By Purnima Sood, intern at HET from TISS Tuljapur
My experience of interning with Himalayan Ecotourism will stay with me for a very long time. During the month long internship, I tried my hands at an array of different things. As a student of social science, my work was not only limited to the social aspect of the enterprise but also involved managing the trekking equipment, marketing of local products and so on. This made the internship all the more interesting as we did not have to stick to a particular area. Each one of us was given a main project which we had to work on but brainstorming was done collectively in an inclusive environment where varied opinions could be voiced.
My main project was to initiate establishment of a seedbank in the nearby village. The best part about this was that I had the opportunity of interacting with local women. They were very welcoming and helpful. We would wait to spend our evenings in the village, to play with the kids and hear the women talk about their day to day life. This gave me a chance to closely observe things in the village as well as understand their perspective on various things. Some women invited us over for meals and made us feel at home.
This internship exposed me to many new ideas, concepts and point of views. It involved interacting with journalist and social activist Daulat Bharti, who was generous enough to enlighten me on the topic of organic farming as well as extended help in setting up a seed bank. In addition to this I also had the opportunity of meeting women like Purva and Hemlata in the village who were open to understand this project and helped me in every way possible.
After interning for one month, I have not only grown professionally but there has been some amount of personal growth too. I could not have asked for a better environment provided by Stephan, his family, co-interns, village folks and every one that I came in contact with. It was a fulfilling and satisfying experience.