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United Nations Academic Impact and MCN are proud to partner on the Millennium Fellowship. In 2021, over 25,000 young leaders on 2,000+ campuses across 153 nations applied to join the Class of 2021. 136 campuses worldwide (just 6%) were selected to host the 2,000+ Millennium Fellows. The Class of 2021 is bold, innovative, and inclusive.



National University of Advanced Legal Studies | Kochi, India | Advancing SDG 16 & UNAI 3


" Experience makes a person who he is in the present, but this depends upon how large the sphere within which his reality exists. The only way to enlarge your sphere is to communicate with more number of people that is divergent from in more number of ways. What better way to do that than in the global platform the Millennium Fellowship is? "

Millennium Fellowship Project: Stories Behind Bars (S.B.B.) Initiative

Stories Behind Bars (S.B.B) is a project led by Millennium Fellows Ashna Devaprasad, Varsha Thomas and Mohammed Dhulqr Shan to advocate for prisoners’ rights by creating awareness about their everyday experiences in the world. Today, a substantial body of research shows that a significant proportion of prisoners belong to marginalised and socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. Prisoners in India often do not receive adequate re-entry care through rehabilitative schemes, financial assistance, healthcare support and employment opportunities. The project aims to interact with around 20-30 prisoners, prison staff, and probation officers to understand the lived experiences of individuals forming part of our criminal justice system. Through our research, we seek to identify the effectiveness of current social justice interventions to safeguard the human rights of prisoners and their families, especially post-incarceration. In addition to mapping their experiences, we will carry out five sensitisation programs in colleges across Kerala, including our campus, reaching a target audience of 100 people while simultaneously creating networks to discuss these issues with legal aid societies, social justice offices, and state prisons. Using a combination of interactive presentations, interviews, and theoretical research, this project will urge community members to reflect on prisoners’ personal stories and compare their lives with popular dehumanising public narratives about them. By harnessing the power of stories, this project is taking forward the United Nations’ mission to promote fair, peaceful and inclusive societies by eliminating cruel punishment and securing the well-being of the prison community. It hopes to create a platform for legal empowerment and empathic discourse around criminal justice issues through social advocacy at the community level.

About the Millennium Fellow

Varsha Thomas is an undergraduate from India. She is sure to leave an impression the first time you meet her. She is currently pursuing he law degree from National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi. She can groove, hum and sketch and is an ardent football fan.
She has been fortunate enough to not have been mistreated by anyone and she feels this privilege has placed a responsibility upon her to stand up for those who were not so fortunate. Which is why she dreams of a world where no one is oppressed.
She believes in not doing big things but doing small things perfectly. She is well aware of her limitations but is also equally aware of the human capability to work beyond those limitations staying within the said set of limitations.

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