I have been away from blogging for a while. I was just spending time in home and got bored a little. I needed a break. So i got to know about the "Pension Parishad", an internship conducted by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), which is my university. It is a program founded by Aruna Roy and Ani Raja, to eminent leaders to get real data about the system of pension in rural India.


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The Program


We read the face book post of pension parishad to know more about the program. The website of pension parishad do not have any details about the program.

The fb post said that internship covers 15 states in India including Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Orissa, Bihar, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Assam, Tripura/Manipur, West Bengal, Gujarat and Kerala. We were really interested in going to Himachal Pradesh, Tripura/Manipur or West Bengal.


The program is starting on the 18th of May, 2014 and go for three weeks in respective states.

The post said that "All expenses (basic travel through sleeper bus or train, modest accommodation and on-field expenses) for the same will be taken care of."

"We will reimburse sleeper class train or bus fare for your travel."

I applied it late as usual and got confirmation to come and join the internship. I was happy that i got a chance to a state i like. I traveled to TISS, Mumbai to attend the workshop with my friend, Jihad. He also got the confirmation email from the coordinators.


Experience


The train was porbandar - Kochuveli express and general class. I slept most of the time and the train took 18 hours to reach Panavel, Mumbai. From there we took a local train to reach Govandi and from there took an auto to reach TISS. That took one hour extra. So after travelling 20 hours and walking more than three kilometers to reach the hostel, we were tired and hungry.

Food


I got food from canteen and i thought the coordinators has arranged the food for us. But they said that there is no such arrangement and we have to pay for food. We accepted it because we were really hungry. We asked "chaval hei kya?" (rice is there). We got the north Indian rice with some curry. I am unable to describe it.

Accommodation in Hostel


We went to the hostel to get our room. We had a bad day and need to res at lease three hours. We waited in the security check for more than one hour. They said that they didn't got any list related to this  program. we sat in the floor and waited for somebody to call him or give the list. But nobody came. We called the coordinator and he cut the call. After one hour, the security wrote our name in a register and allotted a room.

Change of states

The coordinators changed the number of states to 5 and they are "Andra Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat, Rajastan and Kerala". They didn't inform us about this change, and we were informed by the students. I was allotted for AP and i do not want to go there.  So i said that i wanted either to change the state to WB or quit. They said that change is not possible an it is confirmed. I do not know why they asked for preference of state in the time of application where i put "Kerala and other states".

Two friends cannot go at the same time to field

We asked whether there is an option for me and my friend to go together to the field and to the same state and the interesting thing is that they said, "two friends cannot go at the same time to field". LOL

YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED


After all these, we were gone mad and took a bath and tried to sleep. After three hour, one of the coordinator asked my friend to come to the office and me to wait outside. I waited there for another one hour. Then my friend told me that his name is not in the list and he cannot join the program. we went to talk to her again. She was arrogant and tried to avoid us. She asked him to become the coordinator for the program because he is not in the "list" and there was a lack of coordinators. We clarified our doubts and and all we are getting some childish answers without a sense. After the long discussion of two hours, we have decided to quit the internship and g back home.

We didn't got reimbursement of the train ticket.

We paid our our own for food.


Lessons


Never believe a Facebook post and look for official post in websites.
Never go for internship conducing by debut students.
Call all the coordinators and mail all of them for confirmation in order to avoid confusion among them.
Ask the coordinators twice about reimbursement.
Store some money in ATM.
practice Anger Management techniques.

RESULT


We quit the internship an enjoyed the train travel.

Hope you all will get a fully funded internships.


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