Internships are divided into Research, Community Service, Teaching, and Administration

(* = the disciplines the project falls within)


Betawar-Chitauni (two villages outside Banaras where NIRMAN works)

  1. Mapping: draw a simple map of either village, or a planned part thereof, marking every house, well, road, place of worship, school, other official building, open spaces, etc. Small symbols inside the houses will tell us through a key as to the occupation, educational level, number of children, and their needs. The purpose of the exercise is to spatially consolidate our knowledge of the village, and identify more precisely the needs of children and households. To make a map is easier both for non-Hindi speaking interns, and for those villagers to help in who have little or no education. There are six other villages available around Betawar and Chitauni for such mapping.

* Geography, Sociology, Anthropology, Religion, Gender, Education, Development, Economics

  1. Ethnography of village (government) school. This means at least an hour of observation, with more if possible, on selected days, and an immediate set of notes pinning down the observations. The intern will be guided as to what to observe and how to describe it. Observation includes classrooms, teaching, teachers’ rooms, playgrounds, and all activities and people in the school.

*Anthropology, Gender, Education, Development

  1. 3.   Ethnography of village culture. A guided exploration and detailed ethnographic reports of seasonal festivals, families’ lifecycle ceremonies, work and leisure activities, and the rhythms of everyday lives. Sketching, photography and videography would be valuable. The purpose is twofold: to increase our knowledge about the villagers we work with, and to have local and personal data to help in making curricula.

*Anthropology, Gender, Development


Nagwa (city)

  1. 4.   Ethnography of homes of children on scholarships. This means several hours of observation, including perhaps video taping, to understand the situation at home and the routines and lifestyle as understood at various cross-sections of time in the day. Includes interviews on the subject of cost of living budget, problems and hardships, family structure, genealogy, values and aspirations .The families are those of artisans such as weavers, working class people, petty traders and professionals, each of them extremely poor and unable to afford most required things for children, from nutritious food to books.

* Anthropology, Economics, Development, Gender

  1. 5. Ethnography of music teaching in schools. Visits to and observation in classes of all grades when music is being taught. This can be combined with 6 below for maximum results.

*Anthropology, Arts, Education, Development, Religion

  1. 6.   Ethnography of music teaching in homes: the guru shishya parampara, or “teacher-student system” of centuries-old vintage. Observation of classes held by music teachers in their own homes.

* Anthropology, Arts, Education, Development, Religion

The purpose of the above two projects is to contribute information towards a NIRMAN project of Music Curricula for children, in which we hope to amalgamate the power and discipline of home teaching into the formal setting of the school.

Community Service

  1. Study of staff members and their families. Make a list of the thirty or so staff members, all BPL (below the poverty line). Investigate their medical histories. Observe their illnesses or any symptoms of health troubles. Accompany them to their preferred doctors and clinics. Interview and observe the doctors and clinics. Make a report of what is needed to achieve better health for the staff members and their families. Conduct workshops with them for them to understand their own bodies better, in very elementary ways.

* Biology, Medicine, Anthropology, Development

  1. English teaching: Have a class in English on a one-to-one basis or with two members at a time from the staff, focusing on oral learning, determined to make them take off in their ability to speak English by devising interactive, fun, non-threatening lessons that include trips to the market, or visits to people or work-related activities.

* Education, Anthropology, Development

  1. Educational materials: Make materials for use by children in the classrooms, especially pre- and primary school. Materials to be made out of paper, cardboard, wood, cloth, waste materials including cans, plastics and bottles. The ideas exist with NIRMAN and have to be translated—with help as needed—into finished products for classroom use.

* Education, Arts, development

  1. Teach computers: to village and city children in the school through creative projects that will make them grasp the workings of the computer fast and enable their learning to continue and escalate because of the project that engrosses them.

*Any Science or Humanities subject, Computer Science, Development

  1. Assist in teaching a class in any subject in the village or city campus; assist in developing the curriculum for that subject in a comprehensive, written form.

* Education, any Science or Humanities subject, Development

  1. Make simple musical instruments to make melodic and rhythmic sounds. The intern has to research and experiment with designs. (S)he will get all materials, and the help, as needed, of a carpenter, seamstress, or other skilled assistant. The idea is for the instrument to be usable by small children, and possible to duplicate, so that a class of children can have more and more informally made instruments to play during music class.

* Music, arts, Education, Development

  1. Make worksheets in English, Math, Science and Environmental Studies/Social Studies for grades 1 to 5. These will be based on our model, with space to expand and innovate. There has to be research and possibly some learning from or adaptation of, existing worksheets. If interested, the intern could make drafts and try them out with children before completing them.

* Any subject, Education, Development

  1. Work with the NIRMAN carpenter and his apprentice to make a wooden and recycled materials playground set for pre-and primary school children in the village campus.
  2. Set up a Sports Centre or Club in the village campus for anyone from the community to come and play games for an hour on designated evenings.
  3. An environmental project in either the city or the village campus, to design and execute the technology to keep the campus garbage-free and recycling its waste, and to act as advocates for the same processes for the people immediately around the two campuses.
  4. Farming/gardening on one of the fields in the village campus: flowers, vegetables, herbs, lentils, wheat, greens, according to season. You will be part of a team that divides up the various parts of the work, and can take as much responsibility as you think you can handle. You will learn about the particular crop(s) and the systems of farming in India.

All the above: * Education, Development



On either of our two campuses,

  1. Teach one of the arts: music, dance, theatre, fine arts, or bookmaking, for 10 to 15 hours a week. The syllabus has to be innovatively developed, since we rely on each teacher to do so. There will be mentoring in how to make this fit with NIRMAN’s school’s goals in teaching, and with the needs of Indian children.
  2. Teach one of the regular school subjects: English, Social Studies, Math, Science, or Sports, as an Assistant Teacher, within the framework of the school’s curricula



  1. Complete the cataloguing of the library books in the NIRMAN libraries.
  2. Assist in improving the running of Southpoint Cafe, the cafe at NIRMAN, by arranging materials in the kitchen, volunteer-managing for certain hours, promoting publicity, keeping records and accounts on the computer, and other related activities.
  3. Uploading recent information on NIRMAN on the website.
  4. E-mailing and sending information to mailing lists of NIRMAN.
  5. Fund-raising for NIRMAN.

The above internships require a basic skill with computers, and a lot of skill with people, patience, and commitment. In each case, there will be training, teamwork, and mentorship.