Jashpur district lies in the north-eastern corner of the state of Chhattisgarh, bordering the states of Odisha and Jharkhand. It is a district with a majority tribal population.
The IDIA Chhattisgarh Chapter comprising of students from the Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur (HNLU) in association with the Jashpur district administration, launched a collaborative project in September, 2019, with the aim to train underprivileged students from the Jashpur district for law entrance examinations.
Earlier in the year, i.e. in May, 2019, two volunteers from HNLU had conducted a month-long training session for students from Jashpur. In this brief period of one month, the volunteers managed to help one of the trainees clear the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT). The said trainee eventually joined HNLU as an IDIA scholar! In light of the success of the pilot project, a year-long collaboration was operationalised between IDIA and the Jashpur Administration under a programme called “SANGYAN”.
[Descriptive text: A news clipping in Hindi published in “Patrika” reporting the collaboration between the Jashpur District Administration and IDIA.]
Under the said collaboration, from 23rd September to 25th September 2019, our team of volunteers (consisting of Manash Mandal, Shruti Sahu, and Aditi Sharma) visited different schools situated in three blocks of the Jashpur district, Pathalgaon, Jashpur Nagar and Bagicha and conducted sensitisation sessions. Students studying in the 11th and 12th standards attended the said sensitisation sessions. The schools at which these sensitisation sessions were held were either government or missionary schools.
A detailed description of the region-wise sensitisation programme is given below:
- Pathalgaon: The sensitisation programme at Pathalgaon was conducted on 23rd September 2019 and around 300 students from various schools (Prakash Higher Secondary School, St. Xavier’s English Medium School and other government high schools) were sensitised regarding the potential of law as a career option. The sensitisation session was followed by the administration of the IDIA National Aptitude Test (INAT), which is an aptitude test internally designed by IDIA for selection of trainees for CLAT.
[Two students from Prakash Higher Secondary School and one student from St. Xavier`s English Medium School have been shortlisted for free training with IDIA to crack law entrance examinations, after they successfully cleared the INAT test and telephonic interviews].
- Jashpur Nagar: The sensitisation programme in Jashpur Nagar was conducted on 24th September 2019 and around 500 students from different schools (Government Boys Higher Secondary School Jashpur, Kanya Kumari Vidhwavidhyalaya – Jashpur, Navin Adarsh Madhyamika Vidhyalaya Jashpur, M.L.B. School Jashpur and other government schools) of the nearby areas were sensitised to ‘law as a career option’. The sensitisation session was followed by the INAT test.
[Two students from Saraswati Shishu Mandir-Basant Bihar, Jashpur Nagar have been shortlisted for free training with IDIA to crack law entrance examinations, after they successfully cleared the INAT test and telephonic interviews]
- Bagicha: The sensitisation programme at Bagicha was conducted on 25th September 2019, at three different schools (Government Girls Higher Secondary School Bagicha, St. Vincent Palloti Higher Secondary School – Rupsera Bhariya and Sarasvati Shishu Mandir). Around 400 students were sensitised regarding the viability and scope of law as a career option. The sensitisation session was followed by an INAT test.
[Two students from Government Girls High School, one each from St. Vincent Palloti Higher Secondary School and Saraswati Shishu Mandir were shortlisted for training with IDIA to crack law entrance examinations, after the four students successfully cleared the INAT test and telephonic interviews.]
During the aforementioned sensitisation schedule that spanned three days and three blocks of the Jashpur district, around 12 schools and more than 1000 students were sensitised, who subsequently appeared for the INAT. Out of these 1000 students, 9 students have managed to clear both the INAT and the interviews and have been shortlisted training with IDIA to crack law entrance examinations at Jashpur Nagar under the “SANGYAN” programme.
Collaboration with the Jashpur district administration has proved to be a fruitful experience for the IDIA Chhattisgarh Chapter. With the infrastructural and other support of the administration, the team was able to reach a significant number of students within a span of three days and sensitise them about the transformative potential of the law. This creative synergy has tapped into the hitherto unexplored potential of the heavily tribal district of Jashpur. We hope that such collaborations are emulated across our state chapters all over India so that Prof. Basheer’s message of legal empowerment, inclusiveness and diversity is spread even to the remotest parts of our country.
[Manash Mondal is the author of the post and the Team Leader of the IDIA Chhattisgarh Chapter. He is currently studying in the fifth year at the Hidayatullah National Law University]