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Friday, June 25, 2010

IDIA Sensitisation Programme at Shanti Bhavan, Tamil Nadu

As part of the IDIA project- Karnataka chapter, a team of six students[1] visited Shanti Bhavan- a school in Baliganapalli, an impoverished area in the Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu that targets children of deprived backgrounds. A student of Shanti Bhavan, Rajini Murugeshjan, has made it into the National Law School of India University, Bangalore after writing CLAT 2010 and we were hoping to find more students who are interested in pursuing law as a career option.

Adithya Banavar started the session by talking a bit about the project to about 60 students from the 8th -12th grade and the option of law as a career option. Only one student from the 12th grade was interested in pursuing law. Most of the other students were either undecided or favoured Engineering or Business. A lot of students were apprehensive about law as they felt that belonging to a particular stream in the 12th grade would hinder their admission into law school.

After clearing their doubts we proceeded to perform a few skits on varied legal topics such as Constitutional law, Criminal law, Family law and Consumer Protection law. We saw that the children were well versed in English and basic legal knowledge, perhaps owing to the fact that they have learnt civics. They were confident and answered most questions and asked us intelligent questions on legal areas. We then interacted specifically with the 14 students belonging to the 12th grade who were giving the aptitude test. We saw that almost every student had decided which field to specialize in and the disinterest in law was not so much a result of ignorance but the perception of lawyers as being poorly paid. We spoke to them about the various advantages of doing law from a premier legal institution and the various career options one can pursue after doing the course. We also cleared doubts as to the age limit for the course.

We then conducted a 30 minute aptitude test which tested them on English, Mathematics, Logical reasoning, Legal reasoning and General knowledge.

Report prepared by Aathira Menon

[1] Adithya Banavar, Deepika Kinhal, Basavana Gowda, Nishita Vasan, Aathira Menon from NLSIU, Bangalore and Javedur Rahman from NUJS, Kolkata.

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