Interview of Professor Shantha Sinha:
Prof. Shantha Sinha is a professional social activist , she is known for her voice against Child labour, she is the founder of Mamidipudi Venkatarangaiya Foundation and also headed the National Commission for Protection of Child rights twice.
She also won the highest civilian Award of Padmashree for her works.
In her journey of revolution against the practice of child labour, she has undergone different phases, which is inspiring to the present youth. Here are certain words from her, which is inspiring for this generation law graduates.
When did this journey of fighting against menace named Child labour start and what made you adopt this journey?
When, I was in university, I was working on a education programme for Shamith vidyapeeth, then it was working on bonded labour, then, I observed 40% of them are child labor, that’s how the journey began, I thought an Ngo, not as a charity, but it should work on the entitlements of a child and claiming their constitutional rights.
What are your experiences, throughout this campaign against Child labor, did u feel, why society is like this, how can change come, when they justify their action with their status?
I knew society is like this. I was satisfied with community and youth in bringing change, throughout our work, they have great capacity to transform their lives, I was disappointed with governments response, But every time the result didn’t come automatically, only after a struggle.
When you were part of government, how did u feel and how did it help further?
I had tremendous authority, to translate all experiences through policy. I understood the difficulties of the system and the only way to overcome difficulties is only by committing to your stance, and without compromise, working on that, strong stands will always bring change.
Do you think, the present legal studies are orienting students towards societal problems and rights?
I think as a law graduate , if you are applying law , to see that rights are not violated, that is offering your professional competence to bring transformation, The law that is being taught, will definitely enable students towards protection of human rights , not even as a social work ,but as a professional work. Lawyers by working within the framework of law will definitely contribute their role in society.
What kind of message you want to give to this legal fraternity?
I would like lawyers to work collectively in either drafting or through offering probono services. I won’t pass a judgment that you shouldn’t join in corporate field, but wherever you are, work honestly. Change and development only comes, when everyone fulfills their responsibility that they attain from their profession.
From this interview I felt, Complaining is easy, but engaging is not that easy, we complain people are traditional, they never change as their economic status is a problem, but she engaged , she brought a different side of the coin into light.
Ms. Priyanka Arthimalla, DSNLU, Visakhapatnam.