Against The Tide: Santosh Kumar's Extraordinary Journey From Security Guard At NLU To An Advocate
With the recent result declaration of the All India Bar Examination-XVII, emerged a ray of hope after years of toil in the life of Santosh Kumar who presently works as a Security Guard at Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, but is now set to enter the Legal profession as an Advocate enrolled with the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh.
Speaking to Verdictum about his 'Rags to Robes' story, Santosh Kumar shared how he rose above circumstances to become an Advocate who is all set to triumph in the Courts of Law. Hailing from the humble town of Gonda, Uttar Pradesh, Santosh says, "I was born in a financially strapped family and my entire childhood was marked by hardships. However, defying the odds, I pursued my education by doing odd jobs, including labouring in a plywood factory at the tender age of 16."
Santosh said that he always made sure that he never burdened his family and managed to finance his own education. He pursued a Bachelor of Arts followed by a Master's and in 2013 he enrolled in a private Law College affiliated with Lucknow University to pursue a Bachelor of Laws degree.
He said that his law journey was not without obstacles, "I first worked as a Security Guard in Phoenix United Mall Lucknow but the 12 hours+ job left me with no time to focus on my academic progress. Luckily, in the year 2014, I seized the opportunity to work at the RMNLU as a Security Guard. The 8 hours job at RMNLU provided me ample time to study, backed with good reading lights and an environment brimming with motivated Law students."
Completed LL.B. in 2016 but Exorbitant Enrollment Discouraged Enrollment:
Santosh told Verdictum that though he was able to finish his Law degree in the year 2016 itself, his financial constraints and the exorbitant enrollment fee prevented him from registering with the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh. He says, "I only got enrolled with the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh in the year 2021 and had to spend around Rs. 13,000 for the enrollment. As I could not afford the enrollment fee, I had to wait and save bit by bit for all these years."
Santosh said that in addition to the financial hardship, he went into depression when he lost one of his daughters to cancer in the year 2016. But he slowly and steadily embarked on the path that would lead him closer to his ultimate dream.
Qualified AIBE XVII with the help of the RMNLU Students:
Santosh mentioned that there was one student Anmol in the college, with whom he shared his problems of lack of money to register for the AIBE and the unavailability of Law books to study. To his surprise, Anmol along with other kind-hearted students, rallied together to provide funds and books, enabling Santosh to register for the exam, encouraged by their unwavering support and belief in his abilities. "Students there told me to sit for the exam and gave me the motivation that I will crack the exam," says Santosh.
Soon to Resign From RMNLU To Become A Full-Time Advocate:
Santosh mentioned that he is aware of the statutory rules under the Advocates Act that he cannot continue with any other job if he enrolled with the Bar Council, and he is uncertain of the income he will make as an Advocate. "I will give all my time into litigation and even work to improve my English as I studied in Hindi medium school. But I am not sure if I will be able to meet my daily expenses as for young first-generation lawyers it takes time to establish themselves."
Santosh Kumar's extraordinary journey serves as a powerful reminder that no obstacle is insurmountable when fueled by determination, resilience, and an unwavering vision. He encapsulates the indomitable spirit of individuals who defy circumstances, proving that success can be attained regardless of one's background. Santosh's story ignites hope in the hearts of those who dare to dream, inspiring them to pursue their aspirations with unwavering dedication and spirit.
While parting, Santosh said, "Being born into a poor family might be a barrier. But just fix your goal and be persistent, you will suceed". Santosh Kumar can be reached at '[email protected]'.