Mahak Rathee is currently managing all the affairs of Knowledge Steez. She has been awarded with GAJE Mexico and Indonesia Scholarship for the commendable work in the field of legal aid and awareness. She has also been honoured by Tamana NGO among the top 121 females of the country for her contribution to women empowerment. She has been interviewed by EBC/SCC Online Student Ambassador Simranjeet Kaur who is currently pursuing law from MNLUA.
- Please introduce yourself to our readers.
I am Mahak Rathee. I have done my graduation from Chanakya National Law University, Patna and I am currently practicing as an Advocate in Delhi. I am also pursuing PG Diploma in Cyber Laws from NLS, Bangalore. Apart from that I have been actively involved with various organisations, websites and NGOs during my college life. At present I am also associated with Knowledge Steez as its Honorary Director and also in the core team of various other units of Knowledge Steez like Consumer Assisto, IP Assisto, ADR HOC etc.
- What led you to choose law as a career?
Law happened to me by chance. I was a non-medical student and when I realised that science isnot my cup of tea and I cannot pursue it after school, I looked for other options available and then I heard about CLAT Examination which was not very prevalent way back in 2013. I appeared for the exam, cleared it and my entire law school journey has been magnificent and I am grateful for the decision that I made.
- Being a student of the NLU, you could have managed to be a part of any law firm. What made you choose to be a part of this start-up?
I have been a part of Knowledge Steez for more than six years now and it has been a wonderful journey till now and I knew that I would not be joining any corporate firm from the very beginning. When I was in my law school and was organising all the social awareness campaigns, legal aid campaigns, conferences etc, I genuinely found that this is what I love doing. But more importantly I would like to clear this perception that everyone has in their mind that I am all into start-ups but this is something which I pursue part time and voluntarily and I am practicing as an advocate in Delhi.
- Can you tell us about Knowledge Steez?
Knowledge Steez was started as a website for law students’ way back in 2012 by our founder Mr. Niteesh Kumar Upadhyay to create a platform for law students across the country to provide them with opportunities available for them across the globe. It is his dream project and he has been a great mentor and a brother to me throughout my journey. At present Knowledge Steez is registered as LLP and our domain has also expanded. We have organised four International Conferences, four National Conferences, Summer School on Human Rights in Bangladesh, Winter School on Human Rights in Nepal and also more than 250 legal aid and social awareness workshops. We have also collaborated with various national and international institutions and NGOs in past.
The Knowledge Steez also has a special concern focusing on the stereotypes prevailing in the society. Be it a woman, an elderly, a man, a victim, any caste, creed or gender, everyone in the society possess right to live their life with equal respect and dignity. We at The Knowledge Steez, through our breaking stereotypes campaigns attempt at spreading awareness about the same that could further add to build a better place to live in with people who know what not to do and what not to tolerate.
- As we all know there is a lot of rush into private sectors. What are your views regarding the difference of opportunities in private sectors, government organisations and start-ups?
There are ample opportunities available in private sector, government organisations and start ups and it is for the person to decide as to where his/ her interest lies. There is no doubt that there is a lot of rush into private sector because of the high paying jobs, comfortable environment and other incentives but government services are equally promising because of the job security and the tag that comes along as there are many students who appear for judiciary and other government services. Talking about start-ups, one has to build his opportunities in this field and the success of your start up depends completely upon your ideas, hard work and consistency. I have seen many start-ups coming up during this lockdown and I am keeping my fingers crossed that more people will be getting into this field.
- Do you have any new or creative idea in your mind that you would like to implement in near future?
I have been working on quite a lot of things during this lockdown and have been able to implement a lot of my ideas that were just there in my head from past one year but could not be executed. We have started Consumer Assisto, IPAssisto and ADR Hoc as units of Knowledge Steez to focus on specific areas of law (the names are self-explanatory). After reading about the increase in case of cyber bullying and other cyber-crimes, I have also started blogging on cyber security and awareness regarding cyber laws as that is my area of specialisation. Apart from this there are many ideas which are still at a very initial stage and can’t be discussed at the moment.
- We know that you were awarded with GAJE Mexico and Indonesia Scholarship for your work in the field of legal aid and awareness and you have also been honoured by Tamana NGO among top 121 females of the country for your role in women empowerment.What steps have you taken to provide legal aid and spread awareness during the time of COVID-19?
All of us would agree that there has been a drastic shift to technology due to Covid-19 and this entire lockdown situation as this is the only resort available to us at the moment. We have been trying our best to organise webinars, conferences, FDPs, Training Programs, Awareness Programs etc. at Knowledge Steez and sister concerns of it.
Consumer Assisto also launched a campaign called ‘Consumer-19’ wherein we invited consumers to share the exploitation which they faced during this pandemic and the response which we received from people all across the country was beyond our expectations and we would be having a panel discussion shortly on all the situations highlighted by people in this campaign and will try to assist them in every possible manner.
Apart from this I have also written blogs on cyber security and measures to avoid any kind of cyber-attack because the lockdown has seen rampant increase in the number of cyber crimes and the prime targets of these criminals are students.
So, we have been doing our bit to provide legal aid and spread awareness during this pandemic.
- Being an essential part of the start-up like Knowledge Steez, would you like to give any suggestions to the start-ups by students that are stepping in or might step in this industry on how can they sustain themselves?
I have seen so many start-ups and websites mushrooming during this period of lockdown. The main problem which arises is that these start-upsare initiated with great enthusiasm which goes down after certain point of time when the response is not as good as they expected.
My only suggestion to all of them would be to maintain consistency and create quality content for your targeted audience.It takes considerable time to build your brand name but it is essential to have your objectives clear, maintain consistency, figure out the requirements of your targeted audience and give your best. One should not lose hope in the initial phase of the journey.
- According to you, how can the students use this time of pandemic to improve their skills?
There are ample opportunities available for students to improve their skills during this pandemic. So many webinars, conferences, training programs, certificate courses etc. have been organised on online platforms. One just has to figure out his or her area of interest and there will be ample options available. For the students who are in their first or second year of law school and are still not clear about their area of interest, my only suggestion would be to explore as much as they can.
- Any other message for our readers.
For all the law students reading my interview, I would just say that it doesn’t matter whether you are in any NLU or in any other private law school, whether you have worked upon your CV till now or not. It is never too late. There are ample opportunities available to explore during your law school journey, one just has to figure out the right opportunities and work hard. Don’t forget to enjoy your law school life as much as you can.