Donnie Ashok

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donnieDonnie Ashok’s story is a truly inspiring one of someone who literally and metaphorically rose from the ashes to secure a seat at one of India’s prestigious National Law Universities (NLUs). Donnie’s father is a painter by profession with an annual income of less than Rs. 1.5 lakhs.

Owing to severe financial problems faced by his family, Donnie’s schooling has been erratic, to say the least. He undertook various types of errands to earn a living, but the money he earned was a pittance compared to his school fees. He could not fund his education, and had to drop out from Class 12.

Fate intervened and he heard about the Increasing Diversity to Increase Access (IDIA) from Ramanuj Mukherjee, a friend of his sister’s, who went on to become his mentor and guide. Ramanuj was an active member of IDIA and a topper of the law entrance at NUJS as well. Donnie scored the first rank in the IDIA Aptitude Test (a test conducted all across India to select deserving underprivileged children that IDIA would support) and was admitted into the programme immediately. IDIA paid his school fees and put him back in school, after persuading his Principal to re-admit him to Class XII despite the delay.

By virtue of sheer grit and single-minded determination, Donnie not only studied for his class XII boards but also burnt the midnight oil to prepare for CLAT (with the help of training by IDIA volunteers along with its partner LST, a leading CLAT coaching centre). Finally his prayers have been answered and hard work rewarded with an All India General Rank of 427 in CLAT 2012. He has secured admission in the Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar.

Donnie is a living testimony of the popular adage that true success lies in standing up again, no matter how many times one falls. Donnie now wishes to deploy his legal skills to serve the underprivileged