Justice Leila Seth Fellowship

People

Director

Mariam Faruqi

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Director

Mariam Faruqi

Mariam Faruqi, iProbono’s Chief Executive Officer, leads iProbono programs across six countries. Before joining the Leadership Team in 2016, she worked as a human rights lawyer in England where she qualified as a solicitor. With a particular expertise in legal systems in South Asia, Mariam has also worked in India and Pakistan on social justice projects. She holds an LLM with Distinction and BA (Hons) in Social Anthropology from the School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London, and previously read Sanskrit at Oxford University. She was the rapporteur with the National Commission on Forced Marriage in the UK and is a Trustee at Reunite, the international centre for child abduction and Director with the Grand Trunk Road Company, a space for arts and justice in South Asia.

Patrons

Amartya Sen

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Patrons

Amartya Sen

Amartya Sen is currently Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University. Born in 1933 on a university campus in Santiniketan, India he was educated at Presidency College in Calcutta then at Trinity College Cambridge. Professor Sen was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1998 for his contributions to welfare economics and social choice theory and his interest in the problems of the poorest people in our societies. He has taught at Delhi University, the London School of Economics and Oxford University and returned to Trinity College Cambridge as Master from 1998-2004 . Amongst other international honours, Professor Sen is the recipient of the Bharat Ratna (India); Commandeur de la Légion d'Honneur (France); the National Humanities Medal (USA); Ordem do Merito Cientifico (Brazil); Honorary Companion of Honour (UK); the Aztec Eagle (Mexico); the Edinburgh Medal (UK); the George Marshall Award (USA) and the Eisenhower Medal (USA). Professor Sen’s work has and continues to inform a whole generation’s approach to justice, poverty and equality.

Justice Gita Mittal

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Patrons

Justice Gita Mittal

Justice Gita Mittal is the former Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, and the first woman judge to serve in that capacity. She also served as the Acting Chief Justice and Judge of Delhi High Court. Prior to her appointment as Additional Judge in 2004, she had an illustrious legal practice in all courts and other judicial forums since 1981. Justice Mittal received the Nari Shakti Puruskar Award, which is the highest civilian honour for women in India in 2018, and the Justice PN Bhagwati Award by the Capital Foundation in recognition of her outstanding contribution in the field of judicial administration in 2019. In 2021, she was conferred with the Arline Pacht Global Vision Award for 2021 by the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ).

Co-Chairs

Aradhana Seth

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Co-Chairs

Aradhana Seth

Aradhana Seth is a filmmaker, visual artist and designer. As Art Director she has worked on London Has Fallen (India), The Darjeeling Limited, The Bourne Supremacy and Stiff Upper Lips (India). Her production design credits include Angry Indian Goddesses, Vara, West is West, Don, One Night with the King, Admissions, Easy, The Guru (India), Leela, Everybody says "I'm Fine!", Karvaan, Earth and Fire. She has had solo shows at Gallery Chemould, Mumbai and Sunapranta, Goa. Her work has been exhibited with Andrea Anastasio at Istituto Italiano de Cultura, New Delhi, and at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary in Vienna, Grosvenor Gallery, London, Vadehra Art Gallery and Khoj, New Delhi and Clark House, Mumbai. She has made over 18 documentary films and co-produced a photography book India Mexico: Parallel Winds, featuring the work of Sebastiao Salgado, Graciela Iturbide and Raghu Rai.

Maja Daruwala

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Co-Chairs

Maja Daruwala

Maja Daruwala, a barrister by training, has been working to advocate for rights and social justice for over 35 years. She was Director of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), an international non-governmental organisation headquartered in New Delhi with offices in London, UK and Accra, Ghana, for 20 years until September 2016. During her time at CHRI, she built the organisation into a strong advocate for access to justice, specialising in police and prison reform and the public right to access information. Maja is also a consultant to Tata Trusts and anchors its India Justice Reports.

Shantum Seth

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Co-Chairs

Shantum Seth

Shantum Seth is an ordained Dharmacharya (Dharma Teacher) in the Buddhist Mindfulness lineage of the Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, and teaches in India and across the world. He has been leading pilgrimages ‘In the Footsteps of the Buddha' and other multi-faith, educational, cultural, spiritual and transformative journeys across diverse regions of India and Asia since 1988. He is actively involved in educational, social and ecological programmes. This is pioneered by the non-profit trust, Ahimsa, of which he is a co-founder. He has been a Senior Advisor to the World Bank and has advised the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India on Buddhism and Pilgrimage Tourism. He worked in the corporate sector and later in social advocacy and development. He is considered the foremost guiding teacher to the sites associated with the Buddha and has trained tour guides for UNESCO and the Government of India while also being accredited as an official guide with them.

Shireen Irani

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Co-Chairs

Shireen Irani

Shireen Irani founded iProbono in 2009 to help bridge the gaps in social justice and currently focuses on growing the organisation’s reach. A qualified solicitor in the UK, she has previously studied and worked in the private sector and NGO world in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Recognised by Queen Elizabeth II and cited by The Observer as one of Britain’s New Radicals, Shireen has received awards from the UK Prime Minister, the Asian Women of Achievement, and was named The Financial Times’ Legal Innovator of the Year. She works with other founders to tackle social justice challenges, and advises philanthropists and foundations looking to fund in South Asia.

Vikram Seth

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Co-Chairs

Vikram Seth

Vikram Seth is a novelist and poet. He has received several awards including the Padma Shri, the Sahitya Akademi Award, and the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman. He studied at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, followed by Stanford University and Nanjing University. He has travelled widely and lived in England, California, India and China. His first novel, The Golden Gate: A Novel in Verse (1986), describes the experiences of a group of friends living in California. His acclaimed epic of Indian life, A Suitable Boy (1993), won the WH Smith Literary Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best Book) and was recently adapted for television by the BBC. An Equal Music (1999) is the story of a violinist haunted by the memory of a former lover. Vikram is also the author of a travel book, From Heaven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet (1983), an account of a journey through Tibet, China and Nepal that won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, and a libretto, Arion and the Dolphin: A Libretto (1994), performed at the English National Opera in June 1994, with music by Alec Roth. His poetry includes Mappings (1980), The Humble Administrator's Garden (1985), winner of the Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Asia), and All You Who Sleep Tonight: Poems (1990). His children's book, Beastly Tales from Here and There (1992), consists of ten stories about animals told in verse. His latest works include Two Lives (2005), a memoir of the marriage of his great uncle and aunt, and Summer Requiem (2015), a book of poems.

Zhooben Bhiwandiwala

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Co-Chairs

Zhooben Bhiwandiwala

Zhooben Bhiwandiwala heads the Mahindra Partners division and oversees the Group’s legal function. Professionally qualified as a Chartered Accountant, Zhooben joined the Mahindra Group in 1985, and through a remarkable 36-year career has acquired a wide spectrum of experience across diverse roles in a number of key positions in several business sectors. Zhooben heads iProbono’s Advisory Council in India, and plays an active part in advising iProbono's finance, legal, HR, marketing, and strategic functions.

Fellows 2024-25

Ankita Talukdar

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Fellows 2024-25

Ankita Talukdar

Ankita Talukdar, an LLM graduate in International Children's Rights, is a Justice Leila Seth Fellow for the 2024 cohort. With a background as an advocacy officer and researcher, she strives to promote child-friendly justice systems globally, advocating for a child-centric approach in law and policy.

Fellows 2023-24

Shalanki Prasad

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Fellows 2023-24

Shalanki Prasad

Shalanki is a Justice Leila Seth Fellow in the 2023 cohort. Her interests converge at the intersection of law, gender, social and criminal justice. Her areas of focus in law school were criminal law, constitutional law, and legal policy.

Alumni

Gowri Reghunath

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Alumni

Gowri Reghunath

A Justice Leila Seth Fellow in the 2023 cohort, Gowri is a lawyer with research and internship experience in the field of child rights, reproductive rights, and death penalty. Her areas of interest include criminal law and family law.

Krishna Aruna Sharma

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Alumni

Krishna Aruna Sharma

Krishna was born and raised in Sivasagar, Assam, and has worked as a lawyer in the development sector, with a keen focus on human rights. Until recently, he was an advocacy lawyer with Justice Ventures International, where his primary role was to research and draft complaints and reports on bonded labour, sex trafficking, and POCSO cases in the state. Krishna also worked with Human Rights Law Network and was a Goonj Fellow in 2019-2020.

Maansi Verma

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Alumni

Maansi Verma

Maansi Verma, a lawyer and public policy professional from Delhi, has over five years of experience as a legislative analyst and advocacy consultant. In her stint as a LAMP fellow, Maansi undertook legislative and policy research, prepared briefs on policy issues, analysed laws, and drafted private member bills. In 2016, she founded Maadhyam, an initiative to enable and encourage policy conversations between citizens and policymakers.

Our Team

Binita Modi

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Our Team

Binita Modi

Binita Modi leads iProbono’s global operations across jurisdictions. When she joined iProbono in 2013 at the London office she brought with her several years experience of marketing and business development in the legal industry. Now based in India, Binita is a pivotal part of the iProbono Leadership Team working closely with staff and consultants, overseeing operations, compliance and HR as well as maintaining corporate governance and key stakeholder relationships. In 2019, Binita joined the Board of iProbono India. She holds a BA (Hons) in Economics from St Xaviers College, Mumbai and a Masters in Communications Management from Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communications, Pune. She is a mentor with the Udayan Shalini Fellowship Programme supporting two girls and has a young family of her own.

Deeksha Gujral

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Our Team

Deeksha Gujral

Deeksha Gujral is the India Program Director at iProbono. She leads iProbono’s programs in India and oversees case management across the country. Deeksha read law at Cambridge University, after which she clerked with Justice Vikramajit Sen at the Supreme Court. She then worked as an advocate in New Delhi, practicing both civil and criminal litigation. She also has experience in refugee law as a result of working at a refugee law centre called Migration & Asylum Project. Deeksha acts as a trustee of the Pushpa Gujral Nari Niketan Trust, which runs an orphanage and a school for underprivileged children in Jalandhar, Punjab.

Nimisha Menon

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Our Team

Nimisha Menon

Nimisha Menon is a Senior Program Officer at iProbono. Bringing over six years of litigation experience from various courts in Delhi, Nimisha leads iProbono's Child Rights vertical and spearheads child rights litigation, strategic litigation, and advocacy initiatives.

With a primary focus on anti-human trafficking and child protection laws, Nimisha actively engages with survivors of child sexual abuse, child labour, and bonded labour. Her role extends beyond legal proceedings, involving close collaboration with government stakeholders, lawyers, and social workers, allowing her to adeptly navigate the legal landscape.

Advisors

Faraz Maqbool

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Advisors

Faraz Maqbool

Faraz has been practising law for over 11 years. His work predominantly includes areas of criminal law with an emphasis on cases involving child sexual abuse, human body offences, offences against property/documents/property marks, corruption, money-laundering, NDPS, prosecutions under the Companies Act etc.

He does a mix of criminal trial work at various District Courts at New Delhi along with regular appearances at the Delhi High Court. He is also a part of iProbono's Criminal Trial Panel for victims of child sexual abuse.