This article is written by Siddharth Bansal, a student of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University.
“You hear you remember, you see you memorize, you do you perceive” this brief although logical saying of our very own father of the nation, puts forward a clear inheritance from learning through experiences. The more you experience hands on activities, the more you explore the truth and tenacities.
This writing column will unveil number of experiences so experienced in working with Delhi State Legal Service Authority in realistic and comprehensive setting. The authority holds a motive “Access to Justice for All”. Reading a motive only in black and white present mere words written altogether. In order to understand the idea behind the motive set, it’s crucial to introspect the working scenario.
DSLSA is a comprehensive outlook which has tried to cover all the major spheres of society where legal aid is required under one domain. It is not only working for providing aid but also putting grave efforts in awareness programs to different spheres. It was found that the authority is concerned with all those people who are in urgent need of legal aid irrespective of age, caste, color, race or sex. The major benchmarks to set upon their shoulder is to sensitize the issues demanding great concern to look upon to flourish a crime free and safe foregrounds for a common man to survive with no fear and difficulties.
A visit to Child welfare committee was a wholesome experience to understand the rescue operations of an authority and to analyze their working schemes.
It has been seen that child missing, child trafficking, child kidnapping etc rates are rising on alarming rates and therefore it needs a serious attention to stop or lower down the rate at once. DSLSA is working on active grounds with number of officials who are on duty of constant looking out the children leftover, kidnapped, mishandled or facing any hampered problem. The concerned men at first ensure that the child has been in trouble and needs serious attention. It was investigated that railway stations, crowdy areas, slums, areas with lower rates of literacy, crossroads are more vulnerable to the same issue. Even now large cases of girl child leftover are on record in grave sense due to the mental set up of male dominance in the society.
The children are safely rescued and provided basic amenities for their survival. Medication is also there to improve the chronic cases. Not only the basic needs are fulfilled but vocational needs are also compensated in order to make children self sufficient in earning two meals a day by themselves vocationally. An interaction with the people working there also introspected a major role of financial aid given to the children each child has its details registered in writing and certain amount is being accumulated on their names which are supposed to be released with the attainment of 18 years of age by the child. In the meanwhile proper counseling and sensitization is on the go to make children physically, mentally and socially fit. In accordance with the fact so stated it can be rightly said that DSLSA is working with full cry over the issue but somehow is lacking behind in providing the desired values and mental requirements.
Another area of legal; aid by DSLSA comes within the pursuit of women. Today, we all know that women are no less than men in such a democratic arena but eventually it is crucial to witness the happenings behind the screen which is actually projected. Women today are the most vulnerable sector of exploitation, harassment, molestation and of course societal evil domination over their respect and existence. DSLSA fruitfully noticed the fact and providing a hand to the sector top make the situation some sort of in control. Visit to Gender resource centre provided the clear picture of the reality. Many women were rescued out of domestic violence, workplace harassment, social abuse, societal unjust, dowry victims, rape victims, leftovers, social abuse and much more.
The centre is envisaged with a 24*7 helpline number, which ensures a complete and comprehensive approach to the mercy sector if need any help. DSLSA ensures the initiative of counseling first of all to make the victims get over with the mental trauma. Women are provided proper medication if needed. Along with the basics they are provided homely environment where they are leading their lives in a social environment. In order to make them even more reliant many programs and schemes are scheduled for them in the centre on regular basis. Women from rural and unaware background are provided with wholesome information about their own rights and incentives which they can avail free of cost through proper channels of government in the cases of urgent need.
Proper setting is there in terms of providing vocation to them. This is the main objective of the centre to make the victims busy to get over with past and to provide skill to make them able earning persons. The centre not only get financial aid by the works but also makes the women self reliant. Eventually the effort taken by DSLSA in this regard is highly appreciable, for an instance there is a long way to go to come up with the realization of the aim.
DSLSA is continuously progressing ahead to make general public aware about their own rights and duties as well. One can find the work quite complicated but the same is being made systematic by proper decentralization of major spheres. One of the most important experience was with the Juvenile home for boys. Although it was quite strange feeling at first to feel and realize that how children could commit crimes and why they are kept separately in juvenile homes? The question got cleared after entering the home and observing the working pattern so formulated by DSLSA in this respect. The very first moment I was told not to disclose my personal information in front of juveniles and so I did. Children there are given special identity and are called by that name only. They are allotted rooms, dormitories and even classrooms. The environment was so homely with the playground in the middle; a huge mess to eat together, classrooms to learn homogeneously, on the contrary everything was within the four walls.
Children are provided with psychological aid in order to replenish their mind with positivism before releasing to the outer world for safety concerns. There were cases when children do not show any kind of improvement in behavior then their cases are headed towards to Tihar jail for extended sentence as per government orders. Children are primarily provided with basic education to fulfill the cognitive demand in accordance with age. As far as the cases of tihar jail are concerned it was noticed during the visit that prisoners are mostly not aware of their case proceedings. DSLSA is working properly in safety regard but after the conviction, still there is a role to be played on their side to sensitize the prisoners for social good which is majorly lacking behind. An interaction with the prisoners concluded that government a procedure in court demands the bomb capital to spend and since many of them are not financially strong, their cases goes on pending and their sentence keeps on increasing. This point needs a grave attention to be paid by the authority to work on just and fair grounds. Just because they are criminals, such sort of menace can’t be tolerated after all they are in prison to improve their wrong deeds by the way of doing just and fair deeds during imprisonment. It was also evident that the prisoners are not getting exact amount as proposed by our judicial system. This ground reality is calling an urgent need to look upon the convictions and proceedings on fair grounds. On the plus footing, every effort is made by the authority to make improve the miserable life of this sector, if incorporated with technical know how, and then the fruit would be sweeter.
DSLSA is not only working towards the rescue operations but also made an initiative of betterment via the channel of non profit organizations. All these rescue teams and places are found to be connected with NGO’s. These not only provide the platform to save the victim but also open up the new ventures to spread the awareness regime throughout. Multiple objectives are realized through such a plan. Financial support also gets replenished and justice is also made access to masses in one shot.
Every year on 9th November, DSLSA celebrates “Legal services Day”. This day sets up the benchmark in various spheres to motivate further and realize the real potential to raise the voice against the injustice. People are made aware through various courses of print media, air ventures, news in national dailies and much more. It is working in the oriented way to first educating the masses about their weapons hidden beneath their noses which they could use to defend themselves when being molested or exploited.
During working in this arena I came across to one more important step taken by DSLSA to further improve the situation in future prospects. Some model schools under government jurisdiction are opened with legal aid centre within where a virtual interaction between retired judges, advocates, practicing interns and students was scheduled on face to face mode. Keeping in mind the view that children are the creator of coming world the plan was formulated so that the mental setup and training could be started from the very foremost point of conception.
Once the roots get healthy, the whole tree flourish and blossom ahead. Students are provided with virtual talks on general issues in legal pursuit and are made aware of realistic proceedings. This ensured the abolition of superstitions and hampered myths about legal world in coming generations making the jurisdiction and its working more transparent and easy to understand for general public. Along with the talks questionnaires and general quizzes are also conducted to first of all check the current status of public awareness. Although the program was started near October 2014 although would be a great success if implemented in real and just manner.
DSLSA is also taking into concern the remote areas where there is quite difficult to reach people to make them aware. Students from various colleges and schools are trained to present nukkad nataks, street plays, skits etc, to make general public aware of the facts and their constitutional framework towards progression. Along with the plays and reaching out public mass media is also taken into use in the form of documentary films and radio broadcasting to reach out the huge mass in one go.
It was also evident while working with this authority that DSLSA remains involved in the celebration of national events at head start. Whether it be a women’s day or anti tobacco day or something else DSLSA never miss a chance to address general public large at once to bring a change worldwide.
While working, visits to courts also provided the scenario of practical proceedings in proper manner of legal services and interaction with judges also proved fruitful for future considerations. Visit to metropolitan magistrate and motor accidental claim tribunal envisages the transparency of legal framework in practical setup and hands on experience for better understanding.
As per the motto of DSLSA, “access to justice for all”, the authority is working with hitting on nail objectives to realize the same. Having proper helpline numbers and proper framework to rescue the needy is not enough to make the pursuit crime free and safe for everyone. A lot more has to be done to reconstruct the mental setup. Here, an urgent need of constructivism is called upon. DSLSA is taking number of steps to make people aware and they are realizing their aim also but there is still a gap to reach the changed and reconstructed society dreamt of. Only education will not work until and unless, the forgoing myths and misconceptions will be uprooted. Male dominance over females, exploitation of poor by riches, human trafficking, child marriages, child abuse, social abuse, molestation, harassment case, rapes and eve teasing and much more to go, well the list will go on and the same are crucial to be hit out of the society by the weapon of intelligence, modern outlook in terms of positive perspective and positive outlook.
On the concluding terms it can be rightly stated that Delhi State Legal Services Authority is working with utmost commitment towards their work although some areas are still lacking behind calling for urgent attention.
As a whole it is evident that authority can only frame laws, policies and can implement them, the major role to perceive the change is upon general public to reconstruct their mind in positive outlook. “Hand joined with another hand will make a chain; separate fists can’t be taken for granted.”