An Intern's Diary: Nancy Choden
Four years back, I was a simple, small town girl just fresh out of my school. I was suddenly introduced to city life when I came to Delhi to pursue my under graduation honors course in Sociology from Hindu college, Delhi University. In the initial months, I was very scared and nervous and all I wanted to do was run back home. But this was an opportunity bestowed on me by my parents and I knew that I had to hang on and make the most of it. Thankfully, I have been able to live up to my parents’ expectations and, over the past few years, have become more confident of myself.
When I initially applied for the UNICEF internship programme, I never really thought that I had the slightest chance of making it through. I was preparing to go back home for my summer vacations when I got the acceptance mail from UNICEF and, obviously, I was very elated and happy at my achievement. Coming from a small state in the north- east, I have always been associated with state level NGOs and my basic interaction has always been at the village level and with government school students. Now I had the chance to work with a renowned organisation at a national level and I was very excited and nervous at the same time. How would my group mates be? Would I fit in? Where will I be sent? Many questions occupied my mind all the time. After the opening workshop in New Delhi, I got to know my team members and all of them turned out to be very co-operative and friendly.
Once we reached Pune, Lotte (my team- mate from Holland) and myself, had problems finding accommodation because Pune being known for its university, no one was willing to take us in for a matter of two months and ruin an entire academic year’s business. Finally, after a week of frantic searching, a very nice couple took us in and, thus, our accommodation dilemma was solved. There was also some problem regarding out research topic- whether we should focus on networks or a micro-level initiative. However, everything has been sorted out now and we are on our way to submitting a good case study.
The first two weeks have been very hectic. We visited various NGOs and got some first hand information on their workings. Recently, we visited a slum area and, within a few minutes, the children were all over Lotte screaming ‘hellos’ and stretching their hands for a handshake. I am sure it must have been their first international encounter and Lotte, on her part, enjoyed it thoroughly. One eye opening experience was a visit to Budhwarpeth, a commercial sex workers area in Pune city. The encounter with the women and