Title: New Dimensions to Clinical Legal Education by NLU Jodhpur (India)
Lead Presenter: Sonali Khatri
Session Abstract: New Dimensions to Clinical Legal Education by NLUJ (India) We, at the Legal Aid and Awareness Committee of National Law University, Jodhpur [NLU-J] work at giving hope to those who yearn for justice. The determination of some students to bring change in society became the cause for establishment of this committee under the guidance of Prof. Poonam Saxena (Vice- Chancellor, NLU-J). The committee aims to attain social justice by the means of law. 1. Under the legal aid cell of the Committee, we have rendered legal services to the vulnerable sections of the society which includes victims of domestic violence and old age people kicked out of their own house. We shall also be filing a petition in the Court to enforce the rights of the mentally disabled persons in the city of Jodhpur. 2. We have started a weekly column named ‘Kanoon Hamari Takat’ in the local Hindi newspaper to spread legal awareness on contemporary issues like cyber bullying, hospital authorities; duties in accident cases, etc. 3. We had organized a legal quiz- Lex Quest for school students within the University itself. Around 500 students from 11 schools of Jodhpur participated in the quiz making legal awareness popular among school students. 4. The Committee has adopted a nearby village ‘Surpura’ under the instructions of Hon’ble Governor of Rajasthan province. Numerous legal awareness camps have been organized in Surpura to make villagers aware about nuances of filing information seeking applications with local Governments, drafting representations to administrative authorities, rights available under the Domestic Violence Act (specifically for women), etc. Success of these camps can be measured from the fact that the entire village contributed Rs. 33,000 for the renovation of the Government School Building. Women is one of the most disadvantaged sections in Surpura. Their inability to earn makes them more vulnerable. To overcome this hurdle, we have started stitching course for making these women self-sufficient. Enthusiastic participation of these women motivates us to work harder for the development of Surpura. 5. We have prepared a documentary for Women’s day to report that parents seek non-working daughter-in-laws, discriminate against girl child and married women generally sacrifice their aspirations to serve husband’s families. We have performed street plays at key public places of Jodhpur to make the elderly aware about their maintenance rights, to promote women empowerment, etc., making our work well appreciated in both rural and urban areas. 6. One of our major projects has been to check the success of India’s education legislation i.e. Right of Children to free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 on the ground level in Rajasthan province. We have already conducted an empirical study of 110 government schools of Jodhpur to report notable irregularities. These findings were subsequently shared with the Education Department. We have also files a Public Interest Litigation i.e. PIL on the basis of this report. PIL is a petition which empowers a third party to take a public issue to the Court. Our PIL is currently pending in the Court. Therefore, the Committee’s work ethic includes strategies aimed at creating broad general awareness as well as specific legal impact, as revealed by our consistent efforts in developing a fully-functional legal aid cell, empowering Surpura’s residents and by our follow up of the Education legislation.
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