Posts Tagged "increasing diversity by increasing access to legal education"

IDIA Scholar Sanjana Roy performs well in HNLU: Meenakshi Kurpad shares her story

By on Mar 12, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

The first time I met Sanjana Roy-she was seated in the first row in a large examination hall in the academic Block at NUJS. I was invigilating the IDIA National Aptitude Test (INAT) which is conducted every year. I had just joined the West Bengal chapter of IDIA and wondered who out of the fifty students who wrote the test would be my mentee over the next year. Sanjana did really well in the test and I was assigned to be her mentor. On the day of our first meeting as mentor and mentee, I found her sitting by the pool of justice, gazing at the reflection of the beautiful building(our academic block) on the water. I knew then that this girl was determined and focused about her dreams. In the next few months, I guided her as I was guided as I found her to be, in many ways, like me. At times she would feel anxious, and I would tell her that it would be all fine. I couldn’t help but remember the way my own mother used to calm me down whenever I used to go through these bouts of anxiousness. Even though she was anxious, Sanjana was extremely determined, diligent and hardworking. I encouraged her to ask as many doubts as possible and she did. While making sure her preparation for CLAT was thorough, I also ensured that she did well in her Boards as well. Both examinations were important to her and finding a balance between the two was vital for her to succeed in both. The testing times were the months right before CLAT. I called her up every day from Bangalore, clarifying all her doubts and ensuring that her anxiousness did not win over her confidence. I mailed my old LST worksheets to Arnab (Basu), who promptly delivered them to Sanjana. I wanted her to have all possible materials. She was hard working and never lost focus while preparing. I spoke to her about the importance of strategy, a decisive factor in one’s success, especially in a competitive exam. Together, we formulated a workable strategy that enabled her to score more by focusing on her strong areas first, and then the weaker ones. When I called Sanjana and spoke to her on the night before CLAT, I recollected my own experience before the exam. What was important was not how much I had read or remembered, but how much support and belief people had in me. I wanted Sanjana to have the same, because that is the defining element which distinguishes success from failure. When she called me after the exam, I could tell that she had done well, as her voice contained a tone of exhilaration in it. When the results came out a few weeks later, I did a happy dance all around my room, much to my grandfather’s amusement. Sanjana was happy that she had made it to a good law school, and was scared and excited about embarking on a new journey. Before she was to leave for HNLU, I told her of my own initial experiences at NUJS, from traveling with my mother to Calcutta, experiencing a life away from home and how we are always given an opportunity to succeed in a field that interests us most. I think this helped her in adjusting to a new life in Raipur. She grew accustomed to her new life at Raipur, and began doing well right from the start. A lot of this can be attributed to the fact that she has always been diligent and hard-working, never...

Read More

A Run to Remember – IDIA NUJS at the Amity Kolkata Half Marathon

By on Feb 14, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

A Run to Remember – IDIA NUJS at the Amity Kolkata Half Marathon

February 3, 2013 3rd February, 2013, 6:15 AM. It was a chilly Sunday morning in Kolkata, and the usually quiet and sleepy NUJS campus was abuzz with the energy of excited students eager to leave for Red Road. The occasion- the AMITY Kolkata Half-Marathon, which was a great platform for us to promote the noble cause of IDIA. The idea that was born in one of our meetings held in December was met with an encouraging response from the student body at NUJS. About 90 students registered, of which 65 were part of the Dream Run (4 km) and 25 were running the entire distance of 21 kms. Dressed in white IDIA T-shirts which had the logo and aim of IDIA printed in bold red, we enthusiastically boarded the bus that was arranged especially for us. On reaching the registration desk at 6:50 AM, we collected our goody bags and waited for the race to start. The Kolkata weather for once, was perfect for running! It seemed as if even the weather Gods were assisting us in our cause. The moment the race started, we started running as a team. The huge group of students running in unison attracted the attention of many, and that helped greatly in spreading the IDIA message among curious co-participants, pedestrians and by-standers. They were really impressed when they came to know about the work that we do as part of the IDIA student movement. However, our greatest success was the extensive media coverage that was given to us by 24 Ghanta, one of the most prominent Bengali news channels. The channel has a huge audience not only in Bengal, but also in Bengali households all over the world, so it was a highlight for IDIA to be featured there. They were kind enough to telecast our run throughout the day, and featured our participation as one of the highlights of the marathon. They even explained on television the work that is done by IDIA keeping “Empowerment of the Underprivileged through Legal Education” as its ultimate goal. Although all of us are not professional athletes, the youthful spirit that is intrinsically associated with the IDIA student movement helped about 7 of us complete the marathon in good time. The exhilaration that we felt when we saw the finishing line was incomparable, but what was more important was that we could spread the IDIA message far and wide with our participation in the marathon. After the marathon, we gathered in front of the main stage where Chief Guest Rahul Bose shared his experience at the Kolkata half-marathon. Meeting one of the finest actors India has today was definitely a high point of the already great day! As they say, pictures say a thousand words. If pictures are anything to go by, it is evident that we all had an amazing time; it was a really memorable experience for all of us. At the end of the day, it didn’t matter who won and who didn’t; it didn’t matter that our legs ached or that we were exhausted. It was time we made this opportunity count and we did! The thrill, happiness and satisfaction of having gone some distance in helping someone somewhere in need was indeed unparalleled. Our fantastic experience at the marathon has encouraged us to such an extent that we plan to come up with more such innovative ideas and venture into even more unconventional avenues in future, so that the message of the IDIA student movement is spread far and wide! Picture Credits – Avinandan...

Read More

IDIA Sensitization at Somaiya University / educational complex

By on Feb 1, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

The Somaiya University / educational complex is located in Vidyavihar, Ghatkopar (East), Mumbai. This University has different colleges in varied streams of science, humanities and commerce. For the purpose of IDIA, we have selected the following 3 colleges which comprise of students from Class XI and XII.   1.     S.K. Somaiya Junior College; 2.     K.J. Somaiya Junior College of Arts and Commerce; 3.     K.J. Somaiya Junior College of Commerce and Science.   The first sensitization was conducted in the K.J. Somaiya Junior College of Arts and Commerce. This has already been captured in the blog post of January 19, 2013 by Diptoshree Basu.   On January 28, 2013, we conducted two sets of activities in the other two colleges (1) Short talks with students from S.K. Somaiya Junior College; (2) an aptitude test and sensitization for students from K.J. Somaiya Junior College of Commerce and Science.   1. S.K. Somaiya college:   Here, contrary to schedule, we were unable to hold a power-point presentation for students as the college was unable to arrange for it. So, we took the opportunity to go to individual Class XII classrooms and give a 2 minute talk on legal education and legal profession to the students. A good bunch of interested students who were thinking about law, or were keen to think in that direction approached us and enthusiastically signed up for the aptitude test. Pursuant to confirmation from the college, we will soon follow up on the test.   2. K.J. Somaiya College for Science and Commerce:   Here, the Principal had requested us to first hold the aptitude test and then conduct a presentation. He felt that instead of collecting all students (immaterial of their interest in law) for a presentation, we should try and pick out the interested ones.   So, we followed a strategy of a 2 minute talk + aptitude test + presentation.   2 minute talk: At the outset, we went to individual classes and had an informal and short chat with the students on the possibility of a legal education, its pros in terms of empowerment, learning rights and duties and the world of opportunities before a law graduate. We then explained that we wish to hold an aptitude test for them which will help them gauge where they stand at a national level in a probable law entrance exam. Through this, we try to do two things: get them excited about something new like law; second, try to present the aptitude test as a challenge. A good number of students signed up for the test.   Aptitude test: We conducted aptitude tests for about 70 students from Class XI.   Presentation: We followed the aptitude test with a power point presentation. The presentation covered the importance of legal education for one’s career and life. On the career point we stressed on the wealth of opportunities available to a law graduate especially from one of the NLUs. We focused on national and international opportunities for work, higher studies and the promising financial remuneration after a legal education. We also spoke about the diverse paths of politics, bureaucracy, journalism, business management which a lawyer may take.   We equally emphasized on the role of legal education in changing the way a person thinks –it forces the person to constantly weigh the relevance or irrelevance of an issue in making a decision. It makes a person understand which point actually substantiates an argument and which doesn’t, thus enabling a person to make more convincing arguments and looking at things more objectively. Thus, it shapes the personality of a law graduate to...

Read More

Murshidabad Sensitisation

By on Jul 28, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Murshidabad Sensitisation

IDIA West Bengal Chapter commenced the academic year 2012-2013 by embarking on a weekend sensitisation trip to the district of Murshidabad. We had recently tied-up with Guidance Foundation, which has worked extensively in the field of children’s education in Murshidabad, and they were assisting us in this sensitisation. On Saturday, 7th of July, a team of 6- Arnab Basu, Ashutosh Shukla, Avinandan Kundu, Rishika Rangarajan, Sandra Susan Mathew and Sohini Chatterjee, left for Murshidabad. We boarded the Howrah-Malda Express at 3 pm and braced for a six hour long train journey to the erstwhile capital of the state of West Bengal. We reached our destination around 9:15 pm and were put up at the Guidance Foundation hostel. Tired from the journey,  we called it a day. The next morning, we were supposed to make our presentation to the students and sensitise them about law as a career and IDIA as an initiative which can help them. The presentation was to be held in the school hall. The sensitisation began at 11:30 am and we were pleased at the healthy turnout of around a hundred and fifty students. It began with an introductory speech by the CEO of Guidance Foundation, Mr. Haque, who introduced the six IDIA West Bengal Chapter team members to the students, teachers and parents. Following that, Arnab Basu, the Chapter Head of IDIA West Bengal, spoke to the children at length about law and IDIA. We also had a powerpoint presentation screened for the children, to make them aware about the innumerable opportunities that a career in law can throw open to them. After the speeches, we divided the crowd into three groups. One group consisted of teachers and parents. The other two groups consisted of students. Two volunteers were assigned to each group and we answered questions and cleared doubts which the students, teachers and parents had. We explained to them that another sensitisation team would be conducting an aptitude test the next week, in order to select the meritorious candidates who would finally be trained by IDIA West Bengal chapter. The students were buzzing with questions about the MCQ format, the CLAT question paper format and the various kinds of law they can pursue in future. The sensitisation ended with distribution of registration forms for the aptitude test to all interested candidates. This sensitisation trip was a very satisfying one. It was memorable to see the wonder etched on the faces of the children as they were told about one examination that had the potential to alter the entire course of their life. We are extremely thankful to Mr. Haque and Guidance Foundation for all the support and assistance they extended us. – Sohini Chatterjee, IDIA West...

Read More

IDIA Sensitisation Program at Vimala Hridaya Girls HSS, Kollam

By on Aug 1, 2010 in Blog | 1 comment

IDIA Sensitisation Program at Vimala Hridaya Girls HSS, Kollam

The Kollam chapter of the IDIA was taken forward with sensitization programme being held at Vimala Hridaya Girls HSS, Kollam on 31-7-2010. State Co-ordinator of IDIA, Raghul Sudheesh along with an IDIA team consisting of Asitha, Bijitha, Vishnu, Navaneet and Ananthu conducted the sensitization program. The program started at about 10:00 in the morning. The 12th standard batch of the Humanities and Commerce stream took part in the program. Mr. Raghul Sudheesh and Miss. Asitha spearheaded the interactive session with the students. The lack of popularity of law as a career was manifest from the response of the students. The conventional belief that profession of law meant court and court practice seemed to be rooted in the minds of most present. The volunteers therefore had to convince the student about the diverse opportunities available to a law graduate. As the session moved on students began to evince greater interest in the topic and a fruitful interactive session followed. Soon umpteen questions were put forth by them pertaining to the scope of law, the term of the course, the scope of law as a career etc. The session underlined the need for senitisation from ground zero as the ignorance about law as a career option was blatantly manifest. After the session the number of law aspirants who were just two at the initial stage increased to 12.The session lasted for about two hours and concluded at about 12:00. Report prepared by Ananthu B and Murali...

Read More