Donnie Ashok’s Twitter handle has a pensive side profile with clever photoshopping in natural light, 851 followers and close to 10,000 tweets, mostly on philosophy and religion. His bio reads, ‘There are reasons buddy’. Just another nineteen-year-old? Yes and no.
He calls himself a ‘Pastafarian’ on Facebook and is on his way to designing a snazzy-looking website for himself.
Ashok also happens to be the toast of the Indian media, having fought and won a case against a law school which initially denied him admission as he had failed to clear his higher secondary exam at one go.
As reported by the Times of India, Donnie, a resident of Kolkata had to drop out of school in 2010 as his father could no more afford to pay his school fees. Donnie’s father, a painter earned less than Rs 1.5 lakh a year and after dropping out Donnie undertook various odd jobs to support his family. Like the one where he entered challan data for truck companies which paid him Rs 3,000 a month.
Luckily enough for him, he ran into IDIA (Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA), a bunch of students and teachers from the Kolkata-based National University of Juridical Sciences who took up his case and prepared him to sit for the higher secondary exams that year. Given that he was away from school for very long, Donnie, failed to clear the exam. However, he didn’t give up, neither did his mentors. Donnie appeared for his higher secondary and his also for the law entrance exam CLAT this year. He cleared both.
However, he was in for a shocker. With his rank (427/25,000) Donnie was eligible to get a seat in the Gujarat National Law University which refused to give him a seat citing his failure to clear the twelfth examination at one go. However, Donnie didn’t give up.
“With the help of IDIA, he moved a petition before the HC recently. The court presided over by Justice Kalpesh Jhaveri had directed GNLU authorities to keep a seat reserved for him till the disposal of his petition,” The Indian Express reports. His lawyers contested the law university’s decision and proved that there was no such provision in the original act of the university. Subsequently, Bimal Patel, the dean invited Donnie to join the university.
Though IDIA had warned him about the possible repercussions of dragging a premier institute to court, Donnie held fort as he thought this fight is for several other students who suffer from such discrimination. IDIA coaches bright students from underprivileged families and several of them have made it to law schools in the country.
Donnie told Bar & Bench, “I am very happy that GNLU will admit me. Prof. Bimal Patel wrote a very encouraging email to me yesterday and heartily welcomed me to join the university. I thank Prof Patel for his very kind words and look forward to studying at his esteemed institution.”
Updated Date: Jun 22, 2012 12:35 PM