywhere between 30 to 45 days, and would commence from May onwards.
The Human Rights and Law Defenders, the legal wing of the Sahyog Trust, run by advocates Asim and Rama Sarode, is offering students of the media, law, social work and international relations a chance to build a holistic perspective on the mechanisms of the socio-legal-political-bureaucratic system. “We take about 15 students every month for the four months of April, May, June and July. We want to provide them with an exposure to issues not covered in their academic curriculum. From workshops and interactive discussions with socio-legal experts, to a comprehensive introduction to human rights, we give them topics of study and projects – to say nothing of regular film screenings and field visits to courts, NGOs, police stations and government offices. The objective is to help develop professionals who understand systemic challenges,” said Rama Sarode.
Those who wish to work with children can offer their services to Dnyana Devi, an NGO engaged in the field of child rights. The organisation anchors Childline, the 24×7 helpline for children in distress, apart from running gammat shalas or informal schools that impart education to slum children through the playway method, and establishing Balsenas or children’s armies in various schools to uphold issues pertaining to child rights. “We welcome students between the age group 17-25 years, who are either pursuing a master’s in social work, or studying sociology/psychology/media studies or law. It is up to them to decide what timings suit them but we would insist on them honouring their commitment for the month or two they spend with us. Our work involves teaching and playing with children, conducting workshops and assorted activities with them. So continuity is a must,” said Anuradha Sahasrabuddhe, director, Dnyana Devi-Childline.
Student members of the youth group Searching and Service in Unity (SSU) are drawing up a list of their respective areas of expertise with a view to conducting tuitions and/coaching programmes. “Once everyone is through with their exams, we will start taking up various classes. For instance, those with good language skills can help corporates with the same; those who can play the guitar can teach music, others can take drawing/painting classes. The money we earned will be donated to an orphanage,” said Dean Lobo, president, SSU.
For more information on the CYDA internship programme, call Satish Bansode or Pravin Jadhav between 10 am and 5 pm at 020-25533168
Human Rights and Law Defenders can be contacted at 020-25459777 between 10 am and 5 pm
Dnyandevi can be contacted at 020-25540156/9767187263 between 11 am and 6 pm
To join SSU, contact Dean Lobo at 9960899285 between 11 am and 6 pm