NMMU sociology student off to India for internship

AUGUST 4, 2016

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s BA Honours in Sociology student Dominique Ralarala has been accepted into the Seva Mandir internship programme in Rajasthan, India.

Ralarala takes part in the internship from August to October 2016, where she will be required to develop a research project according to the mutual interests and needs of Seva Mandir. Seva Mandir, meaning Temple of Service, is one of India’s leading development non-profit organisations.

Ralarala says she found out about the organisation through a lecturer who shared his experience of getting involved with Seva Mandir when he travelled to India. This prompted her to conduct her own research on the organisation before submitting her application.

“My motivation to apply for the internship was three fold … to begin with, I want to build a connection between my chosen field of study and furthering my own career and intellectual attentions. Equally motivating is my interest in the resilience displayed in rural communities amidst ongoing global shifts, violence and displacement.

“Finally, I feel that finding resonance with the life experiences of others has motivated me to steer closer to opportunities that allow me to learn with deeper meaning. Seva Mandir does this daily across 700 villages.”

Ralarala leaves for India on August 10 and says she looks forward to three things – witnessing the intricate ways in which individuals across ethnicities in India (re)produce their culture through wisdom traditions, spirituality, metaphysics, food and memory; learning to find her way around an unfamiliar environment; and eating Kali rollsTandoor chicken and Baingan bharta.

“I hope this experience will help me find my niche in the Social Sciences field. I also hope to return to South Africa having gained a better understanding of interdisciplinary research.”