Navdanya Summer Internship

I am Liat Perlin, a rising senior pursuing a double major in Environmental Studies and in Psychology, and am currently doing a study abroad program based in Khon Kaen, Thailand. Following the end of the semester here, I will be heading to the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand where I have accepted an internship with an organization called Navdanya.

Navdanya is an anti-globalization and women centric organization founded by Vandana Shiva, one of the faces of the anti-GMO movement. Navdanya seeks to empower women by creating a paradigm of ecological and economic justice. Multiple campaigns for community rights have been organized by Navdanya as an attempt to stop the commodification and privatization of essential natural resources in India. Navdanya collaborates with small-scale farmers and communities, most of whom are women, communicating to them their rights and providing opportunities for them to share cultural and local knowledge.

I will be spending my time with Navdanya working at their Earth University. Classes there range from topics about sustainable farming practice to the globalized food system. I will assist professors with work in the surrounding fields and I will be helping in one of their community run seed banks, documenting the medicinal, agricultural, and culinary purpose of local varieties of crops.

My learning objectives for the internship are as follows:

  1. To make connections with others who are interested in working with social justice organizing relating to community rights. Going into my senior year, it is especially important for me to build relationships with potential organizations or individuals to do work with after I graduate from Tulane.
  2. To become better acquainted with international non-profits and NGOs to learn about the work that is already being done and the absence of resources.
  3. To be inspired by strong women leaders doing grassroots organizing in the male dominated global food system.
  4. To become a confident independent traveller and to be comfortable being in a foreign country on my own for a long period of time.
  5. To gain skills in sustainable farming practice to bring back to Tulane where I have served on the executive board of our urban farming club, Hope Gardens.

The opportunity to intern with Navdanya directly relates to NCI’s mission of educating undergraduate women for leadership in the 21st century. Reading about the work that Navdanya has done has empowered me to become an advocate for women in rural areas who have been silenced by global capitalism.

I am so looking forward to this internship and the opportunity to visit India. I have 3 more weeks of my program here in Thailand where I have been studying the socio environmental effects of development and globalization on farmers in Isaan (the northeast region) for the past 4 months. Making connections about development in Thailand and in India and how rural communities and specifically women in both these parts of the world have been systemically marginalized will be very interesting and hopefully eye opening.

I feel very lucky to have been given this opportunity from NCI to discover, learn, and explore India.

One thought on “Navdanya Summer Internship

  • January 28, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Hi !! I was read your post, and I really want to be in contact with you.
    Like you , i’m interested in Navdanya intership’s program, so I would like to know more about your experience in working with them.
    I’m student of master in sustainable development in France, and I’m looking for intership this year, so I think we have many points in common. Please let me know if you are available to exchange some emails with me.

    If that is possible i will be grateful


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