Blame the competitive professional environment, but very few students get to intern at a place that truly hones their skills. Fewer get to work for a cause and learn in the process. And an even smaller faction of people gets both. By a wild stroke of chance though, such opportunities do materialize.
The 5 weeks of internship at CRY were worth a lifetime of memories and experience. When you work with children, it is nearly impossible to not be plagued by the zeal that surrounds you. Their laughter and optimism is infectious.
No less can be expected from a magnanimous organization like CRY which puts the rights and empowerment of children front, center and forward.
As an intern, I got multiple opportunities to be a part of CRY events and interact with the volunteers, donors and the children they work with. They all had varying perceptions on every subject matter. But, it was one unifying cause that brings these people hailing from different backgrounds, professions, genders and age together.
En-route one such event, the small group of children enthusiastically began sharing their aspirations.
“I’ll be a pilot when I grow up” said the 11 year old boy. “Or a driver” his friend giggled.
“Why can’t he be both?” chimed another. While the other kids burst into fits of laughter, it sure gets one pondering over the depth of the issue. What is it that makes some children belittle their ambitions while some others are conscious enough to consider multiple back-up professions and plan out their lives systematically?
The naivety and simplicity of this question is what makes the work done by CRY all more relevant. It is through their intervention that these kids can now dream and dare to receive better education and pursue the professions of their choice. For a child who is conditioned to believe is only fit for menial jobs, a career in aviation was a distant dream.
Yet now, these kids are braving all adversities and availing the benefits of schemes designed for them. For all we know, the future generations would be brighter and more driven by pragmatic conquests than ever before.
The lack of awareness surrounding child rights as well as disparities in opportunities owing to financial conditions of their families draws a wedge between the kids and their dreams. However, working alongside different NGOs for these causes, CRY ensures to bridge this gap.
There were many instances that made me realize this internship was like none other. Be it the enthusiasm of the volunteers who underwent training to creatively engage with the children, or the willingness of the donors to be part of the cause at a fund raising event- it was heartwarming to see the multitude eager to step up for the betterment of the society at large.
There were no dull moments; given that working under and learning from different departments within the organization opens up the mid to fresh avenues. Every task challenges, every event channelizes and every day ensnares the interns to perform well and be the best versions of themselves.
A drastic shift in terms of rights and empowerment of children and women is looming across the horizon. And I can proudly proclaim to have been a part of Child Rights and You that is the catalyst for this change.
Shruti Bhatnagar, CRY Intern, Mumbai, (Student, Amity University, Pursuing Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication)