Ever since the Advocacy Project accorded my VIKALP internship in India, my friends—Indians and seasoned travelers alike—have shared their wisdom and knowledge with me: make sure to visit these thirty places, be careful in taxis, eat biryani at this Bombay joint, watch the third video of Incredible India, pronounce palak paneer this way, and the list goes on. For people’s enthusiasm and support, I am beyond grateful. Similarly, the Advocacy Project has been wonderful in our orientation in DC over the last few days, and I had the opportunity to meet many enthusiastic supporters of the program at the Peacefellow Reception.
I will be documenting my experiences and activities as a 2013 Peacefellow with VIKALP, an organization overseeing among other activities, two tribal and indigenous women’s courts in the northwest state of Gujarat. I will be working primarily with Indira and Maya, the founding members of VIKALP, and Pryia, another Advocacy Project intern.
I am incredibly thankful for the amazing opportunity to learn more about human rights through women’s courts and participate in social change alongside marginalized communities, an issue I have passionately addressed in my scholarship, volunteerism, and research. However, as is often the case, we tend to leave places with much more than we bring. Such an involved and expansive internship will undoubtedly be transformative and challenging. I look forward to the hard work ahead, hopeful that I will be able to learn alongside Maya and Indira and further their social change goals while ensuring long-term viability for their remarkable endeavors. Most of all, I look forward to telling their story.
Look for my blogs at least once a week over the next three months and feel free to share your thoughts and comments with me! Below you can see an interview with Indira Pathak, one of the founding members of VIKALP. Photo and video by Alicia Evangelides, 2012 AP Fellow.
Let the sensory overload being!
Posted By Andra Bosneag
Posted May 25th, 2013