Find out how this young law student is improving legal awareness in Maharashtra

What would you expect a fresh graduate to be like? Enjoying life, hanging out with friends, being optimistic right? Abhida Niphade is all that and much more. As a founder of Being Lawgical, and the youngest Global Youth Ambassador she has a lot going on in her life. This third-year law graduate, is a Global Youth Ambassador at ‘A World At School’ where Mala Yousafzai is also serving as Global Youth Ambassador. Abhida has worked with foundations like His Holiness Dalai Lama Foundation and Sahyog Trust-Humanistic Proactive Org.

Abhida Niphade, Global Youth Ambassador

How did you decide to take up law?

I come from a small town Shrirampur from the Ahmednagar district. With my rural background, I had seen a lot of oppression, poverty, illiteracy, and ignorance about the law. Having a girl child was considered a burden in my town. Fortunately, I was born and brought up in a very broad-minded family. Although I was a single child and a girl, I was never denied any opportunity by my parents. Later, for want of higher education, I traveled to Pune and nearby areas and this shaped my outlook towards society. I was a literature student when I came in touch with an NGO – ROSHNI and working with them, made me realize that empowering people with the knowledge of the law is the need of the hour.

What is Being Lawgical?

Being Lawgical is a non-profit organization working towards empowering people with the knowledge of the law. We work with the vulnerable and underprivileged to educate them about the various provisions of law. We want to convince people that law is not something created to harass them but to empower them. Being Lawgical believes that a good way to empower justice is to legally empower people to demand it. Currently, we are primarily working with women, downtrodden, underprivileged and disabled.

legal literacy session in progress

Abhida taking a legal literacy session

What does being a Global Youth Ambassador mean?

The title ‘Global Youth Ambassador’ at ‘A World at School’  has brought many opportunities with it. The appointment is for the duration of three years. The initiative is run by Sarah Brown and Gordon Brown, The UN special envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of UK. The main responsibility I earned is to mobilize young people to stand up for education and make their voices heard in their communities. I can organize local or national advocacy related events and campaigns. From the organization, I will receive all the support needed to mobilize others for acting like an access to the global campaigning toolkit and the support of a large network of like-minded young people from all over the world. I am getting an opportunity to work with great personalities such as Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, renowned singer Shakira and many more like-minded people. Working with an international network is itself is a learning experience.

As the youth of India, how do you see a future aspirational India?

I think ‘youth’ is not a number but a feeling. Anyone with passion in their heart and a clear vision will contribute to an aspirational India. I believe in ‘Karma Siddhanta’ and believe that it is time for us to invoke that knowledge. Working with honesty and integrity for the goal will certainly bring results. We as a country have great potential and the youth are highly motivated. I believe we can achieve a lot if we are knowledgeable and educated in understanding our rights and duties – the law of the land.

A road trip to Sirsi Karnataka

Travel from Pune- Sirsi

Kilometers and time taken – 542km, 9.5 hours

Road conditions – Okay till Kolhapur and superb after that. (Road expansion work ongoing in Satara and nearby areas)

Safety gear – Car seats

What to do in and around Sirsi – Attivere Bird Sanctuary, Shalmala Gardens, Unchanhalli Waterfalls, Magod falls, Satodi Falls, Banavasi, Sahasralinga, Shivamogga

This summer we decided to do something different and thought of trying a road trip with both the kids in tow. While hubby dear was super excited about the long drive, I was skeptical as my kids are not known to be quiet and sitting obediently in long drives. Hell, they start asking about the destination even before they get in the car. Add to it the constant string of querulous statements ranging from boring surroundings, to cramped spaces and the road trip suddenly seems like a very bad idea. After a lot of coaxing from the hubby, I decided to give it a try, but not without preparations.

I started preparing for it before a week. First thing to do was load the phone with interesting and educational games and songs. Next was to make a list of required toys, colors, clay and coloring books. Once the in-car entertainment was sorted out, I went to the next important thing and that was snacks! Before the journey I felt like I was an airhostess entrusted with the duty of in-flight entertainment and food.

We decided to leave early in the morning to ensure that we cover major part of the journey before the sun reaches its peak. As this journey was in the first week of May we wanted to avoid driving when the sun was at its peak. We started our journey at around 6 in the morning. The kids were super excited in the morning, but as there wasn’t anything interesting to do and it was still early morning with a nice cool breeze, they quickly dozed off and our first 3 hours of journey was covered quickly and quietly.

By then, we decided to take our first break for tea and snacks. Good places to stop for Tea and snacks are around Satara and Kolhapur. Places like Natraj snacks, Vitthal Kamat offer good breakfast options at reasonable prices. After having a sumptuous breakfast at Vitthal Kamat after Kini toll naka we proceeded towards Sirsi.

The roads till Kolhapur can be a little bumpy or you could experience slow moving traffic because of highway expansion work. However after that it’s a beautiful road, with little or no traffic hold-up’s. The roads are lined with Gulmohar, BoganVillas and bright yellow flowering trees. These were in full bloom and looked stunning. The color hues on both sides of the roads were captivating. The soil too was slowly turning from brown or black to a distinct red. This riot of colors made the summer travel worth it. Sadly there were no places to stop and click pictures, hence we missed that.

The kids in the back, hardly had anything at the breakfast break, and were now rummaging through the snack pack. Thankfully, we had enough options to keep them busy and full. After a round of snacks, coloring and clay art, the kids dozed off again and I could get back to enjoying the life around. There are good places for lunch around Belgaum and Hubli. It is better to have your lunch latest at Hubli as post that it is a single road going through small villages and forest area with almost no eatery options.

 

Once you take a right and get on the single road, dense trees welcome you. We hit this road around 1.30pm and though it was a blazing sun outside, the shades of the trees provided ample rest to the eyes. The road cuts through a forest and sightings of birds and monkeys are easily possible. If you travel by this road early in the morning, peacocks too are a common sight. We reached Sirsi in roughly two hours after that.

Sirsi is a bigger town as compared to its surrounding areas and it is better to stay in Sirsi and travel to the nearby sightseeing locations. Availability of vehicle on hire is easy and the hotels do assist in the same. Popular hotels to stay are Madhuvan, Samrat and Panchavati.

Marikamba temple in Sirsi

Quaint Wada

Photo Credit- Sawantwadi MC.org Chitnis Wada

Tara was home. A sprawling dwelling made of stone on a busy city street. This quaint wada had been built around 100 years ago. A small but beautiful garden welcomed you once you entered the gate and at the end of a meandering cobbled path was the main entrance of the place. As she walked in, the city noise magically vanished. It was a special day today and all her family members had descended on this place, but nobody was in a chatty mood. They acknowledged one another, but all were busy having a dialogue with the wada. Even the ever querulous aunt was uncannily quiet.

Four generations, of the family, had lived in this wada together. Tara smiled as memories of the many pranks played by her and her boisterous cousins played back in her head. This wada had been her sanctuary, a place to run away to from the pressures of modern living. The quaint surroundings filled her heart with peace. She had learnt, lived, loved and even wept here in its embrace. She saw everyone was lost in their thoughts. Everyone had many stories that just flowed out from the recesses of their memories.

Now, as is the rule of nature, the old had to make way for the new and the wada was being torn down to make way for modern apartments. Today was a get-together where they all came and bid goodbye to their beloved wada before it became history.

*Disclaimer- The image is just used for representative purpose. The story is not about this wada and is a work of fiction.

Linking this story with A-ZChallenge and Blogchatter.