I worked with BioEnable Technologies, Pune, from February to September 2010, as a technical support engineer; and with Larsen and Toubro Infotech, Bangalore, as a software engineer from October 2010 until March 2013. I worked on testing devices and customising their software in both places; biometric devices in Pune and network processors in Bangalore.
During my post graduation, I did three internships. The first was with the Centre for Rural Management (CRM), Kottayam, Kerala. For a month, I worked as a part of a team which evaluated the Centrally Sponsored Schemes in three districts of Karnataka. Every year, the central government sends teams to selected places to see how the schemes for which they allot money have been implemented by the respective state governments. I came across some really fruitful development works being carried out, and also a few instances of mismanagement.
The second was with ActionAid India, at New Delhi, for a month. I worked on the Street Vendors Act, 2014, analysing the good and bad things about it, mainly researching on how it could be manipulated by the authorities and be a bane for the street vendors.
My third internship was at the Centre of Science and Technology for Rural Development (COSTFORD), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. This was the fieldwork for my dissertation. For a month, I interviewed the people at Karimadom Colony, Thiruvananthapuram, studying their post-slum rehabilitation experiences. I observed that the beneficiaries were generally happy about getting to live in much better places now, though there were some tensions along the lines of allocation of houses.
After my post graduation, I joined the Planning Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh in April 2015 and worked there for four years. I worked majorly on five fronts- Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), monitoring system in government, measuring multidimensional poverty, framework for happiness and ease of living, and building partnerships. We did everything in teams, so I’d my super cool colleagues to thank for everything I was able to do.
In May 2019, I joined the United Nations Resident Coordinators’ Office in New Delhi. The area of my core work is Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I’m deputed to NITI Aayog, Government of India, where I work with Adviser (SDGs) and the SDG vertical team on mainstreaming the adoption, implementation, and monitoring and reporting of SDGs in the country. I also act a bridge between NITI Aayog and the UN System to streamline the SDG efforts.
SDGs is an ambitious agenda created under the leadership of the United Nations and adopted by 193 countries. I work on creating a monitoring framework for the government to track the progress made under the goals.
Working inside the government has been an exciting experience! It’s a place which teaches you a lot of things- how to work within a complex system, how to get things done when there are too many actors involved, and more. More than anything else, it gives you the opportunity to directly impact the lives of the people, however small that may be. Long story short, I’m happy to be where I’m!