Tanya Appachu advises her clients on civil and criminal issues about marriage, divorce, property, sexual abuse, online harassment, inheritance, etc. Also, she makes educational videos on her Instagram @yourinstalawyer to familiarize women with their rights and legal laws.
Q1. From practising litigation and compliance lawyer to a digital content creator, tell us a bit about yourself.
I started my career as a tax consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Mumbai, India. Since then, I have practised in the Jodhpur High Court and also worked as an English teacher!
My career has been nothing more than a roller coaster ride because of my husband’s transferable job. But it never affected my passion for women rights. I believe as long as there is an opportunity to learn, earn and grow as a person, there is no reason to box oneself to a single career choice. It is crucial to mould career choices as per the circumstances in one’s life.
Over the years, from personal experience of being a child of divorce, I realize the legal rights of women in India is a much-ignored topic. It is so because they are often gullible when it comes to their legal rights. Even the most educated and well to do women are unaware of their rights. I felt this gap and the need to create something that people would connect with and find fascinating whilst understanding the laws. Hence, I started my page to simplify the law and make it more accessible to the general public.
Q2. What motivated you to take on Instagram as a channel to communicate and spread the word?
Infotainment was accepted well on Instagram, and reels were doing well at the time I started. So, I jumped in and took the opportunity. This platform is a great place to reach out and connect with more people. I found it is easier to inform people using my purpose-oriented content in a fun and easy way.
I believe there are two types of people: one self-aware and the other oblivious. The self-aware and self-motivated people will read journals and newspapers to know the happenings in the world.
Then there are oblivious who constitute a big chunk of the Indian population. These people don’t care about the laws but probably should.
I believe there is no better way than Instagram to connect with youth and young adults. Moreover, it created more opportunities and helped me with new contacts and relationships out of the usual legal circles.
Q3. As someone who works closely with women in varied situations from different backgrounds, what has been your key learning?
I’ve seen the simplest, timid women display tremendous amounts of strength and grit when faced with adversities. I have learnt that we need to stop playing the victim of our own life and start taking charge instead. Let us and no one else run our lives and make decisions for us.
Q4. What is the one thing about our society that keeps you awake at night?
I think we as a society have become unforgiving and less tolerant. The religious and political hate-mongering, the discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, the number of times women have to run pillar to post for their rights which are supposed to be easily accessible, the safety of kids, etc. I can go on! Our generation has a long way to go to provide a better society for our children.