Blinded by the comforts that life provides us, we often end up veiling ourselves from the harsh realities that life serves many around us. An internship that started merely as a part of my curriculum concluded by providing me insights about various aspects of this society. Along with the innumerable tasks which refined my way of working, E&H Foundation has given me a chance to gauge the complications of the ground realities of slums. It is hard to decide what part of me this internship has impacted more – professional or personal.
Being a native of Uttar Pradesh, it was enthralling for me to learn that the NGO is influencing and changing the lives of many underprivileged in the state. As I started getting involved with the team, I understood how much hard work and impenetrable efforts it takes to make change happen. The more tasks I shouldered, the more it made my vision clear about the working of an NGO and also working as a team. The first 5 weeks that I spent in the office, writing campaigns, blogs and completing other assignments not only polished my writing skills but also helped me develop my capacity for brainstorming.
The last week of the internship provided me with an exposure that shall never tarnish. I, along with the team of E&H Foundation went for a field trip to Farrukhabad. The thought of the field trip was itself enough to make my enthusiasm and ecstasy reach their epitome. On the first day of our field trip, we visited classes run by the NGO in the slums of Farrukhabad. The first day itself at the field turned my enthusiasm into a cluster of questions regarding the dismal conditions in which a large section of our country live. The hollow bricks of the walls of the classrooms were enough to writhe me with the never-blurring images of the lamentable lives of the children living in those slums. We even met some families and talked with them about their children who have been studied in those schools. The motivation and enthusiasm they keep for the quality education of their children were worth witnessing.
One can never imagine the morale and cheerfulness the children of the slums of Farrukhabad had for gaining an education. On the second day, we conducted art activities with various children in different classes. That whole day gave me much of an experience of managing children and also guiding them for various things patiently. It was beautiful to observe how children can show their creativity in many unexpected ways. On the third day of the trip, we went to Shamshabad to visit the classes run by the NGO there. One could observe the cheerfulness that the children had there. They provided us with riddles, asked many questions and interacted with us in a wonderful way.
It was brilliant to spot how teachers, children, and parents of the slums are equally desperate and working hard towards letting quality education prevail in their area. They shared their grievances with us and told us about all the problems they have encountered for educating their children. Most of the families in the slums of Farrukhabad are involved in the Zardozi labor work and can hardly earn a fortune of Rs. 6,000-7,000. Despite all the financial problems they face, they eagerly want their children to study as they want them to lead a life better than theirs. Many of the children are first-generation learners in their families.
The honest efforts that E&H Foundation has taken towards these children have always made me dedicate myself to the organization all the more. If it would not have been E&H Foundation, the lives of many children would have remained shadowed with illiteracy. I feel elated having got a chance to be a part of an organization that has changed the lives of many children and has bestowed hopes of a better future upon them. My internship would never have been so experiential and knowledgeable if it has not been with E&H Foundation. Especially, the support of the mentors shaped me as a person and made me feel comfortable during my internship in the organization.