July 8, 2010
Current SICHREM team (but with some absent faces)
It’s difficult to think that I am about to leave India after an incredible time with the SICHREM family. I joined South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring as a volunteer lawyer in January 2010 for six months.
Before joining SICHREM, I was immensely naïve about the human rights situation in India. However, SICHREM quickly introduced me to the scale and severity of the human rights abuses in India – the massive child labour problem, oft-forgotten domestic workers who are ill-protected by the law, frequent occurrences of police violence, inconceivable levels of corruption, communal violence conflicts and that caste discrimination is still very much observed, both overtly and covertly.
I thank SICHREM for the opportunity to work with a small but tremendous organisation that does a lot of crucial work to achieve its simple but formidable vision of “making human rights a household concept”. During my time with SICHREM, I have seen and experienced the challenges that SICHREM and other NGOs face, met dozens of selfless and admirable individuals, and gained many new skills.
Each SICHREM staff member has warmly welcomed me into the SICHREM family – from inviting me to the annual staff retreat, introducing their families, inviting me for dinners, encouraging me to participate in as many events as possible and ensuring that I managed to catch the right busses around Bangalore – thank you!
Final day at SICHREM necessitated the maiden sari-wearing-session! Surprisingly comfortable and incredibly elegant (though my moving around in the sari is considerably less so).
Volunteer lawyer from Australia
(My volunteer placement was arranged by Challenges Worldwide, an international development charity that recruits volunteers with professional skills and experience (www.challengesworldwide.com)).
June 10, 2010
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights).
As a law student, human rights and different related issues have always interested me. Therefore I was glad when I was placed with the South Indian Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring, which is one of the prestigious human rights organizations in south India. The entire SICHREM family welcomed me warmly and I could adapt to the office atmosphere within no time.
A one-month internship at SICHREM has given me a lot of exposure to contemporary human rights issues, which I will never get from the classroom. SICHREM helped me in making my knowledge up to date, by giving me a chance to attend various consultations and programme. The drafting of two different handbooks helped me a lot to translate the complex words of the legislators into simpler and more accessible terms.
Also my work with SICHREM helped me in developing the spirit of teamwork. The one month placement has not only helped me in improving my academic knowledge but has also given me the courage to work for the marginalized sectors of our country and to act against injustice. And I am proud to take back to my college the slogan of ‘making human rights a household concept’.
I take this opportunity to thank both Mr. Mathews Philip, Executive Director of SICHREM, for his support during my internship, and Ms. Jyothi Swaminathan for her guidance and kind ways. I also thank the entire SICHREM team and all my co internees for their cooperation.
Nithin hard at work
June 10, 2010
The prospect of a 90-minute commute to SICHREM’s office meant that I was feeling a little worried the night before my first day. However, after I became a member of SICHREM’s family, the daily 3 hours of bus travel meant nothing to me. The induction into the family was easier than I expected and it made the stay in Bangalore much nicer.
The four weeks spent at SICHREM gave me worthwhile experience and wonderful memories. My work experience varied from a door-to-door fundraising campaign to participating in the consultation process for drawing up recommendations to government on various bills and Acts. This varied work experience and exposure made me think about working in an NGO after my law degree, rather than in a monotonous corporate job. Thanks to SICHREM for those amazing days.
I can assure every intern that they will have memorable time at SICHREM
Swarupa.M, first year law student of National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi
April 1, 2010
“When I first reached Bangalore at the beginning of March, I was very confused and a little bit nervous about the food culture and all those other little things that are different in a new city. But when I reached SICHREM on my first day, I instantly became part of the SICHREM family. SICHREM made adjusting to Bangalore much easier by arranging my accommodation which was located near the office.
The unique thing I have found about SICHREM, which I never found before in any other organisation I’ve worked at, is the daily “Meeting with TEA”. This morning staff meeting at 10.30 is a really nice chance for the SICHREM team to share what they are currently working on, current events and also to give freshness and warmness to the start of the day. We can hear first-hand some of the local news from this “Meeting with TEA”, even without having to read the local newspapers.
My month with SICHREM has given me some beautiful memories and first-hand exposure to social work practice. I have found that, whether it is work or non-work-related, the staff members of SICHREM were always willing to support me.
In all ways possible, I have found my 25 days in the field extremely worthwhile for a student social worker, in terms of curriculum as well as in my personal life. When I leave SICHREM tomorrow, I will take the SICHREM’s vision of “Making Human Rights a Household Concept’ with me. I express my sincere gratitude to all the staff members of SICHREM for providing me with these wonderful and productive twenty five days.”
From Visakh, final-year Master of Social Work student, Rajagiri College of Social Sciences, Ernakulam, Kerala.
Thank you Visakh. We enjoyed your time at SICHREM very much as well – all the best for the future and please do stay in touch!
If you are interested in interning/volunteering with SICHREM, please contact Jyothi to speak further to her.
Documentation & Public Relations Officer
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