Tue 24 Oct 23
Outstanding alumni will be given prestigious Vice-Chancellor Awards during the University of Essex’s historic graduation ceremony in India.
Four of our graduates and postgraduates are being recognised for their achievements since finishing their studies at Essex and will be personally handed their awards by our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Anthony Forster.
Among the winners is Sanchita Ain, who achieved a distinction in LLM International Human Rights Law after studying at Essex in 2013.
She is now a practising lawyer in India, where only 15 per cent of lawyers are female. Sanchita is an Advocate-on-Record, the only lawyers allowed to act and plead for clients in the Supreme Court. During her time in the Supreme Court, she has played an important role in the evolution of the legal landscape of the country.
She had argued the landmark case on reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities.
The case is widely relied upon by persons with disabilities to claim their rights in educational institutions and workplaces.
Having a chronic neurological condition herself, Sanchita is a campaigner for disabled rights.
She has hired a deaf lawyer and ensured the first-ever court-appointed interpreter for her, as part of her campaign to diversify India’s law industry.
Sanchita has also hired the Supreme Court’s first ever wheelchair-bound lawyer.
She said: “I never attended my original graduation ceremony so to receive this award in another ceremony feels like all the efforts I have put in during my student and professional life are finally being recognised.
“Essex made me the person I am today. It allowed me to know myself as an individual. It gave me the required confidence and perspective for the legal profession.
“But most of all, it made me feel quite special.”
Professor Forster said: “Sanchita has been at the forefront of diversifying the legal profession in India. She has displayed the kind of bravery and determination we champion at Essex by breaking down barriers and campaigning for better rights for disabled people. Sanchita is a worthy winner of the Vice-Chancellor Award and I look forward to finding out about the amazing work she has been doing during the graduation ceremony.”
The other winners of the Vice-Chancellor Award will be announced over the next few weeks.
The graduation ceremony takes place on Sunday 18 February at the Andaz Delhi hotel.
More information, including how you can buy tickets, is available via a dedicated events page.