I had the opportunity to intern with Child in Need Institute (CINI) in Calcutta as part of a civic engagement program in my MBA curriculum from NMIMS, Mumbai. I was placed in the Communication team.
It was a whole new experience for me to plan for fundraising and branding activities in a not-for-profit organization. I came to develop some understanding of how the NGO ran and its interventions in the areas of education, protection, health and nutrition. It involved quite a bit of digging into CINI’s annual reports and creating proposals for fundraising from donors. A significant learning came from being part of the Annual Programme and Budget Workshop of CINI. I had the opportunity to observe Dr. Samir Chaudhuri, Founder – Director, CINI and his full team in planning and strategizing for the upcoming fiscal year. In my role as a rapporteur, I heard about the various issues and challenges that the NGO faced in its daily operations and administrative work, such as fundraising, branding, managing stakeholders and employees, attrition etc. It was an academic thrill to be amidst the senior leaders of the organization who had come together to plan for the upcoming fiscal year. However, in all of my 3 weeks spent at CINI, what really left a lasting impression on me were the couple of field visits that brought me face to face with some beneficiaries of CINI’s child protection interventions. A child persistent in her struggle to walk, learn and communicate while another young girl fighting her way out of child labour were the real life inspirations I walked away with.
The internship gave me a front row seat to witness the impact CINI has on its beneficiaries and the opportunity to volunteer on a couple of occasions. Although it’s been almost 3 years and I am far from the team now, CINI will always have a humble patron and a well-wisher in me!