Arodhum selects first year law student Dharu Ram as Arodhum Scholar 2016

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Shaping the present, Transforming the future– Arodhum

Arodhum logo. It has a tree with its trunk shaped like two people. The tree is green with orange leaves. Text at bottom says Arodhum - Driving the present, transforming the futureArodhum is transforming the future by providing opportunities and resources to rural children who face many inequalities that prevent them from reaching their potential. Among its many wonderful ventures, Arodhum institutes scholarships for deserving rural students who demonstrate laudable strength or skill in a field, and who show great potential to be an agent of change in their communities. Arodhum scholars have the determination and motivation to achieve their highest potential, but they lack the resources and opportunities – a gap that Arodhum helps bridge through their scholarships and other programs.

Read more about Arodhum Scholars here.

Picture of Arodhum Scholars 2016 standing in two lines.

Arodhum Scholars

Arodhum’s vision aligns with IDIA’s work to help students from underprivileged backgrounds with an aptitude and motivation for pursuing law, to access legal education. IDIA Scholars come from diverse backgrounds and, much like Arodhum Scholars, have a rare fire in their bellies. IDIA recognises that law is a powerful tool that can help empower communities. By enabling and empowering students from marginalised communities to pursue a legal education, IDIA hopes to help communities have better access to high quality legal resources or homegrown expertise, rather than remaining dependent on external piecemeal help. This resonates with Arodhum’s vision of “creating vibrant rural communities by identifying, nurturing, and developing vast talent and potential that exists in rural children”.

Arodhum and IDIA have come together to provide the opportunities and resources to a deserving candidate to pursue law. Arodhum has selected Dharu Ram as a 2016 Arodhum Scholar. Dharu is studying in his first year at National Law University, Jodhpur, and was trained and assisted by the IDIA Rajasthan team to crack the law entrance examination.

Dharu Ram: Arodhum Scholar 2016

Picture of Dharu in a black T-shirt. There is a tree in the background.

Dharu Ram, NLU, Jodhpur (First year), IDIA Scholar and Arodhum Scholar 2016

Dharu, from the village of Sointra in Jodhpur district, Rajasthan, completed his intermediate exams in 2015 with the Rajasthan State Board. His father is a humble farmer who makes a modest sum of INR 50,000 each year to support a family of seven! Being the oldest child in the family, Dharu had to take on some of the responsibility of looking after his family on his already strained shoulders. Through sheer hard work and academic excellence, he has transcended financial and other hurdles that stood in his path. After training with the IDIA Rajasthan Chapter for two years, Dharu cracked CLAT and secured admission to the prestigious National Law University, Jodhpur, one of the top five law schools in the country.

Dharu wishes to pursue a career in litigation to help those who cannot afford it. His life experiences, as well as his friends and family, have inspired him to pursue this noble goal. Apart from being good in studies, Dharu is a gifted cricketer, and an avid reader. He is especially interested in reading biographies and mystery novels, and loves reading Nehru’s works.

Dharu, with his motivation and zeal for overcoming the challenges life throws at him, and for pursuing law for transforming the future, shows the potential that right opportunities and resources have for overcoming barriers to equality.

Arodhum’s comprehensive scholarship to Dharu covers all his expenses for 2016 – 2021, the five year duration of the law degree being pursued by Dharu, and sets him on the path for achieving his dreams and making a difference!

You can read Dharu’s story of journey to law school in his own words below:

BREAKING BARRIERS

Story about Journey to Law School by Dharu Ram

Image of Dharu standing with officials and students. The banner in the back says it is Ambedhkar's anniversary.I’m Dharu Ram, from a very backward area in education – Sointra- a small village in Jodhpur district, Rajasthan. My father is a farmer, and is an uneducated person. There are seven members in my family- two brothers, two sisters, parents and me. It is very difficult for my father to serve our family. My mother is a homemaker. The annual income of my father is about 60,000/- rupees. My father didn’t have enough money to send me to a good school. So, I got admission in a government primary school where there was only one teacher and about 200 students. There was nothing to do in school except to play. When I was thinking about my area, only one thought comes in my mind, which is that there is nobody who is in a government job. I think a government job is big thing, there is nobody who got first division (60%) in board exams before me. Illiteracy is very big problem in my village. About 99% of the people in my area are mine workers.

School students in uniform sitting at their desks.

IDIA conducts sensitisations in schools and communities to spread awareness about legal education, and select trainees.

Everybody, from each child to every old person, thinks that nobody from our village can become successful. So nobody sends their girls to high school. In case of boys, 10th or 12th is highest study. But my parents allowed me to study further. In the beginning I thought that I too will have to work in mines.

Thinking of the people and condition of my village influenced me to become a successful person. My father always says that I should become a successful person. My parents have so many expectations from me. Poverty of family, bad condition of my area and my parents’ expectation changed my views. So I did hard work in school, and for the first time, got first division in 10th and 12th. So people encouraged me to study further.

When I joined Dr. B.R. Ambedker residential school beside National Law University, Jodhpur, my views changed in a positive way. When I was in school, I never thought about NLU, because it was impossible to pay fees and also crack CLAT for me. Because I was from a Hindi medium school, I was very weak in English.  I faced a lot of problems in English in my school.  Without any aim, I studied and did hard work.

Members of IDIA Rajasthan Chapter standing in a group with their college in the background.

IDIA Rajasthan Chapter. IDIA Rajasthan chapter trained and mentored Dharu for cracking law entrance examinations.

Kumar Harsh, Mukul Krishna Vyas and Vijay Deora (NLU-Jodhpur IDIA team) used to come to teach students in my school. I was not interested in studying English, but when I saw the students who were talking in English, I thought that I should go for English classes. I started to go to class and learn English, and asked Harsh about the law college. They told me about CLAT and their life in the law college. I was very inspired by them and got interested in law. But it was not so easy to go to NLU because my parents could never afford the fees. But, I wanted to become a lawyer. I told Kumar Harsh and Mukul Krishna Vyas about my target and problem. When I passed 12th, I did not know what I had to do further.

I was informed by Kumar Harsh about IDIA- that it is an NGO who conducts a test and, based on it, selects intelligent students and prepares them for CLAT. I appeared in IDIA aptitude test and got selected. I got coaching from Law Prep Tutorial, where I faced many problems in English, legal reasoning etc.  I got a lot of help from the IDIA mentor team. Whenever I had doubts, I asked the mentor. They solved my every problem. My biggest problem was that I was from a Hindi medium school, yet I worked hard. I was fully trained by the mentor for CLAT. I studied hard through out the year and was fully supported by IDIA.

When I appeared in CLAT 2016, I thought that my dreams will come true in the near future. I used two hours of the examination with full energy and did only those questions which I thought were right. When I finished the exam, I was sure that I would be selected in the exam and my dream will come true.

After some days, when I got my score sheet, there was a lot of happiness on my face. I got 108.5 marks and AIR 93 in SC category. Now there was a silence from the people who used to say that nobody can succeed. It is real that there is nobody in the nearby areas who ever got selected in CLAT. This success is only possible because of IDIA. I am very thankful to IDIA for changing my life completely

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