The Kerala chapter of IDIA kicked off at St .Mary’s H.S.S, Pattom, Trivandrum on July 17, 2010. The function was inaugurated by Hon’ble Justice D. Sreedevi, the former High Court Judge and the present Chairperson of Kerala Womens Commission. The function was attended by the 11th and 12th std. students of the Humanities stream of St. Mary’s school besides IDIA volunteers from Trivandrum and Kochi. Father George Mathew Karoor, Principal, St. Mary’s school also graced the occasion with his presence. Aswathy Kusumam, volunteer, IDIA welcomed the gathering. Mr. Raghul Sudheesh, State Co-ordinator, IDIA delivered the presidential address.
This was followed by an inspiring speech by Hon’ble Justice D. Sreedevi. Beginning with the maxim “Ignorance of law is not an excuse”, Justice D. Sreedevi went on to give a very informative speech on the importance of law in our society. She proceeded to trace her own career as an example and how her dislike for law gradually disappeared and ultimately evolved into her passion with her stay in the profession. She elucidated upon the need for awareness and knowledge of law not only among the legal fraternity but also among the laymen so as to ensure that the objects set out in the Constitution and other mighty documents like UN Declaration on Human Rights are accomplished.
She also dwelt upon the prospects of law as a career and the bright future which a rapidly developing economy like India held for law graduates. Her enlightening speech ensured that the students present got a clear picture about scope of law as a profession. It was an eye opener for many students who were unaware about law as a career and helped remove common misconceptions.
Father George Mathew Karoor praised the initiative and wished IDIA all success. Ms. Vineetha Vinayan, Thiruvananthapuram Regional Co-ordinator, IDIA, proposed the vote of thanks. The inaugural ceremony was followed by an interactive session with the students. It was headed by Mr. Raghul Sudheesh, the State Co-ordinator of IDIA. The students were initially hesitant to open up and needed a bit of persuasion. Soon doubts began to pour in. The enthusiasm of the students was seconded by each and every person in the hall and every query was accompanied with encouraging applause. From the concept of National Law Schools to the varied avenues which a law graduate could pursue, students were keen on getting all their doubts clarified. However, the deeply ingrained notion that law as a career meant the career of a practicing lawyer with struggle during initial years still persisted among many. The ignorance about law was evident when a student hailing from Chennai stated that “I was in Chennai for many years and have never heard about a law college in Chennai.” He was at dark about the existence of colleges like School of Excellence in Law.
The fact that majority of the students were unaware about the prospects of a noble profession like law testified the need for a mass movement like IDIA to ensure that the benefits of law as a profession percolates down to the lower strata of the society so that they in turn can contribute to the growth of the masses they represent.
Report prepared by Murali Krishnan and Saira George.