By Luna Erica
Meet Anivesh: a young lawyer who gave up his former job in finance to fight against war crimes, sexual harassment, and crimes against humanity. After obtaining his Master’s degree, he hopes to lend a hand in eliminating war crimes in the Middle East and Central Africa.
When asked about why he left his former job, Anivesh answers with conviction: “I felt really irrelevant – I was a cog in a machine, and I couldn’t see the ground. I wanted to work at the grassroots level, and I thought I could do that in law.”
Helping people is one of his primary drives. When asked what he is most proud of, Anivesh humbly laughs. “I don’t like to brag at all,” he says, but after some nudging describes how he played a part in reconstructing Nepal post the 2014 earthquake – helping rehabilitate people; building homes; clearing rubble with his hands. How two years back, he was in the most rural areas of India, teaching kids for several months there. And how in terms of legal achievements, he once represented a rape victim – one of the first Indian cases of digital rape – and got the accused convicted despite the man’s great lawyers.
He never regretted choosing to pursue a law career. Anivesh’s early projects focussed on litigation addressing gender issues – he enthusiastically tells us how he helped his team (led by Advocate Ms. Karuna Nundy) remove taxes from sanitary napkins all across India. Having worked in this field for a little while, Anivesh set up his own practice to provide pro bono litigation and advocacy: He tries to helps people belonging to marginalized communities get the level of advocacy that they would not have been able to access otherwise due to financial constraints.
In the future, Anivesh wants to focus on criminal law. He explains how sexual offenses are generally neglected when addressing war crimes – as they are considered as collateral damage in that field. To be able to change that fact, Anivesh will be following a Master’s in International Criminal Law, a joint programme between the University of Amsterdam and Columbia University.
With the grant from Studyportals in his back pocket, he’ll pursue his studies with the hope of eventually battling on the legal front lines in the conflict areas, standing up to war crimes and crimes against humanity, and for the people that need him the most.