Minimum Internship Period - Students studying in Mumbai - One year. Students outside Mumbai - 8 weeks.

What our interns have to say...

Rashmi Dharia, ILS Law College, Pune 4th May, 2015 to 26th June, 2015

I have completed my 4th year of the five year law course at ILS Law College, Pune. I applied to Majlis on the recommendation of a senior in college. An internship in Majlis appealed to me as I was fascinated by the work Majlis has done in the field of personal laws and their campaign against the UCC.

 

I find myself very humbled by my eight weeks in Majlis. The sheer volume of output here is staggering. As I sit here and write, Flavia ma’am is listening to the progress of one of RAHAT’S father raping daughter cases. This is just one of the occasions in which I have observed the depth of her convictions. In fact, my experience as a whole has been a revelation when it comes to convictions. I realized that one CANNOT base one’s opinions based on superficial knowledge and hearsay. The only way to be absolutely at peace with your own internal politics is to formulate your convictions based on personal experience. This is something I will always hold true hereon.

 

My experience in the litigation centre was excellent. I drafted campaign letters, drafted a DV application, an affidavit-in-evidence and a divorce petition. I also listened to numerous discussions about the eccentricities of judges and clients. The three drafting trainings were immensely helpful as well. I found Nausheen ma’am to be a fantastic teacher-she explained all kinds of nuances simply and clearly.

 

My time with the learning centre was very fulfilling as well. I realized how I lacked proficiency in my mother tongue (Marathi)-very illuminating experience!

 

I worked on two projects here the wife murders and other violence project, and the NCRB data analysis. I also briefly worked on Rape analysis and went to the Dindoshi sessions Court for data collection.

 

I loved working under Flavia ma’am. I even got to write to the editor of the Hindu (although he didn’t reply). I loved reading her work and discussing it with her. The case analysis taught me a lot of little tricks as to how to read and interpret judgements. This is going to be immensely useful for me in my professional life.

 

Everyone at Majlis is great; I wish I had a little more time to get to know everyone better. But the Thursday meetings were a nice way of interacting with everyone. I’ll miss my time here!

 

Thank you for the great experience! 

Aditi Patil, ILS Law College, Pune 4th May, 2015 to 26th June, 2015

I am pursuing BSL.LLB (Five year Law course) from ILS Law College, Pune. I have completed the fourth year of the said course. I was introduced to Majlis and its work by a senior. Reading Flavia ma’ams articles and Majlis multi-faceted work was an incentive to work with Majlis.

 

These eight weeks at Majlis have been an eye-opener in many ways.in my very first week, I read three of Majlis publications and I must mention that the book on the “Rights of Muslim Women” dispelled a lot of my misconceptions. This was only the beginning of opening up to certain legal-realities which unfortunately, came our way in a very distorted and lopsided manner earlier!

 

I primarily worked on three massive projects undertaken by Majlis-376 Data collection analysis, wife-violence cases and NCRB Data Analysis.

 

The wife-violence cases were required to be analysed, summarized and entered. All the cases that I read taught me a multitude of things-certain evident ground realities, the huge-amount of time that lapses till a case sees its end, the various ways in which laws are juggled and how varying attitudes of judges affect the outcome of a case.

 

The most fascinating thing about this project was an opportunity to work with Flavia ma’am. Her undeterred passion towards her work (and also her discipline) is something I will take back with me. Talking to Flavia ma’am, Audrey ma’am and everyone else in the Thursday meetings gave a new perspective towards many issues.

 

Another new experience for me was the DWCD meeting that I attended with Audrey ma’am with regard to the working of the “Manodhairya Scheme”.

 

Everyone at the office was very friendly and I had a great time here! And learnt many new things about the interplay between society and law. I must also mention that my translation-skills and Excel-skills have improved immensely!!!

 

THANK YOU FOR THIS UNFORGETTABLE, LEARNING EXPERIENCE!!!

Aishwarya Salvi, ILS, Law College, Pune 27th April, 2015 to 26th June, 2015

I am currently studying in ILS, Pune and have completed my third year. I got to know about Majlis from a friend of mine in college and since then I have been reading about their work. Majlis is my first NGO internship experience and it was wonderful to work here.

 

Initially I was asked to read books on domestic violence and sexual violence. These books helped me to get a better understanding of the legal issues governing women and children. As I was interested in doing fieldwork, Flavia ma’am put me on a project to visit shelter homes and working women’s hostels and understand their policies and functioning.

 

Further I was put on a project to analyse rape judgements passed in the year 2012 and 2013. It was shocking to see how the police carry out the investigation which ends up going against the victim.

 

Majlis has undoubtedly changed numerous perceptions I had about women’s issues. Most unique feature of Majlis was the Thursday meetings where everyone shared their weeks experience and discussed about issues such as prostitution, dowry deaths, promise of marriage cases, father raping daughter cases etc.

 

I would like to thank Nausheen ma’am for being so patient with me and being an excellent mentor. I am glad I got to attend a client and draft a domestic violence application when I was working at the litigation centre.

 

I would also like to thank Audrey ma’am for accepting my internship application and letting me work in this esteemed organization. It was wonderful seeing her share her experiences in Thursday meetings. Her words actually made me think hard about the patriarchy in our society and to do something to tackle such issues.

 

Lastly I would like to thank each and every member of Majlis for being so warm and friendly. It was a good learning experience for me.

 

Thank you

Mansi Binjrajka, West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, 6th April, 2015 to 29th May, 2015

My  experience at Majlis has been unforgettable. From the very first day, I realized the number of erroneous views I held about personal laws in India. Reading the publications given to us in the first two weeks helped me correct my views. I did not expect to be working with Flavia Ma’am as closely as I did. I am extremely grateful for that. I have interned at an NGO before (Human Rights Network) but Majlis is very different from it. Everyone here is very driven and Majlis, as an organization, is very clear about its goal and aims. This is something which is missing from most NGOs.

 

Working at Majlis helped me appreciate the difference between theory and practice. Law school courses neglect this aspect. Analyzing judgements from points of view that had never occurred to me and hearing about everyone’s experience in the Thursday meetings made me understand how difficult it is to use the law in any situation.

 

I would like to thank everyone at Majlis for being so warm and accommodating. I want to thank Nausheen Ma’am for her drafting session and Audrey Ma’am for giving me a chance to work here. 

Avani, National University of Juridical Sciences, West Bengal, 6th April, 2015 to 29th May, 2015

I had a wonderful experience at Majlis! I am currently a 2nd yr Law student in the WBNUJS. My friend and I applied for an internship here together and we were very pleased to get such a prompt acceptance!

 

I have had no prior experience of working in an NGO, so the whole system was new to me.

 

We worked extensively under Flavia Ma’am, a person who I much admired for her writing style. I was shocked to see the sheer amount of work she does –she puts in a whole day at the office, and goes home to correct our work at night! Working with her was an amazing experience. I also need to thank Audrey Ma’am, for some extremely interesting discussions, and Nausheen, for an amazing, practical training on the plaint and written statement.

 

Thank you for teaching me so much!!

Jayalakshmi, National Law School of India University, Bangalore, 19th Jan to 13th March, 2015

I am pursuing BA LLB (Hons.) from National Law School, Bangalore. I am currently a third year student. I first heard about Flavia Ma’am while I was doing my family law courses at college and during the time when Koushal judgement was delivered and Ma’am wrote to Hindu quite extensively. Since then I kept keeping track of all articles Ma’am often writes and learnt about Majlis. It was my dream to come here and have firsthand experience on all the women issues. I could not find a better place to go to work for women’s rights and to know what women actually want.

 

These two months I have spent at Majlis is something that will remain with me all my life. There was so much unlearning that happened which I would treasure. All the notions about virginity, marriage institution, patronizing the husband, etc that I have accepted and was told to accept got me thinking.

 

All throughout I worked on analyzing the rape judgements delivered by the Bombay Sessions Courts. We looked at certain parameters like the socio-economic profile of the accused and the victim and the comments made by the judge and defence lawyers. We tried to call out the biases if any. This exercise assigned to me by Audrey Ma’am was very insightful and one thing of the many, that I would take back home is that-as a budding lawyer my concern should only be my clients requirement. In some cases, acquittal or conviction might not bring food onto the plates of the victim and her family. So all I need to do is to not judge a person with my sense of righteousness and wrongness. Every  individual has his or her own value system and that it is none of my business to act a judge of everyone’s lives

 

Majlis is divided into so many departments, each working on different issues. All departments coordinated with each other and kept the work run smoothly. Everyone is extremely warm and made me feel comfortable.

 

Majlis put me in discomfort, sensitized me of all the women issues, made me question and stand up. I wish the internship lasted for long. Really looking forward to come back to Majlis.

Neetika Vishwanath, Advanced Centre for Women’s Studies, TISS, Mumbai 17th Nov to 3rd Mar, 2015

I am a lawyer and a second semester student of MA in Women’s Studies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. After graduating from Law School, I worked with group called AALI in Lucknow for 2 yrs which is when I was exposed to civil society and the NGO’s. AALI is a feminist advocacy and resource legal group. It was during my work at AALI that I got to know about Majlis and was also exposed to Flavia Ma’ams writings. I then joined TISS in 2014 where in my second semester I was expected to work with an organization 2 days in a week. We were asked to give our areas of interest and we would accordingly be placed. I knew since then that I wanted to be at Majlis so I gave that as my only option and that is how I ended up here.

 

My experience at Majlis has been excellent. The work on Sexual Harassment at workplace that I did has immensely  contributed to my understanding of the law and courts interpretation of the same, along with understanding the gaps in implementation. For 2 days in a week, I felt like a lawyer again. My coordinator Nuasheen gave me an opportunity to do a lot of drafting in cases filed under PWDVA 2005 which was good as it got me back in touch with drafting. I also had an opportunity to go to the Bandra Court once.

 

Various discussions with the Programme Director Audrey were an enriching experience. I also had an opportunity to draft a note on cases of rape and promise of marriage, for which I got to personally interact and work for a brief period with Flavia Ma’am.

 

I was also a part of the start of Expressions 2015 at Nanavati Women’s College, which was another good experience at Majlis.

 

On the whole it has been a very good learning experience and I would love to work for Majlis in future.

Gayatri B. Tilak, College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai Annual Internship 14-15

I am doing my Bachelors in Social work, second year. When I came first time to the organization I was actually very blank, and what was little worried with fear in my mind how I am going to work. But through the months I started giving my best try. I learnt many things from here.

 

Through the tasks which I was given, I grew a lot. Like, I was doing the control room I learnt how the team officer work over there. I had changed a lot from first day. On the first day I was like just a normal student with empty hands. But now after working here for so many days I learnt about various truth about life, what a woman goes through.

 

I may have disappointed someone or had ups and down but still I enjoyed my work. I loved working under Christine Ma’am. She was my guide and support whenever I broke down during my tasks. I also loved working with Audrey Ma’am as she used to be very straight-forward and also very helpful. The Thursday meetings were one of the best things to happen. Through Thursday meeting I could speak, listen and learn from everyone, especially Flavia Ma’am.

 

I am going to remember and also miss the lunch hours where we all Sushmita Ma’am, Bijetri Ma’am, Pradnya Ma’am and Farhat Ma’am use to sit and have lunch together.

 

I have also learnt a lot from Persis Ma’am, Pranali Ma’am and Shruti Ma’am. They use to answer my even smallest and unexpected questions regarding cases. I’m going to miss Shruti Ma’am a lot. She was one of the funniest person or friend whom I met and also she used to explain me things also in a very simpler manner.

 

I feel very proud of the fast that I worked in ‘Majlis’. I wish all the very best and good luck to the organization.

Urmila Xess, College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai Annual Internship 14-15

I am the student of Social work Nirmala Niketan. I was placed here for field work. In the beginning I was blank and was not noing anything. I was thinking how will I be able to work here. But after meeting Ma’am Audrey and Christine Ma’am who were very kind and gentle I really experienced their love and warmth this is what people need. I learnt many Rights of Women by reading books. I felt confident. Learnt to approach people and how to help them. I am very grateful to the agency for giving me this opportunity to learn the activities of the agency. I was touched by the book on My story…..Our story. Which inspired me a lot. There are people who go through some form or the other Domestic violence. It reminded me of my mother who has also gone through the same problem. Some time no food, staying here and there at night. My father used to beat my mother with burning wood, kick etc. I was then most probably five year old. I am not afraid to share because I am now strengthened when I came here everybody were working passionately, with full commitment, which gave me the strength to help people specially the women. Whatever I have learnt over here I am going to implement. As a social worker I am going to share all that I have gained here and about Majlis.

 

I sincerely thank all the members of Majlis, specially Ma’am Audrey, and Ma’am Christine for giving me this opportunity to experience.

 

Thanking you and God bless all and your family for all that you do.

Krushna Dharia, College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan Mumbai Annual Internship 14-15

I am perusing Masters of social work, final year. We were place in Majlis for our field work. I came every Thursday  and Friday.

 

There has been tremendous change in me after I joined Majlis. It has given me a platform to learn and understand social work through legal system. It has helped me understand laws and acts.

 

My best experience was to listen to Flavia Ma’ams views. I have read her articles but I never saw her. Listening to her was always inspirational.

 

Thursday meetings are fun. We get to hear funny incidents and cases, different opinions about various issues and good food to eat!

 

I got a great opportunity to work on rape judgement analysis. It helped me gain an insight into the problems and loopholes in the law.

 

Majlis gave me lot of confidence to stand up for woman’s rights issue. It has helped me build perspectives on various issues.      

 

I am very proud to have worked in Majlis for such a long period. All the staff members are very co-operative and dedicated. Persis Ma’am has also been an inspiration. She is young and very committed to the cause. I also learnt a lot from Audrey Ma’am. She has excellent skills of managing resources. She gets work done on time.

 

Majlis has a huge library. It was so great to see so many books. I got a chance to read a few and am happy to have read them.

 

Lunch time is always fun. Food and discussions take place at this time.

 

I am not very happy to leave this place, but am happy to meet everyone and learn from each of them.

 

I would like to thank everyone who have helped me throughout my field work. Majlis is a wonderful organization and has progressed a lot since it started. All the best to all! Keep helping others to help themselves.

Shruti Ravi, Nirmala Niketan,College of Social Work, Mumbai

This was the first time I worked in a formal set up. The whole environment, the system of functioning everything was new to me. I got MAJLIS as my agency for field work. I still remember I was so anxious the first day meeting all these experienced people with so much knowledge and expertise . The thought of even meeting Flavia Ma’am was so inspiring.

 

This 8 months that I worked with Majlis[Thursday and Friday] I myself could feel the change in me. The first day Rabia Ma’am told us that we will give you all the information provided you want to learn and explore. During my first Thursday meeting everyone was talking about POCSO and PWDVA.

 

Honestly I went blank , All these terms were so new to me. But with the help of all tasks I got I could build my knowledge. The tasks like understanding the agency, translating the handbook on Domestic Violence ,attending the POCSO meeting, participating in the ER/RD play was simply amazing and it helped me build my knowledge on the same . When I had to present my assignment in college on POCSO Act I felt so confident that I could speak on that I had built my knowledge on the same.

 

My next hurdle was meeting the Police. When someone used to say Police – it would scare me. But when I got the opportunity of going to control room and conducting the Police audit my fear vanished. I realized our mental blocks prevent us from learning new things.

 

I didn’t get a chance to interact with Flavia Ma’am a lot but from whatever little opportunity  I had I received knowledge which would last for a lifetime. Her presence has inspired me and motivated me

 

The Expressions experience has really increased my perception and interacting with the youth was such a refreshing change. I could notice the change in my own views after the experience at MAJLIS.

 

Overall I think I will always treasure and cherish this experience. There is so much I have learnt in terms of skills and professional development. I feel happy that the agency gave me this opportunity and trusted me with their work. I feel empowered and I will definitely take this experience to all the people I know. I will miss all the moments I spent here especially the Thursday meetings and the lunchtime. Even though my internship here is over all that I have learnt, I will reach it out to as many people as I can.

 

Working with Audrey Ma’am and learning the passion and dedication that she works with will be something I will integrate in myself. I have learnt the  quality of being humble and having a vision  in whatever I do from Flavia Ma’am and constantly showing dedication, persistence and perservance from the RAHAT team. A big big THANK YOU to the agency for transforming me as an individual and empowering me as a woman. THANK YOU!!!

Neha Philip, Pravin Gandhi College Of Law, Mumbai Annual Internship 14-15

Currently pursuing my forth year, BLS/LLB at Pravin  Gandhi College of Law, Vile Parle , Mumbai . I got to know about Majlis through my friend who was helped by Persis Ma’am during her divorce and when I went  through Majlis website. I knew it this is something that I need to learn and experience So for the best internship and I know now what I really want in life and what I really want in life and what I really want to pursue. The first time when I came here for my interview and so around here it was just perfect , all women working and having equal fun . This had that vibe, you know that positive vibe and that day sitting in the office  waiting for my interview. I had made up my mind I am going to work here. Then the interview, I thought interview went well  I mean I could see Persis Ma’am is extremely busy and made time out for me. Then after the interview I thought I would get in here for a month I did not get any call from her, I was very disappointed but yahh! I did not loose hope kept emailing her and asking her to revert back and she did after my second interview, here I am as the intern for Persis Ma’am working for Majlis.

 

I had a wonderful four months here RAHAT team, this team has been the best that Majlis gave me: working for the Government Collaboration and RAHAT  has honestly talk me an extremely amount truth and realty. I am so glad that I got to work under them, Persis Ma’am taught me a great amount of law, ground realty and about actually the power of a common man, power of this organization. There is nothing that we cannot do ,If we really want to do Persis Ma’am, thank you for the chance that you gave, for thinking that I am capable of the work that you gave me Thank you Farhat Ma’am was the first person with whom I went to visit Police Stations and victims is something that I am going to cherish and absolutely honoured working  for them Pranali Ma’am and Shruti Ma’am, ohh coolest and the hahaha people of Majlis. Every chat with this team is something to remember and cherish.

 

When I met Flavia Ma’am during my second Thursday meeting I was little worried what she will be asking me, what and how to answer her Question everything was going through my mind But I must say it was an honour working for her working for a women rights activists is something to talk about to others.

 

Audrey Ma’am thank you for giving me a chance to work here  and I hope you are planning and hoping for women rights be granted and achieved.

 

I must talk about my lunch time here, there is the only internship program where lunch was one of the most important time of your working hours . I totally love it and definitely the only place where non veg is a must on the table and I love that too….

 

During my internship period mainly I worked for the RAHAT  unit , researching for judgements relating to sexual violence, court visits, meeting the sexual assault victims. Helping Persis Ma’am with family court matters taught me how to draft a petition to draft letters to seniors. I had an extremely wonderful, chilling learning  experience with a chilling boss. Thank you Majlis thank you Persis Ma’am absolutely proud and honoured to be a part of Majlis. I hope the best for this organization and reach the heights they want to reach . THANK YOU

Malavika . S. A, National University of Advanced Legal Studies. Kochi, 18th Nov to 6th Jan 2015

I am currently pursuing my fourth year, BA.LLB(Hons) at National University of advanced Legal Studies, Kochi. I came to know about Majlis through an article written by Flavia Ma’am  on “Hindu”, I researched on the activities of the organization and was thoroughly impressed by Majlis and its work. I applied on the Majlis website for an internship and I was very excited when I received my acceptance letter from Audrey Ma’am.

 

My internship started on 18th November. On the first day, I was given a briefing about Majlis and its works and its various divisions . We had a discussion on the current scenario of crimes against women in India and how the fight for womens began in India. We were joined by Flavia Ma’am towards the later part of the discussion, Before coming to Majlis, I had read many articles written by Flavia Ma’am  and also heard so much about her.

 

Frankly speaking I was a little intimidated by her, but she turned out to be the most chilled out person in the whole office. My respect and admiration for her and only her work has only grown with my experience in Majlis. Her strength , confidence and knowledge gives courage to everyone. She is definitely one of those persons I look upto  very highly.

 

During my 8 weeks at Majlis, I was introduced to many avenues. I learnt a lot about the laws and rights of women  and the blatant violations which happen to them.

 

I was initially placed under the learning centre with Christine Ma’am. There I was entrusted with the task of preparing the training modules for women litigants to sue for the execution of maintenance and regular Darkhast and also charged with the task of execution of the college programme ‘Expressions’ . The module preparations research helped me learn a lot about provisions under Family Law, drafting, formatting and allocating data.

 

I was also entrusted with the task of making the documents and presentations for the know your right programmes .After about 6 weeks in the learning  Centre, I was assigned under Nausheen Ma’am in the litigation team office on the preparation of the documents and research material and handouts for the legal aid camps to be done in collaboration with the NGO’s

 

During my internship with Majlis I learnt a lot about Family Law and the various previews of women . I got to see and experience the law of women protection in Action. I had a truly unique experience from Majlis and it makes me proud to be a woman.

Himanshi Thakur, Indore Institute Of law, Indore, (M.P) 30th Sept to 30th Nov 2014

I am a 3rd year law student pursuing B.A, LLB (Hons) from Indore Institute of Law, Indore. I  have heard about this organization through my friend. Thereafter I happened to read about Flavia Agnes Ma’am, the founder and her articles on various social issues. From that moment, I knew that I have to be a part this organization.

I am inclined towards social work and thus I applied for an internship in Majlis. My application was confirmed within 15 days.

 

The beginning of my  journey at Majlis traces back to 30th Sept 2014. I received a warm welcome from  Audrey Dmello Ma’am, Programme  Director, Rabia & Christine Ma’am. They have always been a great support during internship period. They guided me, supported me & corrected my flaws from time-to-time, thus improving me as a professional.

 

After joining Majlis, I realized how critical is the state of women in our society at grass-vent level. I was shifted to Litigation Unit under Nausheen Madam who taught me all bits of legalities of the cases. Lawyers at Majlis work with the true and pure faith of working for destitute women of our society. I learned drafting as well.

 

Soon I was placed under learning centre where I did variety of tasks like calling clients and interacting with them, interacting with guests of conferences, organizational & managerial activities.

 

Flavia Mam’s presence always have a jovial aura. There is so much one can actually learn from her. During Thursday meetings, particularly, when all the Majlis team members sit together & discuss about their previous week. I always waited for Thursday Meetings. These meetings included discussions on legal current affairs most of the times. Listening to Flavia Mam is always been very enlightening. Her presences makes me cheered up.

 

Another interesting thing at Majlis is the lunch hour. All of the team members are food lovers. They made me to sit with them for lunch right from the first day & thereafter I never felt like going out for having lunch.

 

Leaving home and shifting to altogether a new city like Mumbai, was actually a call for me but Majlis team made me feel home right from thr first day. From drafting to Management, from conversations to behavior, from reactions to patience, from reacting to understanding. In Majlis I had a life changing experience. I have improved as a human as well as a  professional and of course as a lawyer.

 

I would love to be a part of organization once I complete my Graduation.

Nisha Kotian, Gender, Culture and Development, Pune. 10th May- 21st June, 2012

I did my graduation in sociology from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. In my T.V I had a paper on Gender and Society. It covered all issues addressing women’s rights and this is when I had read few articles written by Flavia Ma’am. I just loved the way she wrote and conveyed her point of view through the articles. Through that I heard about Majlis for the first time.

 

My second encounter with Majlis was when I was in Pune, pursuing my first year of Master’s. We were told that on a particular Monday, Adv. Nausheen Yusuf would be coming and conducting a workshop on the issue of Domestic Violence. I was excited for two reasons:- 1) because someone was coming from ‘my mumbai’ and 2) because someone was coming from Majlis- the organization about which I had heard a lot. The way Nausheen Ma’am conducted the workshop to be frank, pura class Nausheen Ma’am ka deewana ho gaya. Infact it was one of the most informative and interactive workshop we had attended. That was the day that I had decided that I want to intern only at Majlis.

 

At end of my first year of Masters, the internship places were announced. I was told that Majlis wanted someone/ a localite from Pune for their Pune unit and so would not be able to offer me the internship. On hearing this I felt really bad. But in a few days my department broke the good news to me saying that ‘they want you’. At that moment I felt that nothing better than this could have happened to me.

 

10th may- my first day at Majlis. I was very nervous. The person I had to meet (Audrey D’mello) hadn’t come. So Ms. Sindhu gave me the PWDVA Book. I knew about the Act, but got to know the intricacies about the law through that book. After I finished reading that I read the ‘Access to Justice’ journal. In my mind I couldn’t stop appreciating the work Majlis had done at the grassroot level.

 

Finally I met Ms. Audrey. I addressed to her as Ma’am to which her immediate reply was ‘ Chill ya, you can call me audrey’ J. Wow! That one sentence was enough to make me comfortable. Audrey explained to me what work was expected from me and I knew that I was at the right place.

 

From the next day onwards, initially I had inhibitions that I am a non-law person. So may be I may not get positive and good vibes from the law experts. But thank god, these misconceptions were broken and completely erased within a few days. The main reason being the sharing of and having lunch together.

 

From reading books on Domestic Violence, Access to Justice journal to watching the Majlis produced documentaries has been a great learning experience. I was also lucky to attend the ‘Consultation workshop on Rape Trials for Police and Public Prosecutors’. It helped me to brush up at my prior knowledge on the issue.

 

Another great experience for me was attending the meeting for Service Providers (under DV Act) held at CORO, Chembur. It was my first interaction with other organizations as a representative from Majlis. I was always wanted to do field work. This wish of mine was granted by Audrey who asked me to go to some of these Service Providers and tell them about the ‘draft of maintaining records of DV cases’ (through MOHIM). For this, I firstly had to brush up my knowledge about MOHIM as well as DV related issues and the Act.

 

The field work was an amazing experience. Going to these places that I had never visited before and finding my way out in reaching these places in itself was an experience. Speaking to the concerned people, taking data from them, clarifying their doubts and noting their feedbacks and suggestions- all of this used to take an entire day. But I indeed enjoyed it because after reading the theory this was my first practical experience. Im sure all of this wouldn’t have happened anywhere else but through Majlis.

 

The office work as well as field work has not only helped me gain more legal knowledge but it has also helped me to think clearly and make my choices for my benefit. In short, it has taught me about how to make my decisions independently for my good.

 

My thank you list would include the entire team of Majlis who I cant thank enough. But specifically I would like to thank:-

Audrey- for being my mentor, guide, friend, etc etc. really cant thank you enough for accepting me and then giving me so much of great work to do.

Sindhu- my first friend from Majlis who told me what to do, what not to do, how to chill, etc.. (will miss sharing the lunch with you)

Pearl- she from my side should get ‘Majlis Miss Entertainment’ Award. Thank you for your comments, jokes, expressions  that made me laugh everytime.

Nahida- for sharing her experience of everyday life and providing instances that made me cry as well as laugh.

Surekha- for everytime without forgetting calling me for lunch.

Shobhana- for calling me for lunch and always appreciating my home-cooked food.

Chaitali- for sharing Gujju dabba, Maggi and helping me with general work.

Payal- for bearing with the whole ‘ this is intern-zone’ environment inside her room.

 

Though I didn’t interact much with others, I’m sure everyone else at some point of time has helped me and made me comfortable in the office.

 

Lastly and most importantly I would like to thank Flavia Ma’am for being so humble and considerate, inspite of me not working under you, you always asked me about my work. Sharing your ‘Mangalorean food’ is something I shall never forget. The concern you showed when you got to know how the SPs were behaving with me was something I really felt nice about. To sum it up Ma’am- “the status you have achieved in society and the humility you have in yourself”-is something I would like to learn and cherish forever.

 

Every moment spent in Majlis has been a great learning experience. Thank You. If in future, you need my help in anyways, I would be more than happy to be useful.

 

I wish Majlis and its team All the Best for its future endeavors. WILL MISS THIS!!!

Ajita Sharma, Jindal Global Law School, Delhi. 14th May to 7th July, 2012

My journey to intern at Majlis started in Feb 2012 when the convener of JGLS Women’s Law Society (JWLS) sent out an email to all its members regarding a summer internship programme at Majlis. Right in that moment, I decided that I wanted to intern here and desired to grab this daring opportunity to work and contribute to the issues of women rights’ causes. However, this wasn’t very easy, one has to go through a tough selection process where over thirty students had applied for the same. I gave interview before the conveners and faculty. Finally, I got selected and applied to Majlis and a few days later I got a confirmation letter that my application to Majlis has been accepted, I was thrilled and over-joyed when I read the mail.

 

My excitement grew more and more till I actually came to work with Majlis on 14th May, 12 right after 4 days of giving my semester exams in college. I was thrilled to see Flavia Ma’am. Previously, I had seen her talk on various news channels and listened to her when she had come to my college for a conference. I was awed by her knowledge and confidence which I greatly aspire for myself. Not much to  my surprise, I found her exactly how I imagined her to be. Working with her on Muslim Womens Rights book and sitting with her inside her office throughout has been very insightful and intriguing in itself. She literally brushed my concepts of family law despite studying the same subject in law school. We would at times discuss about various issues which included the problems of the PWDVA or the recent Delhi HC judgement on elopement. I really adore her sweet nature.

 

I should acknowledge the facts that working at Majlis was a major learning experience for me as I was exposed to various facets of law especially relating to rights of women in cases of domestic violence and Muslim Womens Rights.

 

Going through various publications of Majlis including the Maintenance Book and the DV book etc. and Family Law Books and essays which were written by Flavia Ma’am and also the several documentaries I watched on issues of child abuse to Iranian Divorce was very enlightening for me. I sincerely hope that I was able to give back a fraction of what I learnt here at Majlis.

 

I relished attending all the Thursday meetings that I have attended so far because I think that in the end I am just not taking back with me the knowledge about DV and Muslim women rights but much more. I truly appreciate the solidarity that everyone in the office shares in these meetings about women rights and I hope that it continues to remain the same.

 

Attending the inauguration of NGMA was very significant to my learning as it showed the other cultural side of Majlis and Mumbai city though paintings, calenders, etc.

 

Last but not the least I would like to thank Flavia Ma’am for the knowledge I gained through her and innumerable opportunities she has shown to me over time. I will also take this opportunity of thanking Audrey Ma’am, Pearl, Sindhu ma’am, Nausheen ma’am who made me think and re-think about various things and have contributed to my development. In the end, I would like to thank the entire Majlis team for being so warm and helpful in all the way possible and for giving me this opportunity to be introduced to new activities, a while new arena for acquiring as much information.  Thank you so much! I really had a good time working with Majlis and I hope that I could still be of any help to Majlis after completion of my internship. 

Varsha Apte, ILS Law College Pune. 1st May- 7th June 2012

I came across Majlis on the internet. I was instantly intrigued and read up in greater detail on the work Majlis is involved in. I wanted to be a part of the organization and contribute to the work it does in whatever way possible.

 

Over the last two weeks, since the commencement of my internship, I have grown to admire and deeply respect the nature of the work the organization takes up and the zeal of the Members who constitute it.

 

The working environment and the work culture at Majlis is indeed praiseworthy and other organizations should take a leaf out of its books in this regard. Each and every member here is warm, friendly, very approachable, and above all extremely dedicated to the work they do.

 

I had the opportunity to read a couple of Majlis in house publications and found them to be lucid, informative and thought-provoking.

 

So far I have been primarily involved in the publication on Rape Law in India, which is to be launched in mid-june. Among all the issues which plague women. Rape is an issue which I have researched on and would like to work on extensively in the future. Reading the Majlis publication on rape law in India and vast research on case law concerning the major issues in the law on rape, has increased my knowledge of the subject manifold.

 

I am looking forward to the weeks to come and the work which will be allotted to me. The workshop conducted by Majlis on the 12th-13th of May 2012, discussed ‘Achieving Best evidence, ensuring dignity and fairness in Rape Trials’ and was a consultation for Public Prosecutors and Police officials.

 

The workshop was an excelling forum for bringing together Public prosecutors, police officials and representatives from an organization to discuss and formulate positive solutions to do justice to victims of rape.

The workshop gave me insight into the problems facing the victim in rape trials and the urgent need for coordination among NGOs, the police, the public prosecutors and the victims. It was indeed a weekend well spent.

 

The internship at Majlis has been rewarding and has definitely increased my knowledge of various aspects of law.

Tarini Padukone, ILS Law College, Pune. 23rd April - 1st June 2012

I first heard about Majlis, from my professor in College Jaya Sagde Ma’am. She has so many wonderful things to say about this organization, and encouraged a number of her students including myself to intern with Flavia Ma’am. My time in Majlis has been a great learning experience. On my first day, I was asked to read their in-house publications which I thought were very well written and extremely informative.

 

Flavia Ma’am then gave me a number of responsibilities. Which I was thrilled to accept, Majlis was planning on publishing a book on Domestic Violence and I was given research work, proof reading work to do with respect to the book. While doing this work I learnt and grasped a lot of the Domestic Violence Act.

 

Currently I am working on a book on Muslim Women and the Law under the guidance of Flavia Ma’am and Nausheen Ma’am. Working on this book has changed my perception of the legal rights that are available to Muslim women.

 

I also had the opportunity to attend the workshop- A consultative meeting for Senior Police Official and Public Prosecutors and the speakers. It was great to watch!

 

The atmosphere in Majlis  is great. Everyone makes you feel very comfortable. It was amazing to see so many women from different religions working really well together.

 

There are a number of people I would like to thank. Flavia Ma’am has been so helpful and has literally taken me under her wing. She is one of the most brilliant minds that I have ever come across. Audrey Ma’am, for being so friendly and warm and easy to approach. Pearl, who is one of the nicest and one of the most experienced person I have ever come across. Nausheen for always smiling and being so easy to work with. I would like to thank Sindhu, Farhat, Payal and all the other women in this organization, who made me feel so welcome.

 

I would always cherish this internship in Majlis. This being the first internships that I have done away from my home city, Bangalore has been one of the best experiences of my life!

Yamini, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. 14th Nov 2011 - 28th Feb, 2012

The name Majlis has been with me from my childhood days when I used to a watch a programme on Sony and in the end the name of Majlis flashed. The second encounter was when Flavia Ma’am came to our class to talk about women’s issues and left us mesmerized with the work that Majlis does. And then came my own experience. The day I was told that I was going to Majlis, I was overjoyed and scared at the same time. I came to office and met Audrey ma’am and all my fear was gone though I was a bit apprehensive as to will I be able to fulfill her wishes or not but slowly the barriers started breaking and I started enjoying my work.

 

The work which I was assigned was of conducting programmes in colleges and communities under Nausheen Ma’am. I contacted several colleges and NGOs in relation to this. It helped me to overcome my fears of how to conduct official meetings and official talks. I went to Tata Institute, Rizvi College, St. Andrews, and Advani college for the programmes. The other colleges that I went for the pre-expressions meet and contacted them are- SIES College and IES College. These events made me realize about the awareness of the Domestic Violence among other students which was not much before the event and how Majlis affected it after talking about DV.

 

The NGOs which I went for the “Awaz Uthao, Hinsa Roko” are- Stri Mukti Sangathann, Awaz-e-Niswaan. CCDT, SRS. The way Nausheen Ma’am spoke powerfully and moved the views of the women of the community and made them aware was amazing. These meetings helped me in increasing my awareness and Networking also.

 

The other work which I did was the Brochure work and the Report making for the events. I am very glad that Audrey Ma’am helped me understand as to how this is done without getting impatient.

 

The best part of interning with Majlis was the awareness about different issues and knowing more about different issues and courts. Nausheen Ma’am is one of the best persons I have ever come across. She is one of the most happy workaholic and happy to be so She didn’t treat me like an intern but as a person with equal position. The other people I would like to mention is Sindhu, Asha, Manasi, Farhat, Nahida, Surekha, and others who have made my stay at Majlis an enjoyable one. I would also like to thank Audrey Ma’am for having patience with me and guiding me throughout. I will miss the people and the work of Majlis but I am taking immense knowledge and unforgettable moments with me.

Vansh Gupta, National Law School, Bangalore. 23rd January - 3rd March 2012

Prof. Kalyani Ramnath encouraged me to take this internship up. She had interned here in her student days and was gushing with praise. The idea I got from her about the kind of work I’d do were rather different from the work I was eventually assigned. I thought I would go to courts and generally assist the litigation department. My internship took a full swing on the third day when I was assigned comprehensive research instead and I’m grateful for the way things turned out. I did not, could not, expect the organization to trust me with an entire publication- but Flavia Ma’am did it, and with confident ease. I have never been, in my previous internships, allowed so much responsibility and made felt so welcome while at it.

 

My work in Majlis spanned so many areas that I realize the need for a longer duration. I had initially balked when I was told the internship could not be for lesser than 6 weeks. Over the 5+ weeks I have already been through, I have handled from the menial calling for the Resource Directory, to fully rewriting a Majlis publication, with a bit of drafting thrown in. The breadth of work coupled with the smart, sweet lawyers here made for interesting conversations. I disagree with some of the ideas held here, but I realize how important it is for a place to even allow that kind of a challenge. To that end, I think it was wonderful that the first few days were spend in educating me about the kind of work Majlis puts out.

 

The work I did and saw while here was by itself illuminating- but I think the most I will take away from here will be from the way a secular, wide group of people function and function really well. Everyone from the peon to the director sits and eats at the same table. I find it difficult to explain back home how easy it is for a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Parsi to sit and have lunch time conversation without anything amiss.

 

I wish I had more time here, so that I could have gone and seen the courts- but I was never without meaningful work here and for that I am immensely grateful. A work for the Thursday meetings- they are still a bit of mystery to me, having been able to fully attend only one; and I wish Manupatra access could be sorted out faster along with the deceptively slow office computers.

 

A quick name drop thank you list: Flavia Ma’am for trusting me with so much, and such important work, Audrey Ma’am for the constant oversight and supreme management skills, Nausheen Ma’am for taking me under her wing for the very first day and every since, and Farhat Ma’am for the heart to heart about religion and life and the admin staff for tolerating my bungle-ups.

Maulika Hegde, National Law University, Gujarat. 31st October 2011-

First of all I would like to thank Majlis for providing me with the opportunity in the form of an internship. Like I mentioned in my introduction I would like to reiterate again, I have wanted to work with Majlis for a long time. Initially I was hesitant and a bit reluctant to work here for 8 weeks (that’s almost my entire winter break). But then I understood that a comprehensive understanding of what Majlis does cannot be restricted to a period of 4 weeks only.

 

My internship here has been an extremely eventful one. I would like to thank Flavia Ma’am for giving me the opportunity of going to Dindoshi and Sewri Sessions court. A trip to these courts gave me a good or rather better understanding of what law is at its most basic level. The interaction with the sessions court judges, court clerks and other officers in those courts helped me or rather allowed me to show off a good deal of my Marathi.

Even when in the office-collecting data for research, reading various judgements  have opened my eyes to various loopholes in the procedure (taught me what “beyond reasonable doubt” really is).

 

Reading the publications and Flavia Ma’am’s book on Family Law, took a considerable period of time but it gave me an idea or rather helped me understand Majlis’ ideology to a large extent. I hope that Majlis keeps coming out with such publications which not only helps train lawyers, judges but also law students.

 

My interaction with my superiors and the staff-administrative and non-administrative, though limited, has taught me how to interact, operate in a work environment. Besides that, I have enjoyed every one of my lunch breaks immensely. I would like to thank everyone at Majlis for this great learning experience.

 

I wish Majlis at the best for its future and I hope that they continue to not only help women in need but also continue with policy level interventions. I hope they continue their awareness programmes in colleges and help build not only a literate but an educated Indian population. Special thank you to Flavia Ma’am for being so approachable. Her books have provided a great insight into family law. Special thank you also to Sindhu Ma’am for answering all my doubts regarding office work.

 

Also special thanks to Nausheen Ma’am and Persis for guiding me through my work. And finally, to Audrey Ma’am for accepting my CV and providing me with an internship without which I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy this very internship. (Forgive me for the redundancy)

Aatmin Shah, NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. 3rd Nov - 15th Dec, 2011

Majlis has been a great learning experience for me. It has definitely made me more aware of the conditions of women and the problems they face. Now when I’m discussing anything with my friends I realize how much we take for granted the roles that women play in the society.

 

It has been a privilege to be associated with this institution. I felt great pride when I went to court and told them that I had come from Majlis and instantly they changed their behavior realizing I was not just a college student but an intern at Majlis.

 

In my brief period of a month and a half I got to visit various places like the sessions court and also visit colleges in the nearby locality. There was a great deal of things I learnt from handling court clerks to college professors and from learning to read and analyse  judgments to making affidavits, there is indeed a lot that I have learnt here for which I shall be indebted to Majlis all my life.

 

Being only six months old in this entirely new field of law I was very nervous and at the same time curious to discover more when I first joined Majlis. I was apprehensive at first since I had no idea about most of the laws let alone the laws pertaining to women but thankfully I was given to read very comprehensible and easy to understand guide books which gave me a good insight to the basic things I needed to know. My colleagues and superiors have been extremely friendly and have kept me very nicely never letting me feel out of place or realize that I have been working in an all women’s office. Sharing lunch and listening to stories during the lunch break has always been fun. They also been very kind enough to answer any doubts I had in the middle of their work and I am thankful to each and everyone of them. Even though I barely used to talk while I was here it was a pleasure at least meeting everyone and getting to know them.

 

Finally I would like to wish Majlis best of luck for its future ventures and wish it to continue to progress and grow in leaps and bounds. I hope to keep my association with this organization going and would love to help or assist in any manner possible. A very special thanks to Flavia Ma’am who  has been an inspiration and taught a lot to me. And I wish her also all the best for her brainchild that Majlis is and lastly would like to thank and applaud everyone at Majlis for the work that they have been doing so dedicatedly for the past twenty-one years.

Kunal Nathwani, University College London, 11th July - 18th August, 2011.

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity which I shall remember and cherish for a long period. At my short stint here, I managed to learn so much about a variety of issues that I had prior to this been oblivious about.

 

I never felt out of place in Majlis and everyone made me feel as part of the firm from day one. This made my time here even more enjoyable.

 

Initially, when I was assigned to attend the court and gather information, I thought it would be rather dull. However, as the days progressed I learnt so much about life as a lawyer in India. More than that I think this experience helped sharpen my people skills and my research ability.

 

I’m not a person of many words, but all I have to stay is that my time at Majlis was far too short and I wish I could prolong my stay here.

 

The boy awakened to women’s rights.

Devashree Tulankar, Symbiosis Law School, Pune. 17th May - 30th June 2011

These 6 weeks have been a real learning experience. There is so much that we as law students don’t know and aren’t taught in college of what law is in practicality.

 

When I was assigned to do drafting work, I confess I did not know much about it, not having done any drafting as a part of my curriculum as yet. However, I am grateful to Tina Ma’am as well as Dolly Ma’am who patiently answered my queries regarding the same. While drafting petitions for divorce, maintenance, etc I came to know about the struggle that many women face to lead a life free of abuse and neglect. I am gratified and proud to have been able to experience and witness the great contribution that Majlis is making in providing legal assistance to women from all strata of the society.

 

One of the first things I had noticed on entering the Majlis office on my first day was that the atmosphere is very relaxed and friendly. Everyone was helpful and did their most to make the interns feel comfortable and this helped me adjust quite quickly. Not only was this a learning experience, it was quite fun too.

 

Though I was assigned to drafting I got to do other kinds of work too, such as going to the city civil and sessions court at VT. It also gave us an opportunity to interact with a public prosecutor and understand the procedure in rape cases.

 

These 6 weeks have taught me so much, about law, about the relationship between women and the prevalent law and courts and has changed the way a perceived issues related to these before. I wish my internship period not so short, there seems to be so much more to absorb and learn as could not be done in the short six week time period. I am grateful to Flavia Ma’am and Audrey Ma’am for giving me this opportunity of getting to know Majlis. Hope to come back soon.

Shivani Mitra, KIIT Law School, Bhubaneswar. 16th May - 27th June 2011

At the end of my six weeks internship, one thing is very clear to me that our understanding of law at law schools and the scene in the real life is completely different. Out lives in law schools revolve around moot courts, semesters, assignments. But after working with Majlis I have realized that life of law is not just these but much beyond that/ after my interaction with the lawyers here at Majlis, the clients, my visits to courts, the line “life of law is not of logic but that of experience” is well understood now.

 

By far, my experience here at Majlis has been the most enriching and learning one for me of all the other internships. I was never treated as an intern from law school. Majlis treats its every intern as its employee. We dine together for lunch, attend the Thursday meetings along with the other lawyers here. The work environment is very friendly and very relaxed. We are not put under any pressure and are assigned tasks according to our capabilities. I say my experience at Majlis has been the best of all because at no other place, have I or will u ever get to work where the three units, viz.  litigation, Outreach, Campaign works cohesively.

I have had the opportunity to work for both, research as well as litigation department of the organization. Besides this, I relate and support the cause which the organization supports. I remember Audrey telling us in the orientation that we have to keep our inhibitions and all pre-conceived notions at bay and work for those who are less fortunate than us.

 

After working on DV case laws, rape law, drafting, court visits, not only has my understanding of law changed but now I understand and view life in a much different way, because while doing all this there was this girl inside me who from a small town was struggling and trying to adjust alone in this big town like Bombay. Overall my experience at Majlis has been great and I want to thank first and foremost to Audrey for accepting my application and allowing me to work with Majlis. I want to thank Flavia Ma’am for allowing me to work with her and much thanks to Nausheen Ma’am and Anita Ma’am for being so supportive. And I thank each and every person at Majlis for being helpful and supportive. I hope to come back soon.

Anita Rose Arenson, University of Wisconsin, USA. October 10- February 11

I was introduced to Flavia Agnes and encouraged to explore Majlis by my employer Mitra Sharati at the University of Wisconsin Law School. I was feeling fairly lost and aimless aft5er I had just graduated from the Masters of Social Work program at UW and Mitra encouraged me to travel- especially to India. I arrived in Bombay October 2010 and since that time I am convinced the decision to travel to India and work at Majlis is the best decision I have ever made.

 

Majlis combines three of my greatest professional passions- law, social work and feminism. Indeed I identify completely with the values of this organization. To be a working member of this organization I am completely invested in has been a treat.

 

I have really enjoyed my work in the drafting unit. The position was good for me because it combined client interaction with English language writing- which are the two major skill sets that I was able to bring to the organization. Further, since petitions are so central to the legal process, working in this unit gave me a chance to see a case from fact sheet to filing. Watching a case from beginning to end although filing is just another beginning proved to be tremendously rewarding.

 

I would say client interaction, has, however been my favourite part of my time here, I am so fascinated by my clients stories, heartbroken by their abuse and inspired by their strengths. I find that I share little in common with most of our clients but connecting with them on their terms in their world for just an hour is so beautiful and powerful.

 

Further, I have absolutely loved becoming part of the office. Lunch time is a real treat and great opportunity to sample new foods and see if my efforts at Indian cooking are on track. Farhat has been especially amazing and I feel very close to her for all the guidance, help and advice she has given me (including help in the saree process). Further I consider Farhat the greatest social worker I know- her head and heart are always in the right place. Additionally I have enjoyed the process of working with Nausheen. She has been most central to my professional development here. I feel she really took me under her wing and helped me explore more than drafting- I’ve especially loved accompanying her to the court. Nausheen is incredibly hard working and competent and I consider her a role model. And Persis is a superstar. Maybe I’ll be as impressive as her someday.

 

I do regret that I did not get to interact with and work with Flavia Ma’am much. Indeed she is the essence of Majlis. However, I have savored our interactions such as at LASSNET in Pune and at Mitra’s book launch.

 

As far as suggestions go for the future interns, I think a comprehensive orientation program would be invaluable. I think a lot of interns may arrive knowing about Majlis, but lost in terms of office procedure. This takes time and I’m glad I was here long enough to learn the ropes. This comment is especially true in regard to Western students who may arrive completely lost. Further, I would be benefitted from more training in the Indian Legal system. Perhaps suggesting Flavia Ma’am’s new book to new interns would be a good idea. Lastly, I would have benefitted from more feedback. I often wondered whether my work was good or bad and was unsure of who to ask. You found getting the constructive criticism even harder when I needed suggestions that I could use to really improve my drafts. Nausheen, however, was invaluable here- she really took the time to teach me and we learned to work well together for it.

 

Thank you for the tremendous opportunity to be a part of this organization. I will take this experience with me, always. Stay proud and strong.

Elizabeth Lex, University of Wisconsin Law School, USA. 7th July - 5th August, 2010

I feel that it is unfortunate that my stay here has been so short. Between the limited duration, my unfamiliarity with Indian law, and only speaking English, there is obviously a limit to the work that I have been able to do while working here at Majlis. Thankfully, the task which Audrey assigned me for during my time here was perfect for me in light of my language and legal skills, and it also served as a comprehensive introduction to the organization.

 

I am so thankful that Majlis was able to accommodate me last minute as an intern and it definitely made my summer better. The women at this office are amazing, smart, kind and funny, and always sought to include me. My one disappointment is that I spent two days a week in the office, working the rest on my laptop at home. As a young woman in a foreign country who knows nobody in town, spending time at work and fostering relationships with the women here might have served me better.

 

I will admit that at first I was slightly intimidated by Flavia Ma’am, with her experience and knowledge, and the powerful energy she exudes. However, I feel when talking to me that she is generally and genuinely interested in what I have to say, which makes the process much easier.

 

Thank you for encouraging (forcing? Haha) me to give a presentation and computer training session here. While I am obviously shy and don’t speak a lot, this gave me an opportunity to be heard in a way in which I was prepared and that greatly increased my confidence.

 

Finally, thank you for the opportunity to intern with Majlis. I know that this summer experience is one that I will take back to the US and try to incorporate a sensitivity towards women in all my future legal endeavors. I know that, through Sumudu, my law school plans to keep encouraging students to seeks internships with Majlis, and I will tell anyone seeking such a position that it is a fascinating and rewarding experience. 

 

You ladies have been fantastic, keep going strong! XOXO

Anuja Pethia, National Law Institute University, Bhopal 4th - 22nd January, 2010

I came across Majlis on an online database of NGOs. I was more than impressed by its website. Its one of the best I have ever seen. Unfortunately, my stay here was not very long because it is a new city for me and I had certain accommodation issues. But I picked up a lot during the three weeks I was here.

 

I was overawed by the amount of energy in the litigation department. Particularly, Nausheen and Pooja, two hard working people who have taught me a lot. I thank them for teaching me and trusting me, and allowing me to assist them.

 

Working here has also helped me understand the working of family law in real time and the gravity of women rights issues. Interaction with clients helped me in understanding these issues. The two days conference was a hectic but again enlightening experience. I was amazed to know about the efforts women take to help other women, because even though I am a feminist, I always thought women are so competitive that they would rarely help each other.

 

Lastly, I thank Flavia Ma’am and Audrey for having me here. I thank Kainaz for keeping me busy where there were no petitions to work on and also for helping me understand Majlis. I thank Rani for the coffees she made.

I must admit that I am in mock admiration of Flavia Ma’am- her knowledge, energy and experience; and also Sindhoo, who is a one woman battalion in the office. Warm regards to all,

Radha Karia, National Law University, Bhopal. 29th December - 2nd January 2010

In my college we have a trend, wherein you do an NGO internship in your first year and then move on to law firm internships/ District Court or High Court internships and so on. I wasn’t ready to intern in my first year and to be honest I was having second thoughts about law college. I was not like other students who always wanted to do law/ bring a change etc etc. I chose law because I didn’t know what else to do. Coming to Majlis at the end of my second year I now know that I want to do law. The work given to me by the litigation department, especially by Pooja and Nausheen made me realize that I want to do law. It’s not like a revelation or anything. Now I know what I want and I don’t think I could have figured it out on my own.

 

Lastly, I just want to thank the entire Majlis team, especially Flavia and Audrey for giving me the opportunity to intern here. And also Kainaz, Sindhu, and Petrina for the conference. Finally, thanks to Pooja, Dolly and Nausheen for teaching me what I am taking back with me.

Amee Vora, Bryn Mawr College, USA. 21st May - 3rd August 2009

Around 7 months ago, I came across Majlis on an online list of Mumbai NGOs that serve to help women. As a young woman who has made the decision to attend law school, a choice that is usually made around this point in an American student’s academic career. I was instantly excited at the prospect of interning at an organization whose cause I support immensely. In fact, women’s rights and my unwavering belief in feminism is what made me first consider a career in law.

 

Accordingly, being exposed to the legal, feminist environment at Majlis was a fantastic experience. Listening to the lawyers counseling clients, preparing for cases, speaking passionately about women’s rights are things that assure me that I too want to follow suit. Additionally, working with Flavia Agnes was an advantage and an honor I won’t follow suit. Coming in with no knowledge of Indian rights or laws, I will leave with all sorts of interesting ideas, facts, and memories of this work. I have learned so much.

 

I will admit that this internship did not pan out the way I initially expected or hoped for when I first came to Majlis back in January. I do feel a bit disappointed that I could not play a more active role or atleast spend more time in this enriching environment. There were certainly ups and downs and misunderstandings during my time here. But at the end of the day, I know I made the most of what I was dealt.

Ashwita Ambast, National Law School, Bangalore. 15th June - 7th July, 2009

Interning here was very productive for me. I was exposed to some things that Majlis does as an organization such as movie making and book writing, to the process of omitting a comprehensive account for the purpose of a textbook and to a crash course in Family law. I felt very welcome here and was able to be a part of a great working environment.

 

However, I also felt that I was unable to contribute completely as I was here for a very short period of just 3 weeks. I was consequently unable to grasp all of what Majlis does. Undeniably, Majlis gives interns  much more to work with and learn from than the average internship. However, I still wish I was more useful to the organization. Perhaps a solution to this would be to reject the applications of interns (like me L) who apply for too short a period. Or alternatively, give such interns a week-work division where there is a strictly demarcated, distinct sphere of work to do (eg. litigation, work on publications, conferences, etc) for each work of the internship. This will give a more holistic idea. Also on application, you could provide a list of any important conference, programmes, and workshops around the internship so we can reschedule our internships as much as possible around these!! On the whole however, working with Majlis, even if for a short period, where I could contribute minimally has not disappointed me in any way at all, but has only motivated me to come back here in future years for more exposure!

 

Hope these suggestions are helpful and a big thank you for everything!

Srinidhi Ganeshan, Gujarat Law University, Gandhinagar. 4th May - 6th June, 2009

Interning at Majlis was enlightening and enjoyable at the same time. The knowledge gained by interning here is immense.