Soumya Manugonda comes from Penugonda village in Telangana. She is visually impaired by birth and has completed her schooling till 10th standard from the Devnar School for the Blind, Hyderabad. She completed the studies for the 11th and 12th standard from the Sai Junior College for Visually Challenged, Hyderabad. She is a very bright student and scored 8 CGPA in tenth standard and 82% in twelfth standard in Telangana State Board. She has had very humble beginnings – her parents are farmers and she has just one younger brother.

Soumya got to know about IDIA three years ago when she was in the eleventh standard, and since then she has been preparing for the law entrance exam under the guidance of IDIA Hyderabad team. Throughout the two years of her preparation she faced many hurdles ranging from family issues, economic challenges, network issues when she went back to her village, etc. However, Soumya never lost hope and finally emerged victorious.

There were weeks when she could not study due to lack of internet and other facilities but she made sure that whatever opportunities she got, she made good use of. This particular quote by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross would sum up what Soumya has endured during this journey-

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

Our volunteers have witnessed Soumya’s growth as a deeply compassionate human being full of positivity and hope. She never once gave up. Soumya is very motivated to make a career in law and aspires to be a successful corporate lawyer one day.

She credits her success to her family, especially her mother, the IDIA team for constant guidance and her lovely teachers at Devnar and Sai Junior who made sure that she had all the facilities to concentrate on her studies.

About IDIA:

IDIA is a pan-India movement to train underprivileged students and help transform them into leading lawyers and community advocates. IDIA is premised on the notion that access to premier legal education empowers marginalized communities and helps them help themselves. IDIA selects and trains students from underprivileged backgrounds (IDIA Trainees) to crack top law entrance examinations in India. Once they are admitted to top law colleges, it provides a scholarship to these students (IDIA Scholars) that comprises financial support, training and mentorship among other things.

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