August 28, 2018

Tata Social Internship 2018 hosts 15 international students in sustainability learning programmes in India

Students from University of California, Berkeley, USA; London School of Economics, UK; University of Cambridge, UK; and King’s College London, UK, gained valuable experience in bridging social disparity

Mumbai: Tata Social Internship, the unique two-month, global experiential learning programme, this year, hosted 15 international students from some of the world's best universities in the areas of community development, bridging social disparity and sustainability in India.

Offering the students grass-roots-level exposure while bringing home diverse global perspectives at Tata group companies, the 11th edition of the programme accorded six students from the University of California, Berkeley, USA; six from the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK; one from the University of Cambridge, UK; and two from King’s College London, UK, a unique experience promoting international understanding. The diverse batch of students worked closely in the community initiatives of Tata companies and entities like Tata Steel, Tata Chemicals, Titan, Indian Hotels, Tata Power, Tata Business Excellence Group, Tata Medical Center and the Tata Trusts.

The visiting international interns, selected by their educational institutions along with Tata representatives, came from diverse academic backgrounds such as international relations, political science, psychology, anthropology, geography, peace and conflict studies, social policy, molecular environmental biology, global health and social medicine, economics, management, philosophy and law.

The areas of the projects ranged from archival of a century-old mental hospital, portals for heritage crafts, livelihood opportunities pertaining to self-help groups, careers in sports, assessment of ongoing education programmes, action planning for inclusivity in the workplace to assessments of large-scale primary healthcare studies of acute myeloid leukaemia and the challenges of indigenously developing equipment for hospitals.

Robert Smith, who is doing his BSc in global health and social medicine at King’s College London, interned at the Tata Medical Center in Kolkata and worked on evaluating the cost of treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia. “TMC and Tata Memorial Centre for cancer in Mumbai truly reflect the Tata Trusts’ legacy of social responsibility. The Trusts have really embraced the challenge of fighting the rising burden of cancer in India. This programme offered me an excellent opportunity to work with some of the country’s most-renowned opinion leaders from a variety of fields in oncology,” said Robert.

Harish Bhat, brand custodian, Tata Sons, said, “Tata Social Internship is a global learning platform which offers international students a unique opportunity to experience India at the grass-roots level. Reflecting the Tata group’s commitment to keeping the community at its heart, this programme provides these students a distinct perspective on serving society and balancing the needs of all stakeholders.”

Prof Munis D Faruqui, director, Institute for South Asia Studies, University of California Berkeley, said, "I had the privilege of watching UC Berkeley students share their experience in the Tata Social Internship. Deeply moved by the unparalleled learning opportunities presented to them, each student appreciated the ground-breaking work, recognised the larger eco system and eagerly anticipated future opportunities. It’s impressive to see the foresight of Tata Sons in creating such a unique programme and the extraordinary value it offered to Berkeley’s students over the decade."

The students during their internship also participated in an online essay competition on their experience in India (essays can be accessed at http://www.tatasocial-in.com/tata-ises-experience).