Get Global

Creating together

Our students tell us about their global internship with the Bharti Foundation Internship. For more information on our Global Internship opportunities, visit our website.

Week 1

Our arrival to India was largely successful, with the exception of one 18 hour delayed flight. Finbar and George had arrived early on Sunday 24th June and were able to head out in exploration of the city that would host us for the next six weeks. They were surprised to find familiar restaurants from home in the Ambience mall, such as Jamie Oliver’s and Nando’s. Moving on to watch the England football match, they made a friend in Cyberhub, who then proceeded to give George’s Facebook profile a thorough stalk. In the early hours of the morning, Robert got in to the guest house to the boys’ room, which consisted of two people sharing a double bed and a third on a mattress on the floor. It is going to be a cosy couple of weeks with each other. On the other hand, Jessica, whose flight was supposed to arrive at 8:30 in the morning on Sunday 24th, arrived instead at 5:30AM on Monday 25th. And the interns were expected to be at the Bharti Foundation office in the Airtel centre at 10:30AM. It goes without saying that large amounts of coffee were consumed to function that morning.

 

 

Our first working days

Our internship with Bharti Foundation, the developmental arm of Bharti Enterprises, began on 25th June 2018. Early Monday morning, we arrived to meet our supervisor Mr Jitesh Dhoot, who will be advising us through our research project over the coming weeks. We were escorted up to our office, which is really fresh with high quality AC and a wide range of dining options in the cafeteria downstairs. It is striking the contrast between the environment within the Office and out on the street, where chaos reigns.

On Monday, we were given an introduction to Bharti Foundation and its work in providing education to children in rural parts of India. On Tuesday, we were given the task to research the Indian education system and present our findings on Wednesday. This was to build up our secondary research skills for the main research project commencing in week 2, as well as build a solid foundation of knowledge in the field of our internship’s work.

Our diet here consists of curries all day, every day. To no one’s surprise.

 

 

Towards the end of week 1

On Thursday, we were given a presentation on research orientation, covering topics such as research design and research tools, as well as the SMART technique. We then began preparing our own little research topic on consumer behaviour towards the departmental store in the Airtel centre headquarters where the Bharti Foundation office is located. After going off in different directions, we eventually found the right path with our hypothesis and questionnaire for the project.

In our downtime, we go on small expeditions around our guesthouse to familiarise ourselves with the new surroundings. The streets are alive and chaotic with the honking of cars, barking of dogs, and talking.

 

 

On Thursday evening we went exploring to find somewhere to watch the world cup, our search ended in a buzzing late night bar, with a projector showing England v Belgium and pints at £1.50.

Back at work on Friday, our questionnaire was handed out among the staff and the data analysed by us interns. A five-page report is to be completed over the weekend and ready for presentation on Monday. From then on we will begin with the main project spanning over the next five weeks. We are also delighted to announce that on Friday an additional intern joined our ranks—Vidushi Sinha, born and raised in New Dehli, now studies at Grinnell College in Iowa, USA. Our plans for our first weekend in India include a trip to the Taj Mahal, a must-see in India, and George’s 21st birthday!

 

 

In between sharing embarrassing university shenanigans, all piling into a small tuk tuk, and exploring the neighbourhood in the humid climate, we have successfully and completed week 1 of our Global Experience Opportunity internship with Bharti Foundation.

Week 4

The fourth week of our internship with Bharti Foundation involved us interns traveling to the city of Amritsar in Punjab, India to conduct fieldwork for our research project on the effectiveness of the lesson plans implemented in the Satya Bharti Schools. We visited a total of 17 Satya Bharti Schools of Bharti Foundation across the district surrounding the city of Amritsar. Previous to our fieldwork, we had been analysing the written lesson plans teachers had created for their classes and evaluating them based on a set of criteria. Then came the fieldwork where we would sit in lessons and assess whether or not the teachers had adhered to their lesson plans. Additionally, we interviewed the teachers whose classes we observed and sent out questionnaires to the trainers responsible for introducing and guiding the teachers through the lesson plan’s implementation.

Bright and early Sunday morning, 15th July, we began our journey from Delhi to Amritsar. It was going to be a long day, with us leaving the guesthouse at 5:30 to catch our 8-hour train and then staying out late in the evening to see the famous Golden Temple.

 

At the Golden Temple, we were lucky enough to experience the evening prayer at sunset. A bit on the evening prayer. We witnessed the charitability of the Sikh faith as they served the free meal to all visitors at the langar, the community kitchen. While we did not stay for the meal at the temple, we were treated to delicious halwa, a dense, sweet confection, courtesy of our kind supervisor, Jitesh. Afterwards, we had our dinner at one of the best Punjabi dhaba or roadside restaurant in Amritsar.

The next day, we began our school visits with the Chogawan Senior Secondary School. We were welcomed by the prefects of the school with a teeka ceremony, where they marked our foreheads with a paste in honour of our arrival. The staff that greeted us in each and every one of the schools were welcoming and generous with their hospitality, offering us water, tea, and snacks.

After our first day of fieldwork, we travelled to the Wagha border between India and Pakistan to watch the border ceremony. Two hours before sunset each day an elaborate ceremony of chanting and loud music commences before the flags of the two countries are taken down for the night. It was a curious experience, as the ceremony apparently aimed to foster peace between the two countries but instead gave of the impression of a shouting competition to see who was loudest. All in all, it was good fun watching the enthusiasm of the Indian people dancing in the middle of the road to some Bollywood classics in celebration of their country.

Throughout the week, the five interns would divide up into two groups to each cover two schools per day for the classroom observations. For lunch, we would eat the Mid-Day Meal served to all the children, which is an initiative to increase enrolment and nutrition of the students. During our classroom observations in the sweltering heat, we noted the dedication and compassion of the students, who would happily share their supplies with each other as they studiously copied down their notes from the blackboards. To observe the classrooms with as little disturbance as possible, we tried our best to remain inconspicuous in the back of the classroom. However, the sight of us often caused the young children to turn around in curiosity and smile shyly. Some of the more daring students would come up and shake our hands while uttering a giggles-filled “Good morning!” After each observed lesson, we would conduct interviews with the teachers to gage their understanding of the lesson plan methodology that was implemented and its effectiveness. Despite some struggles due to the language barrier, we were able to collect a range of responses from the teachers to be included in our research report.

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It has been both humbling and enlightening to witness the good deeds through the implementation of free education in the Satya Bharti Schools and the dedication with which the students apply themselves in the classrooms. As our project assesses the quality of teaching in the Bharti schools, it is made all the more obvious how important Bharti Foundation’s cause of providing free education is to staff on all levels of the organisation.

 

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