Karthika Annamalai


KarthikaMy past can’t tie me down‘ was the title Karthika Annamalai gave to a write-up she gave us on herself. She studied at Shanti Bhavan, a non-profit organization for children from economically and socially deprived families. Before Karthika was found by Shanti Bhavan in 1997, she was being taken care of by a small convent that gave her food and shelter. Her mother, a widow, worked in a quarry breaking stones and she stayed with her uncle, a violent alcoholic.

The drunken violence of her uncle often forced her to take refuge in neighbours houses. As a reminder of those days, she still keeps near her bed a piece of stone that once hit her on her forehead when she was a child.

As a student from Shanti Bhavan, Karthika is accomplished in many ways. She is good in both the arts and the sciences. She won the first place in a science competition for displaying a method to recycle newspaper. When asked why she chose to do law, she says: “I decided years ago that I wanted to be a human rights lawyer, fighting against the many social injustices that exist in India, more than a handful of which I have witnessed myself in my family and community. Her dreams do not end with being a human rights lawyer. With an almost stubborn optimism she goes on: I also hope that working in the field of law in India will provide me the skills I need to one day alleviate poverty and injustice on a broader scale, hopefully in a political position in India.”

She had previously cracked the CLAT in 2011 and had acquired a place at NLIU, Bhopal. However, she was keen on trying her luck again in CLAT 2012 for a higher ranked college. She secured admission in the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), Kolkata.

Since then, Karthika has won many accolades. She was one of the top 50 participants in the Budapest Forum, the final stage of the Global Debate and Public Policy Challenge (GDPPC) where she competed against renowned and accomplished candidates from all over the world to reach the semi-final rounds. She won the CNN-IBN Zindagi Live Award 2013. She has been recruited by AZB & Partners, a prestigious law firm.

She continues to be involved in making a difference to her community (read more here).


  1. Awesome Karthika… I am completely inspired and feel blessed that youth like you has emerged and who has a lofty goal of alleviating people’s miseries and sufferings. My prayers will always be there…I am sure you will be transformative force who will build a New India where all people are truly respected and happy and a New Global Civilization 🙂

  2. All I can say is that there is no impossible, if you have self determination and love of family and most of all always look up God, She was truly a Daughters of Destiny. Karthika you are my inspiration now, I feel small after I watched your story, I hope there’s still a lot for me to come, God Bless you and always be THE INSPIRATION OF YOUNG PEOPLE, AND BECOME THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA, TAKE CARE AS ALWAYS

  3. You are a true inspiration!!! I can only hope and pray that my children do have even an ounce of your determination and strength…you have made it!

  4. Karthika, i watched your story and pray to God you achieve every success in life! You are such an inspiration for the youth! What SB and you are doing is living a life full of purpose, defining what humanity is, what real happiness is- giving back to the community! I hope and pray you are able to save your family and many others from the treacherous living and working conditions and give them a life every human deserves!

  5. I just finished watching Daughters of Destiny…you are a beautiful inspiration for all of humanity to admire. Your understanding, strength, will and determination need to be shared among all cultures. I hope you do indeed one day attain the leadership role that is on your heart and mind. If I were living in India, then I would certainly vote for you to be President!

  6. Karthika, you are truly amazing in every way! India and the world by extension is truly blessed to have the presence and power of someone like you. I send you my fullest admiration and support for all you have done and will do in your life.

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