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Turning Ideas into Reality with Social Justice Initiative

Turning Ideas into Reality with Social Justice Initiative

Agrawal Hansika's Story
Faculty of Social Sciences

Someone once said, “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.” This was definitely the case for Agrawal Hansika, a Year 4 BSocSc(Govt&Laws)&LLB student who applied lecture theories to reality by forming an award-winning social justice initiative called Outreach Legal Talks Initiative (OUTLET). OUTLET provides early legal education to subdivided flat tenants and the elderly. The services are accessible, impactful, and firmly pragmatic. Its success propelled Hansika and her team to participate in the 2018 PILnet Global Forum in Berlin, a global conference on pro bono and public interest law, with the support of Chui’s Student Excellence Scheme.

”I want to combine academic and practical approaches to address social issues,” Hansika explained. As she isn’t a Cantonese speaker, opportunities for her to join existing social initiatives are relatively limited in Hong Kong. Instead of backing down, she began to formulate ideas on making justice more accessible in Hong Kong with a group of like-minded friends, which marked the beginning of OUTLET. They were awarded a seed grant from PILnet Law for Change Student Competition in 2017, and the project is now well under way.

”I want to combine academic and practical approaches to address social issues.

Joining PILNET Global Forum was simply a natural progression for Hansika and her team. They met community partners from different industries, and had a unique chance of sharing their initiative in a global platform. No man is an island, and the chains of connection are especially important in the pro-bono practices. “We learned how we, as students, fit into the global pro-bono picture,” Hansika said. “The role of student initiatives was emphasised in the forum.”

Hansika was also inspired by the uplifting experiences shared in the forum. “Generally, the corporate aspect of initiatives is highlighted more,” she admitted. “It’s always discouraging to witness initiatives sinking due to financial problems.”

“However,” she continued, “we heard of many success stories about overcoming financial burden with alternative business models. Pro-bono works.”

Fondly, Hansika described PILnet Global Forum as a platform where one can turn ideas into reality with different creative minds. Armed with tenacity and creative potential, one's blueprint can also be erected to scale and generate societal impact.   

Written by:
Gabrielle Tse
Year 3, BA&LLB
August 2019

Turning Ideas into Reality with Social Justice Initiative