Vandita Khanna

I graduated as a gold medalist from Jindal Global Law School in 2018. I am interested in studying human rights and equality law, and aspires to weave legal academia with community-led advocacy and human rights activism in the future.

The OIC and Indira Gandhi Scholarship have given me the valuable opportunity to read for the BCL at the University of Oxford. To walk those very halls that fierce Indian women have graced with their presence in the past is a truly humbling experience. It was Indira Gandhi who declared poverty and need to be the greatest polluters as she resolved to make a case for common but differentiated responsibilities in the path to sustainable development. Similarly, structural disadvantage of certain vulnerable groups prevents them from enjoying the benefits of development and accessing basic rights, such as the right to health, food, education, and housing. I believe that the field of human rights is intimately connected with the goals of equitable, inclusive, and sustainable development, and I look forward to bringing these two disciplines in conversation with one another at the OIC.

The absence of an equality legislation in India effectively means that private actors can discriminate and further inequalities with impunity. The vision of Somerville to include the excluded strongly resonates with my goal to realise my commitment to substantive equality by working towards a comprehensive bottom-up anti-discrimination policy in India, informed by voices of the marginalized. After completing the BCL, I hope to apply my interdisciplinary learnings at the OIC in legal academia, teaching, research, and policymaking.