– “TJ” Rampersaud

Through a scholarship program, I, “TJ” Rampersaud, migrated for two years from the Land of Many Waters (Guyana, South America) to the City of Pearls (Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India, Asia) – almost half way around the world. Now, I am at Video Volunteers’ office as an intern in Goa – “India’s Little Western Treasure”, as I like to refer to it. Goa is popularly known as the land of sand, sea and surf (very much like the Caribbean islands I know) but it also combines hills and forests, amazing flora and fauna and a diversity of cultures (which is a little like my Guyana).

Internship is a mandatory part of my masters program at the Department of Communication, Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication, University of Hyderabad. With multiple possibilities for both paid and unpaid internships inside and outside of India at news agencies, public relations firms, production houses, etc., choosing somewhere to complete the 4 – 6 weeks out of class assessment was not very easy. All of the mentioned areas will help to strengthen what I have learned in the classroom over the past year. However, I am in Baga, Goa at the office of the non-governmental organization Video Volunteers, India – paradise…

How did I end up staying at a cottage, built into a hill, surrounded by trees, in Goa, as opposed to a prominent media house, or some other journalism related field in a major metropolitan? Two words: Developmental Communication. This is a new perspective on the communication discipline where communication and its related fields such as public relations, advertising and, definitely, journalism (newspaper, radio, television, internet) are used to foster development worldwide. This new field has definitely caught my interest as it is possible to combine many of my interests in one occupation: videos, photography, communications and, most importantly, development. For as long as I can recall, I have been a major supporter of giving opportunities to the marginalized, empowerment of the less fortunate and working towards the eradication of poverty.

Video Volunteers encompasses all of the above and so much more. The organization was built on the central premise of giving the voiceless a voice through video, a truly amazing concept. Video is a very powerful medium of communication.

So far, my internship has been good. I find myself in a relaxed atmosphere where communication is encouraged among all; it is peaceful yet vibrant. Just a few days into my internship and I feel like I have learned a lot already through the interaction with the Video Volunteers team here in Baga, regardless of where they are from: India, USA, Spain or France. As we say back home in Guyana, “yuh cyan wan guh ah crab dance and nah get mud…” – one cannot be in the presence of others and not get affected by their personalities. Therefore, I hope the rest of my days here take pattern from the previous few: work in a relaxed atmosphere where all are concerned with the betterment of society, inclusivity, communication and development.

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