The Sagar-IDIA Fellowship has been instituted by Mr. Jyoti Sagar, a leading lawyer and educationist who founded J. Sagar Associates. It is awarded to Team Leaders and Deputy Team Leaders who lead the various state chapters and national verticals at IDIA and demonstrate outstanding leadership and passion.
IDIA has been envisaged as a student run movement from its start. Its operations are carried out by state chapters and national verticals comprising student volunteers. Each of these teams is headed by one or more Team Leaders, selected from the student volunteers. We’ve been fortunate to attract outstanding law students, each of whom spend many hours volunteering for IDIA while balancing their many law school commitments. The Team Leaders work hard for the success of their teams and greatly contribute to the success of the organisation as a whole. Sagar-IDIA fellowship is constituted to incentivize their continued dedication and to reward their commitment to our cause.
Sagar-IDIA fellows are selected for their commitment to the IDIA movement, exceptional leadership skills, pro-active contribution, and integrity. They demonstrate the values of CHAMPS (Creative Holistic Altruistic Maverick Problem Solvers) that are central to the mission of IDIA.
SAGAR – IDIA FELLOWSHIP 2016
Here’s introducing Sagar-IDIA Fellows 2016, who were granted the fellowship for the outstanding work done by them in 2015.
Team Leader, IDIA Rajasthan Chapter| National Law University Jodhpur (4th year)
“I joined IDIA to make a difference, but instead these students made a difference in my life. With every new challenge and hidden talent they brought, they showed me the stronger and better person I could be. A bonus to this is the satisfaction of ‘A Job, No. A life, well done.’”
Amrita started volunteering with IDIA from her first year in the law college. She was an idealistic, ambitious student, who was driven by her desire to make a difference in lives of IDIA Scholars. After one year with the IDIA Rajasthan Chapter, she became its Deputy Team Leader (“DTL”). She subsequently became the Team Leader (“TL”) of the chapter last year. She established a transparent and efficient team while making inroads with external networks of college students, alumni and to an extent, college authorities.
During her tenure as the DTL, she started initiatives to make the college more disability friendly by scanning books and creating a scribe pool. As a TL, she restructured the team and set up documentation procedures for better functioning and transparency. She divided the team into three sub-teams and documented all their activities and meetings. The improvement in the transparency and functioning of the team was vital for garnering support from students, alumni and college authorities. Recently, the chapter was able to raise about INR 3,00,000 (Rupees Three Lakhs Only) for admission fees for their scholars in just one week through the alumni and extended networks they had built.
Under her leadership, the team gave additional training every weekend; and held classes on Skype for the trainees outside Jodhpur. Four trainees that the Rajasthan chapter trained cracked CLAT 2016, with two of them scoring the highest marks ever scored by any IDIA trainee in general and PWD categories. This demonstrates the hard work and diligence of the training team.
Amrita also initiated talks with Law Prep Tutorial, a top coaching institute for law entrance examination in Rajasthan. Law Prep has agreed to provide pro-bono coaching to IDIA trainees. She also led a sensitisation session in her hometown – Mysore, Karnataka. She helped creating draft IDIA feedback form for trainees. She is presently working on a submission for the HSF’s Community Engagement Award from the IDIA Rajasthan Chapter.
Both her team members as well as the IDIA core team found Amrita to be an absolute pleasure to work with. Her vision in putting in place the robust professional practices for improving the efficiency of the chapter stands out as an example for other teams. She is always enthusiastic IDIA’s cause and has been a great leader who takes ownership of projects.
Amrita plans on increasing outreach through video sensitizations in thirty eight Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas in Rajasthan. Additionally, she wants to hold multiple crash courses and increase the number of online classes for the trainees in 12th grade to provide them with consistent guidance and regular checks for better performance in CLAT 2017. In collaboration with IMS Jodhpur and Law Prep Tutorials, the trainees will attend three crash courses over a year. We hope to see even better performance by the team next year.
Team Leader, IDIA Maharashtra Chapter| Government Law College, Mumbai (5th year)
“I believe that legal education should spread to the extent that people realize the significance and power of law and use it as an empowering means, rather than be frightened of the law. IDIA seeks to spread this awareness and empowerment. After all, money can better a life, but the seeds of education will reap benefits for generations to come.”
Shachi has been the team leader of the IDIA Maharashtra Chapter since its inception in 2015. She was instrumental in establishing the chapter and kick-starting its myriad activities. In spite of being just a year old, the IDIA Maharashtra Chapter is an efficient, well-functioning chapter. Shachi’s contribution has been crucial in the stellar success of the chapter.
In its first year, Mumbai chapter conducted 17 sensitizations in a span of just 6 months; thereby setting a high bar for the upcoming years. Under Shachi’s inspiring leadership, the chapter has conducted many innovative projects like “IDIA on Wheels”; sensitisation sessions with Dabbawalas, the lifeline of Mumbai; and legal awareness sessions with girls at ‘Kranti’, an organization that works with children from red-light areas.
Shachi also encouraged the team to take up fund-raising activities. The 2nd edition of IDIA Football League was excellently organized by the volunteers from the IDIA Maharashtra Chapter; and was well received. The chapter organised a fund-raising photo booth in GLC Mumbai.
Her enthusiasm has spread within the team and motivated the people around her to join the cause. Her leadership skills have led to establishment of a dedicated, high-achieving state chapter. Shachi has demonstrated exceptional team management skills. All members of the IDIA Mumbai Chapter love their Team Leader. Her strong leadership has led to increased participation of the members in IDIA’s activities. They represented IDIA in meetings with corporate fund-raisers and at IDEX Legal Awards where their enthusiasm for the cause motivated the listeners to contribute to IDIA.
We have great expectations from her in the future!
Team Leader, IDIA North-East Chapter| National Law University, Assam (4th year)
“We can truly achieve our potential and rise as a resilient Indian nation collectively, ready to take our place amongst the global community if we can harness the latent power of ‘diversity’ in our nation. IDIA grants an opportunity to transform this latent power.”
Subornadeep was appointed as a DTL of the IDIA North-East sub-chapter in 2014. His dedication towards the cause of IDIA was clear from the start. His concerted efforts led to the decision of IDIA management to separate the North-East sub-chapter from the IDIA West Bengal Chapter in October 2015. He was appointed as the Team-Leader of the new chapter. The chapter’s brilliant performance in less than a year has amazed us all.
Under Subornadeep’s guidance, the IDIA North-East Chapter conducted twenty two sensitizations and reached diverse students all over the North-East region. They conducted sensitisations in places like: (i) the militancy ravaged district of East Garo Hills, Meghalaya; and (ii) tea garden plantations in the upper Assam town of Doom Dooma. They conducted ten sensitizations and sensitized over 600 students within a week across three towns – Guwahati, Shillong and Doom Dooma!
Further, out of the four trainees that the chapter trained in its first year, two have cracked CLAT. Dikhita Borah and Susmit Isfaq, the scholars trained by the IDIA North-East Chapter have secured seats at NLUA. The team is excited to have two of their trainees as IDIA Scholars in their college. This is a huge success for the newly formed chapter.
Subornadeep also took up the cause of fund-raising diligently with initiatives like the IDIA-NLUA “Cook for a Cause” Food Fest 2016 that was organised as part of the University Social Responsibility Scheme of NLUA in May 2016. The overwhelming response has led to the event being declared as a biannual event at NLUA!
Subornadeep is extremely dedicated to the cause of IDIA and inspires other members of the IDIA North East Chapter by leading from the front. Under his leadership, the chapter works as a family and all members try to give their best. Subornadeep wants to increase IDIA’s reach in Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh, where we have not made an appreciable impact yet. He hopes that he can contribute substantially to IDIA’s growth as well as mentor and support the ever-growing number of scholars in all possible ways.
Team Leader, IDIA Hyderabad Chapter| NALSAR Law University, Hyderabad (5th year)
“NALSAR is a place, which has changed me as an individual. None of this would have been possible without support that IDIA extended to me. Law school today lacks diversity and is largely confined to elite sections, because of structural and functional impediments inherent in our education system, and in complex structure of our society. However, IDIA is an initiative that brings diversity to law school and makes a difference in the lives of hundreds who are associated with it. This is what motivates me – A chance to contribute and an opportunity to make somebody’s life better.”
Yugal joined the IDIA Hyderabad chapter in July 2012. In 2013-2014, he was part of the mentoring team vertical within the chapter. He became the Team Leader of the chapter in December 2015.
Under Yugal’s leadership, the IDIA Hyderabad Chapter became the largest IDIA chapter with 80 members. Its activities expanded substantially. The Chapter sensitised 2000 students and trained 20 IDIA trainees. All the trainees were trained by members without assistance from any professional coaching institute. Yugal also encouraged external collaborations with Nandi Foundation, NTR Trust, Spoorthy, AIM CLAT, CLAT Gyan, and Law School 101. The chapter arranged substantial funds for its trainees’ law entrance examination forms, and for admission fees for their scholars who cracked CLAT this year.
Apart from expanding and continuing the activities and collaborations that the chapter has initiated, Yugal plans to focus on accessibility related issues and mentorship of the new batch of IDIA Scholars. Yugal believes that their main work starts after a trainee is admitted as the entire institutional design of law colleges impediments the students from diverse backgrounds. IDIA Scholars require mentorship and guidance. For the next few months, the chapter will work closely with the university to make the environment inclusive and friendly for students with visual impairments.
Team Leader, IDIA Rajasthan Chapter (Mentorship sub-team)| National Law University Jodhpur (5th year)
Before joining IDIA, Harsh was involved in regularly teaching underprivileged students in a school next to his college. Uradi Vishnu and Veeranna Badavathu, two IDIA scholars with visual impairment, made a huge impact on Harsh when they joined NLU Jodhpur. Harsh was deeply moved by the relentless determination shown by them in their day-to-day lives. Harsh’s involvement with IDIA started with him informally assisting the IDIA Rajasthan chapter. In 2015, he officially became a member of the chapter as he wanted to contribute more towards mentoring IDIA Scholars. His previous involvement with IDIA Scholars led to him being chosen as the Team Leader for the mentorship sub-chapter within the team. Harsh feels that he has been able to help make a positive impact to the lives of the three scholars at his university since his selection as the Mentorship Team Leader.
Harsh worked hard to ensure that the three IDIA scholars with the Rajasthan chapter get the best possible mentorship and support. Harsh’s sheer passion for IDIA’s cause drives him to volunteer his time for different IDIA activities. Harsh never refuses any request for IDIA-related work. He enthusiastically contributes to all IDIA operations in his university. Apart from mentorship of the IDIA Scholars, he also actively contributes towards sensitization, fundraising and training. In addition to mentoring IDIA Scholars, Harsh has also developed a personal relationship with each of the trainees, who often reach out to him with all their requests and queries.
The previous academic year has been an unprecedented success for the three year-old chapter. The team was undaunted by the multitude negative responses by local schools that they approached for sensitizations. They worked hard to find 11 trainees for CLAT this year. Harsh stayed back in his university during all the vacations to ensure that there is no break in their training. He attributes this effort to the constant motivation from his entire team! It is no surprise that 4 out of 13 IDIA trainees who cracked CLAT are from the Rajasthan chapter.
The Rajasthan chapter also regularly organized small fundraising activities in its university, such as setting up food and refreshment stalls within the campus during cultural events and sports fests.
Harsh plans to actively collaborate with the Academic Committee of his college for assisting the two IDIA scholars with visual impairment. He wants to ensure that they have assistance before exams. He also plans to further streamline allotment of scribes and scanning of books for the visually impaired students as these processes involve many delays currently. He wants to steer the team towards sensitising the children of housekeeping staff in their college. Harsh wants to encourage participation of IDIA scholars in extra-curricular activities starting with involving them in sensitisations.
Previous Sagar IDIA Fellows
SAGAR – IDIA FELLOWSHIP 2015
Here’s introducing our very first batch of Sagar-IDIA fellows!
Aditi Bhatt is a fifth year student of National Law University, Odisha. She was an active member of Gandhi Corner (a group that focused on teaching girl students who were underprivileged) in her school days. During her initial years at the law school, she joined the Legal Aid Committee which had the objective of imparting education to children from the nearby slums. While working with the committee, she conducted several sensitization programs and awareness drives in the local schools of Cuttack through the medium of presentations & street plays (nukkad nataks). She joined IDIA in her fifth semester as a social mentor for one of the scholars. She is inspired by the words – “Doubts tend to kill more dreams than failure ever will”. She applied for the position of Team Leader for IDIA Odisha Chapter, and was selected in July 2014. As a Team Leader, she has diligently led the team to take up important initiatives such as creating an IDIA lab in the hostel, conducting research paper writing and debate sessions. Most admirable initiative of the team has been their efforts in making the university disabled friendly. They have got scribed notes for scholars, encouraged participation is conferences regarding disability issues, installed relevant technology for the visually challenged, provided readers in the library for books that can’t be converted into soft copy and so on. All this, in light of the fact that the Odisha chapter currently has the most number of IDIA scholars in the country, is quite an achievement indeed.
Namrata Vinod is the team leader for the Kerala Chapter of IDIA. She is currently a fifth year student at the National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS), Kochi. “We can change the world one thought at a time, one child at a time, one family at a time, one community at a time, one city, one state and one country at a time” is her motto and dream. A trained classical dancer and an avid reader who also enjoys putting the pen to the parchment from time to time, she always felt that society undermined any non-science careers. This stereotype motivated her to illuminate upon people, especially young minds the competence of the legal profession to change this vestigial notion still favoured by the majority, particularly the disadvantaged. Ever since she joined law school she has been consistently involved in social work. In her third year, she became part of IDIA, enthused by its intentions of building a diversified legal environment in law schools by increasing access to legal education for the underprivileged and thereby, creating community leaders. These objectives seemed to be an eloquent impression of what she wanted to work for and what she believed in. With her bountiful zest and passion for IDIA’s vision, she has been making quite a big difference by efficiently and resolutely leading the Kerala chapter so far.
Rishika Srivastava is a fourth year student pursuing her B.A.LL.B.(Hons.) from National Law University, Delhi. She firmly believes that education is a tool for empowerment and for this reason she has taught children belonging to the underprivileged strata of the society regularly since the age of thirteen. While every child she taught had a different story to share, they all had a common convergence point – their stories were plagued by impoverishment, exploitation and lack of access to affordable and effective legal help. Because of her desire to empower people with the help of law and legal education, after joining law school, she volunteered to be a part of IDIA as soon as it started its chapter in Delhi 3 years ago. She was appointed as the team leader one year later and has been heading the Delhi Chapter since then.
Soon after getting appointed as team leader, she brought about many structural reforms and revamped the way the chapter worked. She created many new sub-teams and brought in place a more efficient system of work allocation. Due to this, she was also able to accommodate more volunteers. Under her leadership, the IDIA Delhi team grew from a small group of 15 volunteers to one having 60+ members. Instead of limiting sensitizations to government and NGO-run schools, she reached out to other marginalized sections of the society, like commercial sex workers, children from remote areas of Ladakh and disadvantaged Muslims. The diversity@home project was also kick-started by her wherein she selected IDIA trainees from amongst the children of her University’s domestic and support staff. She also did away with CV and interview based volunteer selection processes and replaced them with other creative models like conducting mock classes. Creativity and inclusiveness are the values that drive her and she believes in leading by example. She is also helping in the formation of new IDIA chapters in NLIU, Bhopal and ILS, Pune. Her association with IDIA has had a transformative effect on her and has given her some of her most valuable law school lessons and experiences. She hopes to continue her close association with IDIA for many more years to come.
TEAM LEADER|TRAINING & MATERIALS
Shrutanjaya Bhardwaj is a third year student at National Law University, Delhi. He has been associated with IDIA for two years now, since he first began as a teaching volunteer at the Delhi Chapter. He has also been leading the Training and Materials team for the past 9 months, and in this short period of time, he has proved his mettle quite superbly by working with his team to create an online database of training materials including question banks and mock tests for IDIA trainees, so as to familiarize them with the new, online pattern of the CLAT examination. Most commendable is his efforts in co-ordinating exceedingly well with a team whose members are spread across the country in the various chapters of IDIA and getting the work done well. This in light of the fact that he is involved in a variety of sports and cultural activities at his university and also the fact that he is currently heading a student-run NGO in Dwarka, New Delhi, goes on to show his dedication and enthusiasm to IDIA’s cause.
Vipan Kumar, a final year law student at Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab, has not only been an outstanding team leader of the Punjab chapter for the last 4 years, but is an IDIA scholar himself. His journey into law kicked off when he began preparing for CLAT 2011 with the help of IDIA volunteers at National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata. Following which, his hard work and dedication paid off and he sailed through CLAT 2011 successfully and entered RGNUL. His passion towards the cause of IDIA has been on constant display ever since he joined law school. In his first year he joined the legal aid clinic and participated in many legal awareness programmes held around Patiala. He helped initiate a teaching programme in his university and admitted many children of labourers to Government Schools under RTE. And to top it all, he is to be credited with laying down the very foundation on which the Punjab chapter was set up. He played a key role in spreading the word about IDIA and motivated the students from the university to connect to this initiative. He aims to further expand IDIA’s reach so that a lot many underprivileged and deserving students could be benefitted from this project.