CLPR is proud to present the new cohort of Fellows of the newly launched Constitution Defender Fellowships!
These fellowships will allow the fellows to combat discrimination and safeguard the constitutional rights of marginalized groups, focusing on women and girls, Dalit/Adivasi individuals, transgender persons, and those with disabilities. This will be done by building the capacity of young lawyers, enabling them to effectively represent individuals seeking justice, handling a targeted number of cases, and securing positive legal outcomes that protect the rights of community members.
Our seven Fellows come from varied backgrounds with a wide range of academic and professional interests. We asked them to share more about their work and interests. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Kuldeep Kumar Baudh holds a B.A.LL.B. degree from Lucknow University and has completed his Masters in Social Work from Bundelkhand University. His academic background reflects a strong interest in advocating for access to justice, particularly for the Dalit community. Kuldeep is dedicated to raising awareness about constitutional values such as equality, freedom, fraternity, and justice. His motivation for applying for the Fellowship is to enhance leadership within the Dalit community and address critical issues such as Dalit atrocities and manual scavenging.
2. Kiyeka V. Arkha is a graduate of Patkai Christian College and Campus Law Centre, Delhi University, and brings three years of legal expertise, particularly in human rights. His passion lies in providing legal aid to marginalized communities, focusing on Dalits, tribals, slum dwellers, and cases related to women’s and child rights. Apart from his professional interests, he is a football fan and enjoys listening to classical music. He is also an avid admirer of the arts. Motivated by a commitment to justice and equality, Kiyeka sought the Fellowship to further support vulnerable groups, ensuring fair representation for those who lack the resources to defend themselves.
3. Ujjaini Chatterji is a practicing advocate with B.A.LL.B. from Symbiosis Law School, Noida, and also possesses a Masters in Human Rights Law from University of Nottingham. She is interested in strategic litigation with a client centric, impact-based approach. She champions the safeguarding of the Constitution rights of the marginalised communities of Dalits/Adivasis, gender and sexual minorities, migrant and displaced communities, and persons with disabilities. She is particularly fond of theatre, stories and storytelling that she also tries to imbibe in her litigation to make the profession more connected to the lives of those who do not have access to justice. Through the Fellowship, Ujjaini hopes to gain a stronger understanding of the Indian Constitution and the practice of constitutional law in India as part of strategic human rights lawyering in general.
4. Jomol Joy is a Catholic Nun, belonging to The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. She holds an MSc in Counselling Psychology along with LLB and LLM qualifications, and also possesses a decade of dedicated experience in providing legal aid in Wayanad. Her focus areas include supporting the Adivasi community, women facing domestic violence, and children. Beyond her professional pursuits, her interest lies in reading and music. Jomol’s motivation for pursuing the Fellowship is rooted in her desire to broaden her knowledge, enhance her skills, and explore innovative approaches to address human rights infringements more effectively.
5. Vasudha Chandwani, a practicing advocate with a B.A.LL.B. degree from ILS Law College, Pune, is deeply committed to championing women’s rights, the rights of the queer community, and children’s rights. Her application for the Fellowship stems from a strong desire to enhance her strategic litigation skills, with the ultimate goal of providing more effective aid in securing relief within a challenging legal system.
6. Deepak Chatap is a practicing advocate holding a B.A.LL.B. degree from ILS Law College, Pune. He is also a Chevening scholar with a Masters in Human Rights, Conflicts, and Justice from SOAS University, London, has dedicated the past five years to actively championing the human rights of marginalized communities in Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, and Nagpur regions of Maharashtra. As the founder of the PATH Foundation, he offers pro bono legal aid services. Beyond his professional pursuits, he finds joy in reading, writing and poetry. Deepak wishes to expand his legal aid practice, ensuring relief for individuals belonging to marginalized communities. His fellowship application is driven by the dual goals of capacity building and connecting with like-minded lawyers to further advance justice initiatives.
7. N Shreyas is a PhD candidate at the School of Law, Christ University and also holds a Bachelors of Art, LLB and LLM degree from St. Josephs Arts & Science College, BMS College of Law and Christ University respectively. He is the founder of Samatva Centre for Social Cause working towards upbringing equanimity and sealing of differences between the visually challenged and sighted. He is passionate towards broadening the scope of Article 21 to include the various facts of accessibility for the disabled. N. Shreyas applied for the Fellowship with the motive of skill development and enhanced expertise.