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Budha Lama

West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata

Budha belongs to the Tamang community, a group classified as a Scheduled Tribe. He resides in the Bhatpara village in the Alipurduar district amid tea plantations. His village is located in the northmost part of West Bengal and is adjacent to Bhutan. His ancestors migrated to India from Nepal before the partition and became Indian citizens. He is Buddhist.

Budha’s family includes his father who is a tea plantation worker, his mother who is a homemaker, and Budha’s two elder sisters who are studying in government colleges. His father is illiterate and does not even use a mobile phone. Their monthly income is Rs. 3000. The family relies on government schemes for financial sustainability.

Budha completed his education till the 8th standard at a local school in his village. Understanding the need for better education, his family enrolled him to an ICSE Board school at Jalpaiguri.

After graduating from 10th, he was selected by the Navodaya Vidyalaya to complete his higher secondary education from there. He cleared an aptitude test for law by them and was supported by their alumni association that enrolled him with Legal Edge at Bhopal. He used the scholarship amount he received for tea plantation families to support his stay and food in Bhopal.

However, during his preparation, his eyesight started failing. He couldn’t read or see clearly for a while. He consulted the AIIMS doctors there who informed him that the condition has led to a permanent disability of 40% visual impairment and if not treated, it will lead to 100% blindness.

Budha never gave up. He continued preparing by taking the necessary care. He cracked CLAT 2023 with flying colours. Yet, money stood as an issue. After the CLAT results were out, he contacted IDIA through an email. The West Bengal team got in touch and completed his intake process.

Budha plays the guitar, sings and is a great dancer. He used to be an avid athlete. His ambition is to be a judge of the Supreme Court of India. He has witnessed injustice and abuse faced by the people around him due to the lack of legal awareness. He aspires to be the first lawyer from his village and help his community. He has been living a life true to his beliefs and finding his way through all barriers that life puts before him.

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