ShubhamSinha is a 5th year student of BA.LLB (H) at Amity University, Noida. He is specializing in corporate law and his main aim is to pursue judiciary.
Neha– So when did you get affiliated with the legal aid cell?
Shubham – I got involved with legal aid cell in 2013 which was my first year as a law student. Kumar Shanu was president of the committee at that time.
Neha– What was the state of the legal aid cell when you joined it?
Shubham– When I joined legal aid, it was just an awareness camp as people were very reluctant to tell us their problems. So we basically just educated them about basic laws that they have. I joined in the starting years of the cell so the approach for holding the camp at a venue was difficult, the students were hesitant to go a village they don’t know and interact with strangers, and the facilities were limited. We have come a long way now.
Neha– When would you say things started to change?
Shubham – In 2014, I was appointed as a conveyor of the cell. We had a camp in village challera, with the topic domestic violence and dowry. It was the first time where we held a nukkad natak(street play) for awareness purposes. This time we invited a chief guest to attend the camp which attracted more people. We got a better response this time as people opened up and shared their problems. I think it has been an uphill road since then.
Neha– So tell me, do you only organize camps in villages or someplace else too?
Shubham– We have held camps in various schools too, although our main focus is village population as they have minimum knowledge and resources when it comes to legal matter.
Neha– What is the process of holding a camp anywhere?
Shubham– It is a quite lengthy process which requires a lot of work. A team will decide the venue, for.eg. A village will be scouted and decided. We will find what the condition of the village is and what problems are faced by the people there. Then the Pradhan of the village will be asked for permission to hold a camp. After the permission is granted a venue committee will go to the village for a preliminary visit. They will interact with people and ask about their problems and tell them about the coming camp where they can seek help. The main purpose of the visit is to get the lay of land and people, so that they are aware about the forthcoming camp. After that preparation will start, topics will be decided and distributed among speakers. Nukkad natak will be prepared and other arrangements will be made. Students from the university will be invited to volunteer.
Neha– When did you become president and what major changes did you make?
Shubham– I became president in June, 2015. Amit Raj sir was the faculty in charge when I became president. We both decided the committee is disorganized. So the committee was divided into various departments with individual heads. I also invited some willing fresh members to the committee so that the workload is distributed. I promoted personal interactions amongst the members so that work efficiency and less friction is there. I held 26 camps under my president ship from 2015(June) to 2017(June). We got affiliated with other organizations to increase our horizon and influence, for eg. Kiren bedi’s NGO in Bhavana. We asked various advocates to join us in the cell so that we can provide actual legal help to the people. The help provided by us increased and response was better than ever.
Neha– Did the university provided support to the committee?
Shubham – Yes, the faculty and the HOD were very supportive of the committee. We are very grateful for that. The finance was also provided by the university long with some donations made by students.
Neha– Did you have to compromise your studies for the committee’s work?
Shubham– Not entirely, it used be hectic around exam time but otherwise I managed. We have to study various topics and various laws before holding a camp so in a way it was a benefit for us.
Neha– Any last comments?
Shubham– I am very grateful that I got such an opportunity and I believe that every law college of the country should do something like this.
By – Neha