SEWA: The Final Week

As their internship comes to a close, our SEWA interns reflect on their six weeks working in Ahmedabad, India. To find out more about our GEO global internship programme for Newcastle University Business School Stage 2 students, visit our website.

Somehow we have managed to make it to the last week and it’s been a busy one. Although we have had six weeks to create these reports, there was definitely a slight last minute panic to get everything in order and ready to present. Luckily, the projects seem to have gone smoothly and SEWA seem happy with our research and findings! After our presentations, we were presented with a Hansiba product and a book by the SEWA founder Ela Bhatt. As we had spent six weeks with SEWA learning about the embroidery and work that goes into the products, we were all really touched by the gifts and had an emotional good bye.

As it was our last week, we decided to make the most of it and visit some of our favourite places in Ahmedabad. Specifically, these included Manek Chowk which is transformed into a jewellery and spice market during the afternoon. It is chaotic and completely unforgettable as you bump from person to person trying not to knock anything off the stalls and dodging the stall owners who are desperate for you to purchase something. It is also one of the best smelling places as all the herbs and spices are in bags, on tables and hanging from random poles!

Finally, we made the much talked about visit to Gandhi’s Ashram. This was a fitting end as throughout our six weeks he has been constantly referenced and so we could put what we had heard and the facts together. It was an eye-opening experience and definitely something we will remember as it was such a simple building that made such a difference. It was also amazing to see pictures of the bridge in Ahmedabad where Gandhi delivered some of his speeches and how it looks almost identical to when we drive over it, minus a few thousand people.

This internship has been an amazing experience and something that we will remember and learn from as it allowed us to see and use some of the theory that we have learnt, but has also opened our eyes to a different culture and way of life. There have been so many memorable moments, from the roads and rickshaws to the cold showers. A few interesting meals ranging from the traditional Gujarati to a chocolate and cheese ice cream sandwich but overall the kindness of everyone we met and worked with was unforgettable. We would like to thank SEWA, IIM-Ahmedabad, Newcastle and Boston for giving us this opportunity and hope that at some point we will be back!

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