Seasons greetings from IDIA to all our well wishers and advisors!
Just in case you are wondering what season we are referring to – In another 2 months, our batch of 2014 scholars are going to write the two most important law entrance examinations in India i.e. CLAT and AILET, 2014. Examinations that they have been toiling for, since the last one year, in some cases, even two, and examinations that they look forward to as a life changing step for themselves and their communities! Each of these disempowered students have braved numerous odds and burnt the midnight oil to prepare for them – there is little doubt in our minds therefore that THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT SEASON FOR US AT IDIA!
It is important because we have to now provide the final impetus to them so that they are able to excel and come out with flying colours in the examinations. But what they make of their lives and how they empower their community through education, will depend on whether they are able to write the examinations in the first place! With each application form being priced at INR 4000 on an average, it is impossible for them to even dream about affording it.
Several of them are struggling to find generous souls who would cover the cost of their CLAT forms so that they can take the final and most crucial step towards their goal of becoming lawyers and community advocates.
On that note, I proudly present to you, the IDIA Batch of 2014 Scholars, who are some of the brightest and most talented students that truly deserve the education that you and I have so immensely benefited from. With the hope that you will find it in your heart to contribute, support and join us in helping these meritorious students realise their dreams of becoming future lawyers.
Christina Maria Charles
Christina is currently a 12th grade student at Christel House India, Bangalore. She belongs to a family of five, her father works as a dhobi, her mother is a house keeper while her brother carries out odd jobs and her younger sister is still in school. At school, Christina has always exhibited academic excellence and has won several medals. She was ranked 7th in a State Level Mathematics Talent Examination and 3rd in a District level Science Talent Competition. In addition to academics, she enjoys reading and participating in elocution, debates and plays. Christina is deeply passionate about music and plays the piano, guitar and apart from being a good singer. She was first inspired by the profession when Retd. Justice Santosh Hegde visited her school and spoke to the students about the law and judiciary. She has adopted law as her career path because she believes that law and policy decisions contribute to bring a positive change in the lives of communities.
The first thing that would strike you if you met Pritam is his earnest face, which speaks of the dedication and drive he has in himself. Hailing from Basanti, a small village in the Sunderbans, West Bengal, he was born to a shopkeeper and a homemaker. He had never dreamed about becoming a lawyer, and neither had he ever given any thought to law as a career. However, the day the IDIA team went to select students from his school, his life took a whole different path. Working hard for almost two years, he secured a seat for himself in the Department of Law, Hazra Campus, of Calcutta University. He is enjoying college and has pledged to give it his all and become a great lawyer or a judge some day.
Many would think that considering the conditions he grew up in, this achievement is sufficient, but Pritam yearns to do better! In fact, his hunger for success has led him to attempt CLAT in 2014 again in order to gain entry into a National Law School. Anyone who knows him can say with confidence that this is a person who can outshine many others with his sheer sincerity and hard work and a bright future awaits him.
Hailing from Mehboobnagar in Andhra Pradesh from a peasant family, Tulsiram had only one wish – that he shall not follow in the footsteps of his parents and remain deprived of education. Generations had been peasants and he had resolved that he will enter the professional field and uplift his own family. He had his first brush with the realm of law during his preparation for his tenth boards when he understood that there was something that governed all citizens equally and an institution decided the law equally. This concept of equality appealed to him immensely and he knew he had found his path.
Over the last two years, Tulsiram has not let the fact that he is differently-abled curtail his ambitions. He says that general knowledge is his passion and is very well versed in national and international affairs. One will find him on the computer every weekend with sparkling eyes listening to the machine narrating world affairs to him. The one word that characterizes him is humility. In any conversation with him, the two most frequently used words will be – “thank you”. He is grateful for everything given to him and we at IDIA dream for the best that life can offer to this scholar.
In his free time, he loves playing cricket and reading books. On being told that we were sending a proposal to fund his education, he specifically requested for the inclusion of his favourite quote from his favourite book – Dreams into Action by A. P. J. Abdul Kalam which says – “if you follow excellence, success follows”.
Himani is from a village called Jitholi which is near Meerut in Uttar Pradesh. She is currently enrolled in a BSc. course at Chaudhary Shivnath Singh P.G. College. However, ever since IDIA sensitizations took place in Jitholi, she has realized that she is passionate about studying law owing to which she has deferred her BSc by a year. She belongs to a family of nine comprising of five daughters and two sons. Her father is a farmer and her mother is a housewife. None of her siblings is employed.
In order to immerse herself completely into CLAT training, Himani has moved to the NLU Delhi campus since she believes that it provides her with a more conducive environment to prepare well for the entrances and enables her to routinely clarify her doubts from the IDIA trainers. Himani has demonstrated a rare ability to adapt well to new surroundings she is thrust into. Apart from being a hard worker, not only does she quickly and accurately grasp concepts, she also has the knack for applying them at appropriate occasions. Himani was on the school Kho Kho, and Kabaddi team. She loves reading about developments in the field of science and enjoys listening to music.
Himani draws inspiration from her uncle, Prof. (Dr.) M P Singh. When asked, what she wants to do after graduating from law school, she promptly replies, “Be an I.A.S officer and end corruption in India”.
Even though his father Mr.Srinivasa Rao, who is an employee in a private organisation, dissuaded him from pursuing law, Kumar Panda stands determined to make it to the top law schools in India. Kumar took his Class 12th Commerce Board Examinations in March 2013 and got an impressive percentage of 90.7. He is exceptionally inclined towards general knowledge and was a semi-finalist at The Brilliant Minds Quiz Competition conducted by TV5 in 2011. Kumar was also ranked at an All India 27th, in the National Memory Championship conducted by National Memory Council of India (NMCI). He reads biographies of successful people from where he draws his inspiration to pursue his goals. Kumar also has an avid interest in cricket.
Kumar’s tryst with law began during his secondary studies when he was introduced to Civics, which spurred his interest in a deeper understanding of the Constitution and the set up of the government machinery in India. He dreams big and never lets his father’s meager economic status become a hurdle for his dreams. Kumar’s ambition is to become a successful politician and attain a respectable social status and he wants to use law as a vehicle to achieve that.
Md. Danish Ghani
His dissatisfaction with the current state of law and order in the country was Danish’s primary motivation to study law. He is a student of History at Ambedkar College, Kolkata. A former student of Mohammad Jan High School, he scored 71.4% in his higher secondary examination. His family consists of his parents, a younger brother and an elder sister. His father, an employee at a footwear shop, earns Rs. 3000 per month, which is clearly insufficient for providing a decent education to him or his siblings. However, this hasn’t served as an impediment to his desire to dream big, work hard and acquire knowledge. Danish enjoys reading books and playing cricket and video games. In school, he was a regular participant in various quiz competitions and has won several awards at quiz competitions.
Pursuant to his wish to become a national law school student, he has consistently worked his hardest, and put in his best efforts in this regard. He dreams of being able to partake in legislative drafting some day; an alternative goal is to successfully clear the civil services examination, so that he can contribute to the welfare of the society.
Asha is a hard working, enthusiastic 17 year old who is passionate about studying law. Though visually impaired, she is driven, focused and dreams of achieving everything possible for a girl of her age. Her mother is a Hindi teacher and her father is a businessman in Andhra Pradesh. She knows six languages and can effortlessly articulate her thoughts in English.
An all rounder throughout her school life, Asha has been learning the guitar for 5 years now and has given several performances in Karnatic and Western music. She is presently learning Hindustani music on her guitar. Asha comes across as an earnest child whose innate inquisitiveness serves as the fuel for her quest for knowledge. The speed with which she performs mathematical calculations mentally hoodwinks the observer into believing that she is bereft of any disability. Asha has great potential to do well in life and it is up to us to catalyse her dream into reality with the right kind of support.
Debparna is a student of the twelfth standard at Loreto Day School, Sealdah in Kolkata. Her father is a retired defence officer and her mother is a homemaker -their only source of family income is the pension that he receives. Debparna is from a Science background and like many other parents, her parents too were not very open to the idea of a career in law. However, because of the strength of her will and determination, she was able to persuade them and proceed towards a future in the legal sphere. Her motivation towards pursuing law came from the IDIA sensitization that was held in her school where she immediately realised that being a part of IDIA would be extremely important for her to fulfill her aspirations for a higher education. Now her entire family fully supports her in her endeavour, and she is working extremely hard to secure a seat in a national law school.
K. Prakash joined IDIA in 2013 when a bunch of IDIA volunteers visited his school to sensitize students about law and the various career options it opens up for an aspirant. His continuous acquaintance with law through the medium of training for CLAT 2014, has encouraged him to study in National Law School and dedicate his efforts for public welfare through law.
His interest mostly lies in Civics and Economics. He also has keen knack for studying languages which includes English and Sanskrit. Prakash’s father who is an illiterate farmer himself, has provided him with a decent school education and supports him with his decision to become a lawyer. Coming from an underprivileged family background and being deprived of sight does not hinder his aspirations. His perception about law is that it is the most profound area of study where there is no limit for knowledge, with legal aid being the swiftest means of bringing justice to the deprived and innocent.
Aritra is a Science student of the 12th standard at Kalyani Public School, Barasat. His father, who was a doctor, passed away about two years back, leaving behind numerous debts for his mother and him to repay. His mother being a homemaker, the only sources of sustenance for the family are his father’s pension and loans from their relatives which they eventually need to repay with interest. In spite of all his problems, he scored a decent 78% in his CBSE X exams. In the hope of securing a steady source of income, they bought a house using a bank loan, which they had planned to lease out. However, the family later discovered that the property was in dispute thus rendering the premises unfit for use until the matter is decided in court.
In this situation of utter hopelessness, Aritra is working his hardest to be the one ray of hope in his mother’s life. His determination to successfully clear CLAT 2014 stems from the fact that if he does not make it this year, he would have to discontinue his education once and for all. It is do-or-die situation for him now. Aritra has shown immense promise as a scholar and scored admirably good marks in his mock tests, and believe that nothing can stop him from not only becoming a National Law University student, but also a great lawyer some day.
Preparing for the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) since the past ten months under the aegis of Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA), Ganesh is an exceptionally bright and talented final-year scholar at Sai Junior College for the Visually Impaired. Ganesh belongs to the rural hinterlands of Andhra Pradesh, where his family of four still resides. Ganesh lost his mother to illness at a young age, and has lived with his father ever since.
Bright but reserved in character, he shows astonishing potential in his ability to overcome situational difficulties. One of the brightest scholars to be selected from his batch, Ganesh’s personal qualities also deserve an equally worthy mention. Courteous and polite, it is a delight to engage in conversations with him. An extremely keen learner, his determination and hard work is commendable. Also impressive is his indomitable spirit: at times, one is barely aware of a disability that would overwhelm most others yet hardly seems to be an impediment to him. With his courage and determination, a bright future as a lawyer awaits him.
Srijoni hails from Chittaranjan, which is located in the outskirts of Kolkata. A former student of St. Joseph Covent Higher Secondary School, Chittaranjan, her hard work and determination resulted in her scoring 85% in her ISC examination in 2013. Her father is a humble employee at Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, and her mother is a homemaker. She studies English Honours. at Seth Anandram Jaipuria College in Kolkata and is simultaneously preparing for CLAT. Her parents may not be able provide her with money sufficient to afford education at a national law school, but they never fall short of providing her support and encouragement for pursuing law. In fact, she has moved out of her home and is currently residing at a PG accommodation in Kolkata to pursue her CLAT training.
She takes care not only to finish tasks allotted to her, but also to stay informed about the latest national and international affairs. She wishes to become an academician and pursue higher studies beyond the graduate law degree. She is one of our most promising scholars, and always puts in the maximum effort and sincerity in everything she does- all with a smile.
She is currently in the first year at the University Law College, Bangalore. Phalitha began her CLAT preparations during the fag end of 2012 while she was studying Commerce at the Parikrama Centre for Learning, Bangalore. Though she could not manage to secure a seat through CLAT 2013, it did not deter her will and she continues to prepare for CLAT 2014 to pursue her dream of studying at the National Law School of India, Bangalore.
Phalitha is a resident of Hebbal in Bangalore and loves to paint, draw and knit in her spare time. She believes that these activities help her enhance her ability to concentrate. She comes from an economically backward family where her parents have tried their best to provide for her preparation but it has not been enough. Her father is a sales manager in AgroBiogenetics and her mother works as a coordinator in an NGO. Phalita has been able to handle her studies at college with her law entrance preparation perfectly, so far.
Her dedication and focus can take her to her goal only if she has access to the financial and educational resources which IDIA has committed to provide to her for CLAT 2014. Her parents have never wanted the inadequacy of resources to prevent her from realizing her potential and it is this desire of her parents that IDIA seeks to fulfil. She is an extremely dedicated and hardworking student, as is evident from her board marks where she scored a 93%. IDIA hopes that her caliber and perseverance pays off this year at the CLAT 2014!
Veeranna is an intelligent and talented IDIA scholar from Sai Junior College (Hyderabad), who has been preparing for the CLAT for the past one year. He is eager and enthusiastic in learning and preparing for the exam and enjoys keeping up with current affairs, being well informed and forming opinions on issues of importance.
Yet, for this bright star hailing from the little town of Karimnagar, life has not been a cosy journey. His father passed away early in his childhood, and he lives with his mother and grandmother. The family lives from hand to mouth and Veeranna has had a difficult upbringing. His family does not have a specific career preference for him, but are concerned about the amount of time that would be required by him to establish himself as a lawyer. Financial concerns weigh them down, and his mother fears she would not be able to support the family while Veranna studies for obtaining a degree in law.
Veeranna, however, is determined, dedicated and focused about achieving his ambitions. He is confident he will be able to shoulder his responsibilities. His attitude is indeed endearing and heartening and we believe that his enthusiasm, forthcoming attitude and ability to interact will indeed take him far.
One of our brightest and most dedicated scholars, Namrata completed her higher secondary education from Ballygunge Shiksha Sadan and is now studying law at the South Calcutta Law College, Calcutta University. Her father is a shopkeeper whose monthly income amounts to a meager 6000 rupees. She loves reading and was one of the editors of her school magazine, and has also done a basic course in computers. She was interested in law since she was a child, as according to her any change in the society can be brought only through a judicious use of the law.
Namrata is one of the sincerest persons you will ever meet. She is has a quick wit, a pleasant disposition, and a hunger to learn more. With her parents’ encouragement she has come a long way, and aspires to go even farther- she now has her eyes set on a much coveted national law school seat. She makes maximum use of her time- even if there is a 15 minute gap between classes, her habit is to enter the library, log on to websites related to CLAT preparation and solve a worksheet or brush up on her General Knowledge. Achieving her goal will bring her closer to her aspiration of eventually becoming a Human Rights Lawyer.
From a very young age Akhil has envisioned himself as a lawyer because he loves arguing and settling disputes between his friends. He pictures himself as a peace maker since he can vet both sides of any problem. Akhil’s dream is to be a part of the Indian judiciary some day. Akhil’s father is a fire employee who is designated to retire next year and he also has a younger sibling studying in the 10th class. Being the eldest in the family, Akhil has always felt the expectations of his family riding on him. Initially, Akhil could never envision a career in law as he knew it was expensive to study law. However, in his opinion, IDIA has opened up all the resources he needs to pursue the career he wants.
In class, Akhil is one of the most interactive kids and isn’t shy about questioning things that are being taught. He loves General Knowledge and is always excited to discuss Current Affairs with his mentor and other fellow students. Though he is visually impaired, his optimism is contagious and inspiring for all the IDIA volunteers that train him for CLAT 2014. IDIA believes that Akhil has tremendous potential and is merely in need of the right guidance to succeed in the career-path that he has chosen.
Rinju Kumari hails from the Behaeting Tea Estate, Dibrugarh, Assam. Her father is a teacher in primary school of Beheating Tea Estate, and her mother is a social worker. Her family consists of her two sisters and one brother. Her father’s monthly income of Rs. 9000 is the only source of family income which is hardly enough to fuel her dreams of pursuing higher education.
Rinju has put up with great hardships to pursue her higher secondary studies and had to travel 30 kms everyday to just attend school. Presently, she is studying at the South Calcutta Law College, Kolkata, but hopes to gain access to quality legal education through the National Law Universities. Rinju Kumari is a determined and hardworking girl and her dream is to become a law professor.
Theodora Cecelia Gomes
Theodora Cecilia Gomes is a bright young woman from Kolkata. She lives in Kolkata with her parents and elder brother, and is currently in the twelfth standard at Loreto Day School, Sealdah. Inspired by members of her family, she wants to carry on the task of imparting knowledge to others. It is precisely for this reason that she wants to study law in a good law school which provides ample opportunity for academic pursuit. Her keen interest in Sociology makes her want to explore the linkages between the two subjects. She is also an avid reader and her favorite author is Jane Austen. Participating in extra-curricular activities like quizzing and debating gives her an immense high.
Theodora is a calm girl who is down-to-earth and grounded. She can be quiet but she is also a talented public speaker. She is intelligent and quick to learn. In fact, she is always willing to learn new things. She is working hard towards writing CLAT 2014 in order to pave the way for a promising life in a National Law School.
Geetanjali belongs to a middle class education oriented family from the suburbs of Delhi. Her maternal grandfather is originally from a small village in Maharashtra and worked conscientiously to complete his LLB, PhD and attained the post of an advisor in the Indian Education Ministry. The family owned a house and enjoyed a decent standard of living. However, Geentanjali’s father incurred huge losses in the travel and tourism business he started after having invested a lot of money in it by selling the house. The family soon became bankrupt and had to move into a rented house. The situation led to huge financial debt on the family, eventually resulting in severe depression for her father and extreme hardship for the entire family. Her father has been suffering from various medical problems which has resulted in his inability to find a stable job since the failure of his business venture. Her mother has single-handedly been managing the household expenses by working as an English teacher at an NGO where she earns Rs 8000 per month.
Geetanjali finds law fascinating and has a lot of interest in understanding the Indian Constitution. Geetanjali wants to be independent and does not want to take financial favors from her relatives. She hopes to do so by securing scholarships to fund her education. She is an extremely hardworking and diligent student. She enjoys reading novels by Agatha Christie and Erle Stanley Gardner. She is passionate about studying law and envisions herself to be a successful lawyer very soon.