In this interview, Jyotshna Yashaswi, Ayush Sharma, Pradhumna Mohan Dixit, Sangam Ghorpade and Anshumaan Mishra talk about their journey to Eklavya Scholarship. They have been interviewed by EBC/SCC Online Student Ambassador Richa Bhandhari who is currently pursuing law from UPES Dehradun.
- As a student, how do you bring a balance to your academics as well as non-academics?
Jyotshna Yashaswi: Since the time I joined Law school, I was very clear about the importance of both academics and non-academics. I believe that law school allows us to have a holistic development in terms of both professional as well as personal life. I believe that overall development cannot take place only via academics but practical exposure to different non-academic activities like moot court competitions, research papers, debates, ADR, etc. will help us to groom ourselves. However, initially, when I was in my first year it was difficult for me to balance both but eventually, I started writing research papers, participated in moots and other competitions which gave me a lot of exposure and opportunities to learn which increased my interest in various non-academic activities.
Simultaneously, I give equal importance to academics because subject knowledge will help me to understand the practical aspect of the law, as I believe that both academics and non- academics complement each other in a way and therefore I try to ensure that none of them overlap each other.
Ayush Sharma: A five-year program gives ample opportunities and most of the law students can simultaneously manage a few commitments. What personally works for me is catching breaks and introspecting. I catch breaks by playing cricket and going for a quick run as both of these activities give me a clear head to think. While writing papers and simultaneously managing academics is not that difficult, I would not say the same for mooting, since I think mooting requires a higher level of commitment. With clear goals in mind management is not difficult.
Pradhumna Mohan Dixit: That is one of the most difficult tasks for every student I think, making a graceful balance of academics and non-academics and I am not sure whether I am able to reach that stage or not. It still happens that I find myself perplexed with a number of things I get sometimes in my plate while trying to manage non-academics along with my academics. However, now it is not as daunting as it used to be and that is what the answer is. You get to know the art to manage both, academics and non-academics gradually as you go on with your journey as a law student and I am being in the middle of law school life still in the process of learning this art.
Sangam Ghorpade: Being a student, it is very important to maintain a balance between both academics as well as non-academics which requires time and patience. For me, academic activities have had more weightage when compared to co-curricular activities even though I participated in competitions and some prospective competitions which were cancelled due to the pandemic. So, I think there should be proper time management to strike a balance between academics and non-academics.
Anshumaan Mishra: First of all, many thanks to SCC Online and CAN foundation for considering me worthy for this. Regarding academics I always consider myself as someone who is swinging in between the demarcation line of above-average and a good student. To be blunt, I am not in the league of the erudite blue-eyed squad, who is persistent in rocking every exam with highest marks possible rather a gregarious law student who wants to explore as much as he can till he lands the real world that is outside the very first doors of his campus along with doing justice with his academics. Word “explore” means travelling, reading, interacting and learning things for me that are not in the syllabus of any university but has to be in one’s syllabus of life. Luckily till now, I have managed to maintain a good balance between them. I hardly believe that it is really important to be intensely passionate about one’s field – excellence follows automatically. This is a really clichéd phrase but also the truth. If you are passionate regarding what you are doing, your mind will always lead you towards the way that is best for you.
- How did you choose this field as your career?
Jyotshna Yashaswi: Law is something that has fascinated me since my childhood. I had a keen interest in social cause since my school days and was active in various projects undertaken to contribute to society. I have always wondered about the plight of various sections of society and their legal rights. Eventually, this interest of mine led me to join various NGOs and other organisations which worked for the vulnerable section. With the passage of time, I started believing that law is the tool for me that can help me to fight for the rights of people and will act as a weapon against the wrongs in society. With this belief, I have chosen law as my career.
Ayush Sharma: My Friend encouraged me to take up law as a career. He briefed me about the Common Law Admission Test back in class 9th. To be honest, I was driven by the monetary factor first, I did my research and got to know that the corporate lawyer were paid well. Having experienced financial crunch from early life, I wanted to earn well for my family. In order to fulfil the aspirations of my family, I choose law. Post joining law school, I discovered that law was something more than monetary factor, serving people is one of the most important aspects of law. Having said that, for me now law is a gateway to earn well and serve the people.
Pradhumna Mohan Dixit: I do not have anyone in my family who is a lawyer or even remotely related to the legal field. Still, opting for law as a career option came to be as an obvious choice for me. However, in beginning, I had very little knowledge/exposure about the law in whole as a career option after 12th, but thanks to newspapers and internet which eventually introduced me to the word CLAT and integrated LLB for the first time in class 10th, and considering the fact, I always wanted to do something which is directly related with society, law became my very first choice to do my UG studies in.
Sangam Ghorpade: Opting law as a career was never the first choice for me. I never intended to do a job which had fixed work, salary and timing. I always wanted to pursue a career where I get to work a lot and due to the vastness of the field, I explore new things every day and law came to be a profession which had all of these things along with prospects of good income. That is the reason for choosing law as my career.
Anshumaan Mishra: Growing up as an adolescent in Allahabad`s politically charged atmosphere left me well coloured with a burning idealism and fierce intolerance of injustice. Having immense affection towards subjects of humanities especially political science and philosophy helped me in alienating the option right after passing high school. Initially, my target was to pursue bachelors from Delhi University and then go for the law but due to missing the requisite cut off of targeted college, I made up my mind for CLAT.
- What drives and motivates you? Do you have specific aspirations after graduation or is there anyone you look up to?
Jyotshna Yashaswi: As mentioned above, the desire to do something for the people around me has always been a driving factor for me to pursue law more passionately. I am aspiring to do my Masters in Human Rights which I believe will help me to understand more about my area of interest.
Ayush Sharma: Law empowers you to question anything or everything legally. I feel empowered and socially driven in life through law because law is everywhere and I think it is a daily affair and it impacts everyone’s life directly or indirectly. My motivation is service; through law I can serve and help many people and will be able to create some difference in the society.
Pradhumna Mohan Dixit: It may sound old fashioned or cliché to some people but for me, it is my family. The thought of making good of the sacrifices which my family made to let me able to study and that too well above their reach, is what drives me and keeps me motivated.
After graduation one of my first aspirations is to take my mother to see things and places beyond my village. She has not seen anything other than my maternal and paternal villages, for me, it is one of the foremost priorities to let her see the world beyond these two places, a world which she fascinates about but is alien to.
Sangam Ghorpade: Law is a very interesting and dynamic field. The desire to be the best version of myself and my passion towards my work motivates me. For the time being, being in the second year of my study, I have not really decided about any plan after I graduate and I am yet to explore all the nitty-gritties associated with this field to decide my future plan and work accordingly
Anshumaan Mishra: My failure and mistakes are my biggest source of motivation. As of now, I have not decided my after college trajectory But, Anything I choose, service to my society and justice with my profession will be the basis of my selection.
- Tell us what about you, that you think, makes you stand out from other students?
Jyotshna Yashaswi: I am a firm believer that every student is unique in his way and has their own abilities and accomplishments. I believe that one’s will power, dedication and commitment can enable one to stand out in the crowd. And following this mantra, I have achieved all my accomplishments till date.
Ayush Sharma: Having studied and worked with many students in college and internships, I can say that most people are either hard workers or smart workers. That being said, I have seldom come across people who are a combination of both, i.e. people who make quick choices whether a task requires intense hard work or just pure smart work. Consequently, this reduces the time taken to complete that task. Though, I am not fully there, but I am working towards developing this skill, which I hope can make me stand out.
Pradhumna Mohan Dixit: That is the question I often find myself introspecting and trust me by often I mean “a lot”. Frankly speaking, even till date I do not really know what makes me stand out from others, maybe it is the fact that I always manage to find a way through all of the adversaries, be professional or personal, but it can also be attributed to my good “fate”. It can also be the fact that I keep trying, immaterial to circumstances, till I reach a viable solution. Provided that, I am still in the process of figuring out my SWOT and I think I will be able to figure out the same with certainty as my exposure to the world and my knowledge of the impact I have on my surroundings will increase.
Sangam Ghorpade: I do not think anything makes me stand out from other students. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, but I am hard working and I have a desire to be the best version of myself. I think, I have the quality of accepting what is there without making any excuses and try to find a way out of it.
Anshumaan Mishra: I believe the only approach that I find a little different from my peers is that I plan things at a very micro level. I never make plans in advance for two to three years rather I set my targets on a 24-hour cycle or a week max.
- How do you overcome failures and get back on your feet after a bad day?
Jyotshna Yashaswi: Failure and success are part of life. Without failure one cannot enjoy the taste of success and also it is often said that failure comes to those who try and so failure is something that shows that one has the zeal to achieve something. For me, failure always comes as a teacher that motivates me to improve myself and make myself more efficient. And the belief that there is always a sunrise after sunset helps me to overcome a failure and allows me to work harder and smarter.
Ayush Sharma: I introspect and analyse. I would be lying if I say that it does not feel bad. It does. Fortunately, I have close friends and my family who hold me during these times and for that I am grateful. Most of us are not born perfect or achievers and it is okay to fail and learn.
Pradhumna Mohan Dixit: I find myself fortunate with the fact that I tend to forget bad days very easily. I do not find myself clenched too much with the bad days or bad things. You must have heard people composing by saying, let bygones be bygones, my brain took that thing too seriously, even without people saying that to me, it just take me few hours of good sleep and “ding”, I forget the bad day. However, still, it happens sometimes that my brain’s magic sleep “mantra” gets glitches, in those situations, I just remember my family and all of the sacrifices they made for my studies, that being one of the chief boosters for me, gives me a more than enough reason to start afresh after a bad day.
Sangam Ghorpade: I am not the kind of guy who holds the same thing for a whole day if something bad happens to me. I learn from mistakes and try not to repeat the same again and again. The love towards work and desire to learn gives me strength to get back on my feet.
Anshumaan Mishra: Being a travel freak, I believe life is a discovery of finding yourself and everything in pursuit of the same experiences. As I said, failures are my best source of motivation and there exists nothing called as a “bad day” in my vocabulary. Every day is an experience for me, god or bad hardly matters.
- What was the procedure of obtaining such a scholarship?
Jyotshna Yashaswi: The procedure for the scholarship application is quite smooth and flexible. One needs to fill the application form which is available online with the requisite documents and two write-ups of around 2000, explaining the necessity, importance, and relevance of the scholarship (kind of SOP) offered by CAN Foundation. The students were further nominated in three categories for providing financial assistance and I was selected under the second category “Excellence Despite Hardships”.
This scholarship will help me to tackle the obstacles in fulfilling my aim as being a law student.
Ayush Sharma: The procedure to apply for Eklavya Scholarship is very flexible and smooth. One has to download application form from the official website of Can Foundation, i.e. https://canfoundation.in, and one has to email a detailed application form on their email i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org. There are student volunteers who helped and guided throughout the process. I must say that the volunteers and coordinators are very cooperative, one can directly contact them and they clear all the doubts of the applicants. I am really grateful to all the volunteers of the CAN foundation.
Pradhumna Mohan Dixit: The CAN foundation’s Eklavya scholarship program has one of the most simple and straightforward application processes. You first need register on the CAN foundation’s website and thereafter, send the application form which you get after registering on website, along with all required documents to the designated e-mail address. In case of any doubt, CAN foundation has a very benign team of volunteers who enthusiastically address all your queries and help you throughout till the conclusion of the selection process.
Sangam Ghorpade: First of all, I am very thankful to the CAN foundation for providing this scholarship for financially needy students. I came to know about this scholarship from one of my friends. To get this scholarship, one must fulfil the eligibility criterion and must have required documents. The student volunteers are very cooperative and they help students at each and every stage while applying for scholarship. I am also very thankful to my seniors who helped me while applying for this scholarship.
Anshumaan Mishra: In-country like India where education comes with an exorbitant cost, there are a plethora of deserving candidates thriving for financial assistance out of limited help available. To secure one, little patience and a lot of research and vigilance are required. Vigilance here is regular surfing of important sites where scholarships and related information’s are advertised.
I will recommend students to follow the given approach to secure a scholarship:
- College Based Approach: This is the easiest and the fastest way to secure a scholarship. Right after getting into college do a little research and ask college administration regarding the availability of scholarships for college students, if yes then try for it. Vice-chancellor scholarship, Memorial scholarship, Alumni funded scholarship, etc. lie under this category.
- Government Schemes Based Approach: Do a little research about contemporary government scholarship schemes (both State and Centre Government) and try for it. If you are studying in National Institute do explore your home State schemes also. Chances of getting a scholarship are generally 50-50 in this category.
- Domain-Based Approach: Domain refers to the area of knowledge( for me it is law), so try to explore popular scholarships that are given every year in your domain. Like CAN Scholarship, IDIA, etc. are very well known scholarship given only to law students.
- Open Source Bases Approach: Be vigilant and use various updates/notices/information providing sites where scholarships and related events are advertised very often. Lawctopus, Noticebrad and Siksha are some of them.