Safe Surrender Campaign, Stories

BLOG POST: Naavya, an Economics and Finance student, talks about her WAIC internship

Hello! My name is Naavya and I’m a rising sophomore studying Economics and Finance at Flame University. And while the economy and a good financial future are important, the true future of the country depends on the current generation of children. And part of this generation are the 30 million orphaned and abandoned children in India.

I did a month-long internship with WAIC, through May and June 2021 and the experience although digital, has made me a little more insightful about the issue with child welfare in india.

Right at the beginning of the internship, I was asked if I had seen abandoned children around me living in negligent, unfavourable conditions. And yes, I had these children living on the sidewalks and underbridges, but before that day, as ignorant as it sounds, I hadn’t given them a second thought. Eventually, I learnt about the adverse effects that abandonment, inattention can have on a child’s development and how the lack of an adult support system or a guardian can be detrimental to the child’ growth.

I realised this streak of ignorance spread beyond just me, and this was confirmed while doing one of the tasks I was assigned during the Internship. The task involved reaching out to family, friends and people around us in an effort to spread awareness about the Safe Surrender Campaign and the Juvenile Justice Act of India, which states that anyone can anonymously surrender their child to a specialised adoption agency without facing any legal repercussions. I noticed that just like me, a lot of people weren’t aware of the existence of such a constitutional provision and nor did they know who to contact to go through with it.

Another task I took up during the internship was influencer outreach, this involved reaching out to celebrities and organisations in an effort to spread awareness of the process of adoption evaluation at child shelters and orphanages. And ask the influencers to inturn spread the message to their audience. This issue was further brought to importance because of the 100s and 1000s of children orphaned because of the CoronaVirus.

Tracking media coverage of the issue of COVID orphans in India was also part of the tasks done during the internship. The task involved gathering information about the news coverage of the issue through the months of May and June. Through this, we can understand the extent to which the matter is prioritised by different news outlets, what reporters, government agencies, persons of authority and political representatives have and are likely to take point on the issue and what organisations around the country are providing aid to the children orphaned by the CoronaVirus.

In all, I found the Internship extremely eye opening and enlightening. It made me more perceptive of problems which I previously hadn’t even recognised. I do thing the internship was fruitful and I would definitely recommend it to someone, even just so you can be aware and informed about whats happening around you.

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