Seema Kushwaha is an advocate in the Supreme Court of India. She fought the gang-rape case of Nirbhaya, the 2012 Delhi gang-rape victim.
Seema Kushwaha was born as Seema Samridhi Kushwaha on Thursday, 2 October 1986 (age 36 years; as of 2022), in Ugrapur village, Etawah district of Uttar Pradesh. Her zodiac sign is Libra. She did her schooling at Kalavati Rampyari School in Lakhna town. Seema then attended Ajitmal PG College in Auraiya. She completed a bachelor in Law from Kanpur University in 2005 and earned a bachelor degree in Journalism from Rajarshi Tandon Open University, Uttar Pradesh in 2006. She has also done Masters in Political Science. She then moved to Delhi to prepare for UPSC exams. Femina
Parents & Siblings
She was born to Baladin Kushwaha (father) and Ramkuanri Kushwaha. Her father was a farmer, who later became the Gram Pradhan of Bidhipur Gram Panchayat. Her mother is a housewife.
Seema Kushwaha is married to advocate Rakesh Kumar Mishra.
As a Lawyer
She started practising in Allahabad court around 2006. Deccan Chronicle She embarked on her legal practice in the Supreme Court of India in 2013. Until then, she hadn’t fought any case in court. She was successful in getting approved the death sentence for the four convicts from the Saket Court in 2013, the Delhi High Court in 2014, and then finally from the Supreme Court of India in 2020. Eventually, the convicts were hanged to death at Delhi’s Tihar Jail on 20 March 2020.
She represented the 2020 Hathras gang-rape victim’s family in a legal battle to get justice for their daughter. The New Indian Express In October 2021, she took the case of Manish Gupta, a businessman, who died due to torture done by the police during a raid at a hotel in Gorakhpur. The Times of India
As a Politician
- Seema belongs to a very small village of Etawah. She shared in an interview that her village is so small that it will not show up if you google it.
- She hails from a family, where the birth of a girl child was not appreciated. Even, the birth of Seema was not happily accepted by her family. She shared in an interview,
I am the youngest child in the family. When my mother had me, a girl, everyone except my dad and bua was unhappy. The elders and even my mom considered killing me, ‘What will we do with one more girl? they debated. But bua and papa intervened and I got a shot at life.”
- Seema once shared that in her village, the education of girls was not supported and was not treated equally as boys.
- Kushwaha’s father supported her from the beginning and helped her to attend school. Femina She shared in an interview,
I fought to go to school which was 1 km away from my village. We had to cross a jungle to get there, but somehow 7 of us girls managed until the 8th grade. Post that all the girls in my class dropped out as the senior school was three kilometres away and the villagers were against it. But I was stubborn.”
- She was the first girl from her village to continue her studies beyond 8th grade.
- In an interview, Seema shared an incident of her school days when she beat a boy from her school, who tried to trouble her. She said,
When a boy tried to pass cheap comments, I beat him black and blue. A crowd gathered & that guy began apologising, but I said, ‘Mein chodungi Nahi Tujhe!’ word spread. These boys would say, ‘Bahut dangerous ladki hain, usse panga mat, Lena, woh seedhe maarne lagti hain.”
- She was a bright student of her school and also the captain of the NCC team. Her poor family background never stopped her from attending school. She said in an interview,
I didn’t care about much else. I put on my worn-out slippers, carried my jhola, took my brother’s cycle and went to class. I took part in everything. I gave speeches and even got chosen to captain my NCC team in Lucknow and again everyone in my village opposed. ‘She’ll go to the city and ruin our name,’ they said, but my dad supported me. I took money from my brother and without telling anyone, left for Lucknow. There, we won the competition and my name came in the paper, a small article about a village girl leading her team to victory.”
- Seema’s family wanted her to get married when she was in 10th standard. She did not want to get married and went on a three-day hunger strike as she wanted to study further. Later, in 2002, when Seema’s father died, her elder brother forced her to marry. With the help of one of her friends, she somehow managed to get books and admission forms of LLB Kanpur and left home.
- Seema was so passionate about learning that she even sold her Payal and earrings to pay her school fees. She even started teaching at a school to meet her college expenses.
- Her struggle continued in her college days as well. She said in an interview,
I used to take up jobs, sometimes walk to the class, sacrifice food and sleep, just so that I could become a lawyer.”
- She aspired to become an IAS officer and was preparing for the UPSC exam when the 2012 Nirbhaya Gang-Rape and Murder Case took place. She shared in an interview,
I used to assist several senior lawyers while practising in the Allahabad High Court. I also gave the Civil Judge exams, along with preparing for IAS. However, I exhausted my attempts and got involved with the parents of the December 16 victim. I knew that law was my calling.” The New Indian Express
- Seema Kushwaha believed that the position of women in developed cities like Delhi is very different from in small cities. She shared in an interview,
The status of women lawyers in Bombay or Delhi is different than those in smaller cities. In Kanpur, we were given no respect in courts, it was common for a woman lawyer to not get dates just because of her gender.”
- In December 2012, when the Nirbhaya rape case happened, Seema was residing in a PG in New Delhi, preparing for UPSC exams. Seema said in an interview that she cannot get over the emotions of fear and anger when she heard about the rape case. She said,
I was suffering from mixed emotions of fear and anger. 12 girls from my PG immediately left Delhi, because their parents were terrified. I was gutted. I cried uncontrollably thinking about her, about what she went through. When more details started pouring in, something in me moved. I wiped my tears. All my life, I’d fought for myself, but this wasn’t the time to sit at home and cry–it was the time to get out there and fight back.”
- Prior to taking up Nirbhaya’s case in 2013, Seema took to the streets in Delhi and participated in the protests seeking justice for Nirbhaya, in the wake of the monstrous crime.
- She didn’t charge any fees in fighting Nirbhaya’s case.
- In 2014, Seema decided to take Nirbahaya case and shared in an interview the conversation she had with Nirbhaya’s mother and said,
When I spoke to aunty, she said to me, ‘I don’t think my daughter will get justice. That’s when I promised her– ‘I’ll fight for Jyoti. I’ll take the case, hum chodenge Nahi unhe.”
- She is a legal advisor for “Nirbhaya Jyoti Trust,” an institute established by Nirbhaya’s parents to help women who have experienced violence in finding shelter and legal assistance, and also for Jyotiba Phule Foundation for Social Justice. The Times of India
- Kushwaha’s fight continued even after winning the Nirbhaya case. Femina She shared in an interview,
After they were hung, I began receiving threats on my social media handles. They abused me and said things like, ‘We’ll rape you worse than Jyoti. “
- Seema Kushwaha is against injustice for not only women but also men. She said in an interview,
This may be my first case but not the last. I want to continue my campaigns on gender crimes not only against women but also men.”
- Seema Kushwaha is an inspiration for many women. She said in an interview that the fight had just begun and she will try to reach out to every suffering woman. Femina She said,
I’ve received over 500 messages from women, some send me pictures of the FIRs they’ve filed to no avail and others tell me about how they’ve been raped, harassed or violated without any justice. I’m going to reach out to all of them to say, ‘Hum chodenge Nahi unhe’. The fight has just begun.”