UU Holdeen India Program: Vidhayak Sansad


Maharashtra, India


Vidhayak Sansad works closely with its allied labor union, Shramjeevi Sanghatana, to organize impoverished communities in the state of Maharashtra for their rights. Since the early 1980s, these institutions have been leaders in eliminating the practice of bonded labor in Maharashtra. This form of slavery, forced upon the poor as a way to repay debt, has been common throughout rural India for centuries. Over the past thirty years, Vidhayak Sansad and Shramjeevi Sanghatana have worked in the release and rehabilitation of 5,000 bonded laborers in villages surrounding the city of Mumbai.
The union now has over 40,000 members and challenges multiples forms of injustice, including violations of land, labor, and women’s rights. Vidhayak Sansad offers training in human rights activism for community leaders and economic development programs for the union’s members. It also runs a residential school for tribal girls, whose communities have female literacy rates as low as 1%. For more information, visit www.vidhayaksansad.org.


This site will host two interns. The interns will have an option of either teaching English at the school run by Vidhayak Sansad or teaching a craft, musical instrument, or other helpful skill to the students. In addition, interns will be assigned to the documentation team at Vidhayak Sansad to assist them in preparing reports on the organization’s activities, including conducting field-based research in tribal villages, and updating donors.


Eight weeks, exact dates to be determined. Approximately 25 hours per week.

Site-Specific Qualifications

Preference will be given to candidates who have some experience in teaching or tutoring young children or have taken clear steps toward pursuing a career in education. Those with skills in music, dance, or crafts and interest in teaching others are highly encouraged to apply.

This internship placement is contingent on UUCSJ receiving commitments from two interns. This placement will not run if only one intern can be confirmed. For this reason, applications for this placement must be received by the priority deadline (February 7, 2016). 

Housing and Stipend

Interns will receive housing. Vidhayak Sansad provides housing in a comfortable, air-conditioned room on the organization’s campus. Interns will receive all meals, which are comprised exclusively of Indian food. The direct cost of housing is $50 per week; interns may apply for this to be paid for by UUCSJ.

Additionally, interns are eligible for a stipend of no more than $1,200 to assist with travel costs and incidentals, depending on a variety of factors. Applicants are encouraged to seek other sources of funding, including grants from colleges and foundations, congregational support, and Faithify fundraisers.

The selected interns are responsible for travel to and from Mumbai, India, and any associated costs (e.g. passport and visa fees, and vaccinations).

Apply now!

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Heather Vickery is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with UU congregations, State Action Networks, past UU College of Social Justice (UUCSJ) program participants, and regional staff in order to expand engagement in UUSC and UUCSJ’s work. As the Coordinator for Congregational Activism, she manages the workshop offerings and group visits to the UUSC/UUCSJ office and assists with communications for the Activism and Justice Education Team. Heather is an active member of the Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network and a dedicated dog-mom to her rescue puppy Nova.

Heather may be contacted at hvickery@uucsj.org and 617-301-4303