New Delhi: A biennial award, Agami Prize recognizes innovative ideas that serve justice. Ideas that are backed by entrepreneurs who are paving the way for more of us to participate in making justice.
Rajasthan-based Jawabdehi Andolan, national trafficking survivors collective ILFAT, Delhi-based Lawyered and Indus Action win Agami Prize 2022. All four ideas are unleashing new energy into the law and justice sector, and creating new possibilities and pathways for the sector.
With over 30 lakhs for the taking, the Prize is known to build a strong network of innovators, entrepreneurs and changemakers in the field of law and justice. It offers a thriving platform for them to be recognised for their work and get access to resources and support.
In the 3rd edition of Agami Prize, the team reviewed 648 nominations and shortlisted 50 after an exhaustive research and interview process. 14 finalists were selected after another round of interviews with the founders/team members & field visits. The 14 finalists were then brought before a grand jury made up of eminent persons across India. After several rounds of analysis and interviews, the grand jury submitted its winners for this year’s Agami Prize 2022.
Members of the Grand Jury included:
- Arun Maira – Former Member, Planning Commission of India
- Vidya Shah – Executive Chairperson, Edelgive Foundation
- Justice Gita Mittal – former Chief Justice of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court
- Kailash Nadh – Co-Founder, CTO, Zerodha
- Osama Manzar – Founder, Digital Empowerment Foundation
Talking about the Agami Prize, Sachin Malhan, Co-Founder, Agami said, “The Agami Prize celebrates ideas that make justice more accessible, inclusive and effective by tackling well-known problems in legal and justice systems. We would like to congratulate and applaud all the participants and winners of Agami Prize 2022 for their innovative ideas which will enable the law & justice system in India. For the winners, while the prize money is certainly valuable, it’s more about the access to influencers, to mentors, and to opportunities to collaborate at a high level and make sectoral and policy changes that are just not possible individually. This year, we increased our reach by shifting to a nomination process, and researching about and speaking to nearly 650 initiatives. Each nominee was unique and speaking to them has inspired us in many ways. We are confident that these innovators and changemakers will radically reshape and reform the law & justice India, making justice accessible to all.”
In context to the ideas they were looking for, Arun Maira, former member of Planning Commission of India and former Chairman (India) of Boston Consulting Group said: “We were looking today for innovations in the design – not only of the products that people were selling or the service they are providing – but the design of the system together in which there are beneficiaries. We call them “beneficiaries”, but what if they could be the motif force for change itself. It is a free resource – that’s the one thing that we have – our own energy and passion to make change.”
Talking about the potential of change possible in law and justice and his learnings, Kailash Nadh, co-founder and CTO of Zerodha said: “To a certain extent, this space is like any other space and there are for-profit, non-profit, entrepreneurial, social – all sorts of innovations waiting to happen – and not purely from a technological perspective but technology as a means, not a solution to everything. So for me, personally, today was very eye-opening.”
The biennial Prize, conceived and first held in 2018, serves to support and catalyze such ideas in 2 categories – Shamnad Basheer Prize and Idea Prize (supported by the Jayasimha Foundation).
Shamnad Basheer Prize
The Shamnad Basheer Prize is awarded to two mature stage initiatives that are innovatively transforming our systems of law and justice. The Shamnad Basheer Prize for Agami Prize 2022 has been awarded to Jawabdehi Andolan, advocated by a people’s collective SR Abhiyan Soochna and Indus Action founded by Tarun Cherukuri. Building on top of the work done by the movement with the Right to Information Act, 2005, Jawabdehi Andolan is advocating for a new law in the State of Rajasthan demanding for institutionalised state accountability. The advocacy for the law has resulted in the Government publishing a draft law in October 2022 asking for public comments. Indus Action’s core idea lies in recognising that there is an imbalance between the number of schemes being made by the state and those fully being implemented to the citizens’ satisfaction. With an audacious goal to eventually reframe our collective framing and understanding of schemes and entitlements, they worked across 12 states to build state capacity to deliver schemes & entitlements, and CSO & citizen capacity to be changemakers and leaders.
Special Mention for the Prize went to Mobile Vaani, Gram Vaani Community Media by Dr Aaditeshwar Seth and Vijay Sai Pratap for leveraging the power of participatory media platforms to improve citizens’ access to information. With over 10-15000+ calls a day, 100,000+ unique callers in a month, 600K voice reports generated on the platform so far and 3,000,000+ individuals reached, Mobile Vaani continues to grow as a unique medium with potentially manifold impact.
Other finalists include TEAL by Kshitij Batra and Rohan Shridhar for their innovation in using publically available data and Artificial Intelligence to radically improve title verification process for property in India; Haqdarshak founded by Aniket Doegar for their work in using technology, people and community to ensure last-mile delivery of rights and entitlements for all; Insurance Samadhan founded by Shilpa Arora, Shailesh Kumar, Sanjay Aggarwal, and Deepak BhuvneshwariUniyal for their niche work in being a trusted neutral for citizens with insurance related grievances; and Legistify founded by Akshat Singhal and Pratik Mohapatra for developing seamless work management for enterprise legal.
The Idea Prize is awarded to two early-stage initiatives that could innovatively transform our systems of law and justice. The Idea Prize is supported by the Jayasimha Foundation.
The prize was awarded to a national collective of trafficking survivors called Indian Leadership Forum for Anti Trafficking (ILFAT) for their work in enabling survivors to be leaders for the sector. ILFAT, a collective of survivors, is reclaiming space in policy and advocacy through the lens of a survivor and building awareness and mitigating stigma through media and popular narratives. And to Lawyered by Himanshu Gupta for their idea to shape legal services through their product “Lawyer-on-the-spot”. Starting off with the All India Trucks Association of India, Lawyered is providing the disempowered trucking driver community 24*7 access to a lawyer. In almost 89% of the cases, having a lawyer on call who can talk to the authorities directly, solves the problem immediately. In certain cases where the physical presence of a lawyer is required, Lawyered provides a lawyer in the relevant jurisdiction through their network within 2 business hours.
Special Mention for the Prize went to Aadiwasi Janjagruti by Nitesh Bharadwaj and Rakesh Pawara for enabling local leaders in Nandurbar district of Maharashtra to use hyper local media such as videos to make justice.
Among the finalists were LegalPay by Kundan Shahi for their idea to ensure the lack of capital does not impede legal representation; Law Foundation by Praveen Kumar and Shubhendu Shekhar for activating convicts to act as paralegal volunteers for other prisoners in Bihar; Where are India’s Children? founded by Meera Marthi, Protima Sharma, and Smriti Gupta for bridging the gaps in the Juvenile Justice ecosystem by using data and technology to ensure all children eligible for adoption find families; and to Easy Inherit by Soubir Bose and Sejal Sheth for combining law, finance, and technology to minimise friction in planning and claiming inheritance.
Visit agamiscape.agami.in for more information about the initiatives.