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From Self to Society: A Personal Note on Journey with Destiny Foundation, Kolkata

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

Ayushi Pandey, Azim Premji University, Bangalore

Destiny Reflection is grateful to host students and interns, who as part of their work placement have provided their reflections on the issue of sex trafficking. The following blog posts do not necessarily reflect the views of Destiny Reflection, but are considered an educational tool to promote discussion on sex trafficking and exploitation.

My six-week internship at Destiny has taught me more than I could have expected. As an Intern, I feel my duties were diverse, and ever-changing. It has been a beautiful journey for me. I have gained so much from the people I met and the work I did in this whole process. I have lived each bit of it. There were sessions which left me overwhelmed. There were times when I realized my privilege, especially after hearing stories and struggles of the young girls and women trafficked. There were times when I wanted to stand up and salute, and there were times when I just wanted to cry. More than the formal work I got involved with, I was more involved emotionally in these stories and personal interactions.

About my work, I gained knowledge on Commercial Sexual Exploitation and met the ground realities through Destiny. During the internship, I observed, recorded and analyzed the links between massive Commercial Sexual Exploitation and strategies to combat the same. The internship also contributed to my understanding of how Non-Governmental Organizations function and what can be the possible challenges faced by development professionals in the whole process. My work allowed me to grow personally, but it also helped me advance some skills in writing and gave me a better understanding of human trafficking. The feedback I received after every task was definitely important and useful. I appreciate the time and efforts of the organization.

Another major learning is that the organization has successfully adopted a Participatory approach enabling them to hear the ideas of women and incorporate them into use for effective development of women and their children to ensure that they feel included and responsible at the same time in the whole process of decision-making till execution of the same.

Moreover, I was familiarized with numerous strategies that were put forward to respond to various challenges of unemployment, livelihood, poverty and inequality by the most vulnerable sector of society. This gave me a concrete understanding of the structural inequality and how a well thought structural solution can end this structural problem. I also learnt the importance of monitoring and evaluating projects.

About the organization, I think Destiny was really helpful throughout. There was not a single time when I felt excluded or not attended. It was organized and uptight with the work and schedule. The team was flexible with time and understood our issues without much effort. They were approachable and available almost whenever needed and I think that is commendable. This has truly been a great learning experience and I’ll be forever indebted to those who gave me a hand here.

Through my engagement with Destiny Foundation and involvement in their development programmes I have gained insights on policies and theories and how they are applied in practice. I hope that I have contributed and added some value to what they have already been doing. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process and would love to reconnect in future if given a chance. It has been, indeed, a great wholesome experience.

To anyone who is reading this blog, I hope you come away from your internship with as much as I did.

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