Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Step

... in the right direction. The best thing is that it is just not a thought experiment ( ), something happening on ground ... starting this weekend ... as has been reported in today's TOI. Excerpts below.

Barefoot lawyers to help rural India

NALSA To Kick Off Drive This Weekend

Dhananjay Mahapatra | TNN

New Delhi: India is planning to replicate Chinas barefoot doctor experiment in the legal field by aiming to train 1 lakh para-legal volunteers who would tell rural people not to sleep over their rights violations and encourage them to take recourse to the justice system for remedial measures.

It plans to select volunteers from villages who will be imparted basic knowledge in law touching the daily life of a vast majority of the population living in rural areas who can seldom access the justice delivery system against wrong-doers or denial of justice.

The woman volunteers will be trained in marriage laws,anti-dowry provisions,Maternity Benefit Act,Child Marriage Restraint Act,domestic violence,mainte-nance,labour welfare laws,all aimed at providing an aggrieved woman with the necessary lifeline to approach a legal aid committee at the taluka level to seek judicial redressal of the grievance rather than live with it, NALSA member-secretary U Sarathchandra told TOI.

Each para-legal volunteer is expected to educate people,especially those belonging to weaker sections of the society,to enable them to be aware of the right to live with human dignity,he said.

Importantly,NALSA is liaising with the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangthan to organise training programmes for the 20,000 National Youth Corps volunteers ( )at the state level to also act as para-legal volunteers.Of these 20,000,nearly 8,000 are meant for J&K.

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