As an IDIA Scholar, my college expenses were taken care of by IDIA Charitable Trust. I was also mentored and trained by IDIA.
I am writing today about my love for football and all that I have learnt from it.
Very recently, I represented India at the Asian lawyers, the 4th Asian Lawyers Football Cup 2019 which was held from 18th to 21st April in Bangkok, Thailand. I am glad to have been a part of this tournament where our team ‘IDIA Well Wishers XI’ won the ‘Fair Play Award’.
During my school days, ever since my fifth grade, football was one of my favourite sports. I became interested in football then as it was one of the most popular games internationally.
When I was studying in classes tenth to twelfth, football became even more important to me. People around me kept encouraging me and admiring my game. I was also appreciated by a few local football clubs.
Later, I understood that the football game is not only an overwhelmingly enjoyable game for me but it indirectly provides various other benefits, especially for the youth.
Football helped me in improving my skills such as concentration level and memory power. This is a game that has positively impacted my physical, mental and social health, and overall well-being.
It was very surprising and one of the happiest moments in my life when some local clubs paid me to play for them. At one point in time, the same clubs had refused to give me admission to their training program because I could not afford to pay their monthly fees.
For me, football is an intellectual game as you engage with various strategies on the field. I dreamt of pursuing a career in this field. However, due to financial problems and family pressure, I had to nearly abandon football. My dream remained a dream until Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access to Legal Education (IDIA) came into my life.
I am grateful to IDIA, especially to one of the directors of IDIA, Mr. Arnab Roy, for giving me an opportunity to come back in the field of football again. IDIA has given me an opportunity to play in the IDIA Football League (IFL) which has been organised by IDIA every year since 2014.
It also gave me an opportunity to take part in the Asian lawyers, the Asian Lawyers Football Cup, organised by Mundivocat every two years for lawyers from different countries in Asia.
I had never imagined in my life that I could be a part of such outstanding tournaments. Besides playing football in these tournaments, I have gained many new experiences and have learnt many things from each individual I met. I might not have learnt all this in my life if not for my love for football and IDIA’s support.
IFL has been organised by IDIA in Mumbai annually since 2014 for law firms and corporates with legal teams to raise funds to sponsor the legal education of IDIA scholars from underprivileged backgrounds studying across leading law schools of the country.
I, being an IDIA scholar, feel proud to be a part of this tournament. Through IFL, I got the chance to meet and interact with professionals from the legal field and to even intern at their law firms and chambers.
This year, I was fortunate to play at the Asian Football Cup for Lawyers for the first time, where 26 teams from 10 different countries had participated. I was glad to be a part of the team ‘IDIA Well Wishers XI’. It was the only team from India to participate in the tournament.
It was an inspiring experience with very high standards of football played at the international level. Our team won against Nepal, drew with Mongolia leading to a tie-breaker and lost against South Korea and China.
However, our Indian team was ranked overall 14th in the tournament and also won the ‘Fair Play award’. Our team captain, Mr. Rohit Das and Mr. Arnab Roy, handled the team remarkably well. All the players of the team gave their best and played outstandingly well.
I was really pleased to get a chance to meet and interact with lawyers from different countries. I have learnt a lot from each team and from each individual.
Our team ‘IDIA Well Wishers XI is looking forward to taking part in the 20th edition of the ‘World Football Cup for Lawyers’, which will be held in Morocco in 2020 and I am pleased to be a part of this team.