Shaik Parveen is a trained lawyer who has spent the last five years in the District Courts of Aurangabad, Maharashtra. Over the years, she observed that 80% of the people who come to the Courts are from rural areas. They are usually illiterate and travel enormous distances – spending money at each step of the way, simply to be told that they need to come again at a later date. “There is a lot of corruption,” she says, her eyes shining with anger. “Everyone is out to make money; No one is willing to help.” This is one of the primary reasons she left the courts.
Parveen says she has already experienced the comforts of life. As a child, her parents were able to provide for her. As an adult, she has the ability to go anywhere, earn money and do anything. “I could join the corporate sector if I wanted to,” she says, “but I want to get close to people. As a junior lawyer, people usually don’t trust you as much as senior lawyers. I want to be able to gain that trust from the people.” It is for this experience that she has joined the SBI Youth for India Fellowship programme.
Shaik Parveen is passionate about initating change in several areas of social development including women empowerment, child education and farmer suicides. “Maharashtra is lagging behind in many of these fields,” she says with a hint of sadness. “For example, I myself have seen widows in my neighbourhood who sit at home and do nothing. They feel as though all hope is lost and there is no reason for their existence. I want to change this attitude. I want to be able to help wherever I can, as much as I can.”