Legal Services Committee
ABOUT US: The Legal Services Committee, National Law University Odisha, is a student-run committee of the university, constituted in 2012. The Society carries out its functions with an aim to provide access to justice to the disadvantaged and marginalized sections of the population, primarily by spreading legal awareness and legal education in educational institutions and underprivileged communities. The Legal Aid Society in the past years has worked successfully in spreading legal outreach in the nearby rural areas, especially during the period of collaboration with UNDP i.e. 2014-2017. Since its inception, the Society has conducted numerous Legal Literacy Programmes in remote areas of Odisha, predominantly in schools, colleges, orphanages, prisons, brick kilns and old age homes, in addition to conducting several legal surveys in order to identify issues faced by the target groups and formulating solutions to solve the same. The committee recently inaugurated its Legal Aid Clinic in the university which will work in tandem with DLSA, Cuttack. The trained paralegal volunteers and panel lawyers of DLSA aid the clinic in resolving disputes. The clinic aims to provide free legal aid services to the underprivileged. It further aims to amicably resolve disputes by providing pre-litigation services, including developing legal awareness.
VISSION AND MISSION:
- Vision: We envision a society free from the ignorance of law and rights and promote social development.
- Mission: We look forward to better use of law for maximization of justice in society and dissemination of legal knowledge for the development of the nation as well as to increase exposure into the field of humanitarian aid and social welfare by increasing outreach in not only local areas but other regions of the state as well.
OBJECTIVES: To provide legal aid, legal awareness and legal outreach
ACTIVITIES AND INITIATIVES: The Legal Services Committee undertook a number of programmes which can be primarily divided into 3 heads:
The following initiatives of LSC are intended to spread awareness among the masses:
I.ODISHA’S FIRST STUDENT-RUN ONE STOP LEGAL AID WEBSITE:
The Legal Aid Society NLUO is proud to have created Odisha’s first legal aid student-run website. The website serves as a grievance redressal platform as well as a platform for the society to share important legal information, updates on its activities, and resources for those in need of legal aid. The website has been instrumental in reaching out to a wider audience and providing accessible legal aid to the community. The Legal Aid Society NLUO believes in leveraging technology to make legal aid more accessible and efficient, and the website is a testament to its commitment to this cause.
II. DAMPADA LEGAL AWARENESS CAMP:
A camp was held at the Amiya (UPME) School in Dampada, where students were educated about the importance of environmental conservation. The Legal Aid Society recognizes that the youth are the future of our planet, and it is crucial to instill in them the values of sustainability and conservation. The camp covered various topics related to environmental law, such as waste management, pollution control, and conservation of natural resources. The students were also informed about their legal rights and responsibilities in protecting the environment.
III. LEGAL AWARENESS CAMP ON RTE:
Legal Aid Society organized a camp on the right to education along with a skit. The skit depicted the challenges faced by underprivileged children in accessing education and the role of the law in protecting their rights. The camp was well-received by the audience, who appreciated the creative approach to raising awareness about legal issues. The skit helped to convey the message more engagingly and memorably, making it easier for the audience to retain the information.
IV. CALL FOR BLOGS:
The Legal Aid Society also launched a call for blogs. The purpose of this initiative was to encourage individuals to share their thoughts and experiences on legal aid and related issues. The Legal Aid Society recognizes the importance of collaboration and knowledge-sharing in promoting legal awareness and creating a more just and equitable society. The response to the call for blogs was overwhelming, with many individuals submitting their entries on a range of legal topics. Call for blogs – The submissions are rolling and themes keep changing to cover a wide range of topics.
V. MATERNITY BENEFIT LEGAL AWARENESS CAMP:
In August 2022, the Legal Aid Society NLUO organized a Mega Legal Awareness Camp on the Maternity Benefit Amendment Act, 2017. The camp aimed to create awareness about the rights of working women and the provisions of the Maternity Benefit Act. The camp was attended by a large number of working women from the nearby areas, who benefited from the informative sessions and interactive discussions.
VI. COLLABORATION WITH DCPU, KHURDA:
The Legal Aid Society collaborated with the district child protection unit in Khurda to spread awareness about safeguarding the rights of children during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on children, who are more vulnerable to abuse, neglect, and exploitation. The camp focused on educating parents and caregivers about the importance of protecting children’s rights and the legal provisions that protect them.
VII. LEGAL AWARENESS CAMP ON DIGITAL AWARENESS:
The society organized a legal awareness camp at Godisahi Sarkari Ucha Vidyalaya, where the members performed a skit on digital awareness during COVID-19. The skit was well received by the audience, and it helped in disseminating important information about the digital world and its potential threats.
VIII. MUNDA SAHI LEGAL CAMP:
On 25th March 2023, the society along with NSS organized a legal awareness camp in which our members organized a skit on menstrual hygiene. This skit aimed to raise awareness about the importance of menstrual hygiene and to break the taboo surrounding the topic. We also distributed free sanitary pads and biscuits to the attendees, making sure that they had access to the resources they needed to take care of themselves. This camp was an important initiative to promote women’s health and to empower women to take control of their lives.
2. LEGAL AID:
Following is the overview of the legal aid services provided by our Legal Aid Clinic:
- SOCIAL SECURITY CASES
The applicant belongs to a poor schedule caste family having no cultivated land. His family is not receiving any help from the government under the social security scheme implemented by the Govt and he sought financial help. As the applicant is an old man, aged about 61 years old the Legal Aid Clinic approached the Block Development Officer to provide him old age pension under the Madhubabu Pension Yojana and to include his family in the Rural Housing Scheme. The matter is under process.
- WIDOW PENSION
The applicant is a widow aged about 56 years. The husband of the widow passed away on 5th December 2020. She has received the death certificate of her deceased husband from Dampada CHC. As the applicant is a helpless widow she was not aware of the social security scheme i.e. widow pension. She approached us to assist her in getting the widow’s pension. We facilitated her to apply online; follow-up action was taken up by the LAC. On behalf of the Legal Aid Clinic, related documents and letters were forwarded to the BSSO, Banki Dampada Block, requesting to assist the applicant in getting a widow pension. As a matter of our intervention the applicant got widow pension with arrear amount.
The applicant is a helpless widow aged about 39 years.The husband of the widow passed away on 12th October 2022. The applicant is a poor woman and maintains her family by working as a domestic servant. So she approached our Legal Aid Clinic to assist her in getting the widow pension under the Madhu Babu Pension Yojana implemented by the State Government. LEGAL AID CLINIC REPORT Page: 19 On receipt of the application from the widow, the Legal Aid Clinic facilitated her to apply online for her inclusion in the social security scheme i.e. widow pension. Related documents and a letter was given to the concerned Cooperator of Ward No-6 requesting to provide support to the applicant in getting her widow pension. The matter is under process.
The applicant is an illiterate widow. Her husband passed away on 21-01-2022. The family income of the applicant is very low. As the applicant is illiterate she approached the Legal Aid Clinic to assist her in getting a widow pension. After receiving the application and other relevant documents from the applicant, the LAC facilitated her to apply online for the widow pension. Then on behalf of Legal Aid Clinic, BSSO Baranga Block was contacted. Letter and related documents were sent requesting to provide support to the applicant for inclusion in the social security scheme.
- OLD AGE PENSION
- The applicant is the beneficiary of the Old age pension. However, she was unable to apply online. She applied online on 08-01.2022 but was unable to know the status of her application. On the approach of the applicant to our legal aid clinic we facilitated her to send related documents to BDO, Baranga Block to do the needful.
- RURAL & HOUSING ASSISTANCE
- A poor family of seven members has been rendered homeless due to the complete demolition of their kacha house during the cyclone “Fani”. When this matter came to the knowledge of our program associate during his community visit; he made a stop at their house to check the facts and found that the family had been staying under the open sky. On immediate action, we drafted and made an application to the District Magistrate and collector on their behalf seeking a grant or Government assistance for the construction of their house under the rural housing scheme. Following our intervention, a spot inquiry was made by the Tahsildar of the local jurisdiction. The compliance report of Tahsildar recommended the Block Development Officer to include the name of the applicant in the AGPL to provide them with a house under Biju Paucca Ghar Yojana. As per the informal sources the matter is under consideration and is likely to be taken up this year i.e. 2022-23.
- The fact of the case is that one landless and homeless family moved from pillar to post to obtain free of cost land and financial assistance from the Government under the rural housing scheme. The family was found to be eligible for inclusion in “Basundhara” yojana ,i.e the scheme of Odisha Government to give 4 decimals of land to the landless family as homestead land. As on approach of the family to our Legal Aid Clinic we brought this matter to the notice of OHRC considering that the matter was the deprivation of Human Rights and to the Legal Services Authority of the district & Taluk level to take up this issue at the level of local administration as the matter was already pending in the Block level. Our intervention resulted in the Tahsildar being called to submit compliance report to Taluk Legal Service wherein it was stated that a land of 2 decimals stands recorded in the name of the applicant’s father. Therefore the family was not eligible for the scheme. Subsequently it was found that the land was sold out by his father when the applicant was a child therefore he was ignorant of the same As of present situation the applicant has no land of own or to inherit therefore the applicant shall be treated as landless. So the matter is under fresh consideration of Tahasildar enquiry as to why and under which circumstances the required changes have not been made and the ROR as it still stands in favour of the deceased father of the applicant.
o The fact of the case is that one tribal family was allotted financial assistance to construct a house in the Indira Awas Yojana. The allotment was made in 2013 to construct a house with an estimated cost of Rs25,000/-(Twenty-five thousand) but a work order was given in 2017 and by that time financial assistance from the state Government was escalated to Rs1,00000/- (One lakh) under the state housing scheme i.e Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana. It was improbable to construct a concrete house with a cost of Rs.25,000/-(Twenty-five thousand). Hence the beneficiary brought this matter to the knowledge of the District Collector- Grievance hearing camp wherein the beneficiary was advised to surrender the work order so that the family would be listed under the beneficiaries of Biju Paucca Ghar Yojana. The beneficiary appealed our Legal Aid Clinic as no allotment has been made after the lapse of three years in the inquiry made by the local authority, therefore, the beneficiary approached our Legal Aid Clinic. We have facilitated the applicant to file the case before Permanent Lok Adalat. A compliance report has been sought from the BDO concern. Hence this matter is under active consideration of Permanent Lok Adalat.
- The applicant gave an application requesting to get benefit out of the State Housing Scheme i.e. Biju Pucca Ghar. He is a daily labourer and belongs to a tribal community. He applied to get a house under “Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana” but till date has not gotten any benefit out of it. In this matter the applicant was advised to file a PLA Case at Permanent Lok Adalat, Cuttack.
- The applicant is the beneficiary of the Rural Housing Scheme i.e. “Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana” and applied to get a house under the scheme. As the applicant did not get any benefit he approached Legal Aid Clinic for inclusion of his name in the Housing Scheme and to get benefit out of it. In this matter, the Legal Aid Clinic asked the applicant to come with related documents and to file a PLA case at Permanent Lok Adalat, Cuttack.
- Correction of wrongful omission of titleholder-The factual position of this matter is that one disabled person has been in genuine apprehension of losing his inheritance right over 27 acres 020 decimals area of land as the name of his father was wrongfully omitted from the record of right. The applicant moved to the Court of Joint Commissioner Settlement & Consolidation for correction of a record of rights which is still pending in the court. Prima facie it was revealed from the perusal of land records of pre-settlement and consolidation that the applicant’s father was an equal shareholder of the property in question but his name has been omitted which jeopardized the applicant’s right over the scheduled land as successor. LEGAL AID CLINIC REPORT Page: 11 After being approached by the complainant we advised him to restore the case in the Court of Joint Commissioner, settlement and on the other hand we facilitated him to make an application to Tahasildar of competent jurisdiction to peruse the Sabak record to consider the matter with authority of law.
- GENERAL LEGAL AID CASES
- MATRIMONIAL DISPUTE
· The matter is a matrimonial dispute between husband and wife. The wife approached the Legal Aid Clinic for legal help in this dispute. Her husband had filed a case in the family court under section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act for the dissolution of the marriage solemnized between the parties in 2018. The husband is alleging that his wife is treating him with cruelty and she left the house. The wife deserted the husband and her family members for more than two years without any acceptable, just and reasonable cause. The matter of this case is now in the jurisdiction of the Family Court. Upon receiving the application and related documents from the applicant, the Legal Aid Clinic assisted the applicant in providing a lawyer immediately to appear before the Family Court on her behalf to answer the petitioner’s claim. We also facilitated the applicant to avail a panel lawyer of DLSA, Cuttack.
• In the issue of matrimonial dispute the applicant sought legal advice on whether he should go to any other forum seeking compensation for loss of social respect. The matter was solved at Bari Police Station by executing mutual agreement & consent of both parties in the presence of parents, guardians and gentlemen of both parties. After several attempts for counseling both parties expressed their consent to be separated, and they agreed to cooperate with each other to file a divorce petition in the court of law. They executed a Notary agreement in this regard and no further claim for maintenance will be made by the wife of the applicant in the future. LEGAL AID CLINIC REPORT Page: 18 As the matter was solved mutually the Legal Aid clinic advised the applicant against approaching any other forum seeking compensation or making any defamation suit in the court of law
• The matter is relating to a matrimonial dispute. The applicant requested the Legal Aid Clinic to solve the family dispute between his son and daughter-in-law. He brought the allegation that the daughter-in-law is neither taking care of her husband and minor son nor listening to the advice of the in-laws. In the last two years, most of the time she has been staying with her paternal family. Matrimonial Dispute In this matter both parties were contacted by the Legal Aid Clinic and after listening to them a date was fixed for counselling.
- FAMILY DISPUTE
· An application was made stating that the applicant’s daughter-in-law had left their house without any reason and was staying in her parental home for two years. After receiving the application, the respondent (wife) was contacted. It was later found that the husband abuses alcohol and she has been physically assaulted and victimized through domestic violence by her husband and in-laws. Therefore, the wife was given the requisite help.
- FAMILY AND MATRIMONIAL DISPUTE
· A victim of domestic violence approached the SDJM Court for protection and monetary compensation from her husband under the provision of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act for which the court directed the respondent-husband to pay Rs.3000/- per month as interim compensation towards maintenance of the aggrieved woman and her minor son. The respondent’s husband moved to court under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act for restitution of conjugal rights without giving the maintenance amount to her as directed by the court. Upon receipt of the application from the victim woman, we referred the matter to the District Legal Services Authority for appropriate assistance. As a result of which the woman has been provided with a pro-bono lawyer to take her proceeding in the court of law.
- FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR MEDICAL PURPOSE
· One girl about 22 years old has been suffering from brain infection and diseases like disseminated TB. For the last 2 years, she has been undergoing treatment at private and Government hospitals. In the process of treatment and as per the advice of doctors the applicant has been spending a lot of money frequently for scans and tests of different segments of the body of the patient. (MRI, Bonemarrow, PET-CTscan, Radio diagnosisCECT of the abdomen, X-ray of Brain and other tests etc.) The condition of the patient did not improve while undergoing treatment at AIIMS, BBSR so the concerned doctors referred the patient to a higher centre for evaluation of the condition of the patient. The applicant is now not being able to make ends meet and is unable to get the required treatment for his daughter due to his poor economic condition. LEGAL AID CLINIC REPORT Page: 12 The Legal Aid Clinic forwarded the application & related documents to the Director, Department of Health, Govt. of Odisha requesting to provide free of cost medical treatment or financial support to the applicant for proper treatment of his daughter.
- SUO-MOTO MATTERS
· The fact of this case is that a minor girl aged about 15 years was found missing from a private residential school Where she was studying. The school authority reported to the local police station accordingly F.I.R has been registered u/s- 363 of IPC. The girl was brought to the residential school when she was 10 years old considering her as a child without parental care as both of her parents left separately and their whereabouts were unknown. The issue was highlighted in the local media. The police did not take any action to trace and rescue the girl even though prima facia suggested that it was a kidnapping case. LEGAL AID CLINIC REPORT Page: 14 This matter was brought to the knowledge of Legal Aid Clinic by one media activist. As an immediate step, we approached the CID, Crime Branch, Odisha by making representation to DG Police requesting to instruct the police to investigate this case from a trafficking point of view and to trace and rescue the girl. The girl has been rescued now.
- DISABILITY RELATED MATTERS
- DISABILITY RELATED MATTERS
· The case matter is that a disabled person aged about 62 years needed medical treatment and a hearing aid for his hearing impairment. Based on our application to the District Magistrate & Collector, the complainant has been called on by the District Social Security Officer to the Disability Health Camp and has been advised to undergo an audiometric test, after which the hearing aid will be provided to him. The matter is awaiting further action.
- ASSISTANCE MEDICAL ASSISTANCE (ARTIFICIAL LIMB)
· One person with a locomotor disability approached the Legal Aid Clinic to assist in getting a Tricycle, artificial limb treatment and walking aid. He had lost one of his legs due to an accident. He has also received a Disability certificate from the competent authority and a disability pension from the concerned government. Legal Aid Clinic facilitated the matter by providing a Tricycle, artificial limb, treatment and walking aid. The District Social Security Officer, Cuttack assured to provide support to the applicant. The matter is under active consideration of the District Collector and DSSO, Cuttack. The applicant is intimated to get treatment and an artificial limb free of cost as suggested by the office of DSSO, CTC & DSSO, Khordha.
- DISABILITY PENSION
· Applicant’s 10-year-old daughter suffers from locomotor disability and intellectual disability. The applicant received a disability certificate having 75 percent permanent disability from the competent authority. In February 2022 the applicant applied online for disability pension. The applicant is unable to know the status of the application for disability pension to date. However, the applicant has lost the acknowledgment receipt & reference of the online application. The applicant approached the Legal Aid Clinic to assist in getting the disability pension. Upon receipt of the application and related documents from the applicant, the Legal Aid Clinic will facilitate the matter. The DSSO office is contacted. The matter is under process.
· A person with a hearing impairment approached the Legal Aid Clinic to get a disability certificate & hearing aid. Due to his lack of awareness, he could not apply for a disability certificate. He was completely deaf in both ears. There was no development in his disability even after treatment. Assistance was rendered to this person with hearing impairment to get treatment and to get the disability certificate. The applicant’s detailed information was collected and it was applied online. The matter is under pipeline and awaiting further action. Follow-up measures will be taken at the office of CDMO, Cuttack..
- MALAFIDE LAWSUITS AGAINST ELDERLY PERSON WITH DISABILITY
· The applicant is a person with a disability and aged about 70 years old. With malafide intentions, some of the persons in his village are creating problems in the peaceful possession of his homestead land. Some persons in his village with wilful intention to harass, disgrace and put him in hardship by taking advantage of his disability situation have filed a series of cases from 2018 onwards starting from the petition to the Revenue Secretary to disentitle the applicant from the Record of Right (ROR). Being a bonafide possessor of the land he has been giving the revenue and cess regularly since 1995. Some persons in his village with ulterior motives are Harassing the applicant and filing a petition before the Consolidation Officer, Kendrapara to disentitle him from the possession of the land. Again without any locus standi and lawful claim, they preferred an appeal in the court of Deputy Director (DD), Land & Consolidation, Kendrapara. Another case has been filed before the Court of Civil Judge –cum- Munsif, Kendrapara along with a Mis case praying for an injunction order. In this case, the Legal Aid Clinic drafted an application to the Honourable Justice and Chairman, High Court Legal Services Committee, Odisha High Court to allow this petition and to pass an order for quashing the petitions pending against the applicant.
- REGULARISATION OF SERVICE OF A BLIND LADY TEACHER
· A blind lady teacher has been serving at BhimaBhoi Blind High School since 2011. But her post has not been regularised till now and she approached the DEO and the DEO forwarded the letter to the Director of Secondary Education, Odisha but she has not gotten any positive results to date. She joined as a contractual teacher in music post in 2011 in Bhima Bhoi blind school unit 3, Bhubaneswar. She has served the school for 9 years but was unable to get regularization of her post. LEGAL AID CLINIC REPORT Page: 15 In this case the Legal Aid Clinic contacted DLSA, Cuttack & Permanent Lok Adalat office, Cuttack. As the promotion and regularization of service of contractual teachers engaged in Govt. High School does not come under the Public Utility Service (PUS) of the Permanent Lok Adalat Office so the advice given to the applicant to file a writ in this matter.
- ASSISTING IN DISABILITY CERTIFICATE
· The applicant suffers from a locomotor disability and is unable to walk with both legs. However, he can walk with the help of a walker /walking aid. After treatment at hospitals in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, there were no such improvements in the disability condition of both legs. The applicant has applied online to issue a disability certificate which will be helpful for him in the future. The applicant has registered his name but was unable to check the status of his application. On receipt of the application and related documents from the applicant, the Legal Aid Clinic sent a letter / related documents to the Chief District Medical Officer, Cuttack requesting to provide a disability certificate to the applicant after due medical check-up. By the intervention of the Legal aid clinic the applicant was called for a due medical checkup and a Disability certificate was issued to the applicant.
· The applicant’s son aged about 19 years suffers from mental retardation. In the year 2013 the District Medical Board, Cuttack issued a temporary disability certificate and the percentage of disability was 60 percent. There is no improvement in the disability condition of the person to date. So the father of the disabled person approached us to assist in getting the permanent disability certificate after a due medical checkup by an appropriate authority which would be helpful to him in the future. On receipt of the application and related documents from the applicant, the Legal Aid Clinic sent a letter and related documents to the Chief District Medical Officer, Cuttack requesting to provide a disability certificate to the applicant after due medical check-up. The matter is under the pipeline.
· The applicant’s 5-year-old son suffers from disability. His left hand is not functioning normally due to stiffness over his elbow by birth. He has also lost the eyesight of his right eye due to problems in his right eye. After a medical checkup and treatment at a Medical College, there was no development in his disability situation. Upon receipt of the application, we suggested the applicant come with relevant documents to apply online for a disability certificate and due medical checkup by the appropriate authority.
- LEGAL OUTREACH:
Following are some of the events conducted by LSC for community outreach:
- RTI DRAFTING SESSION 2019
In 2019, the Legal Aid Society NLUO conducted an RTI drafting session, facilitated by Shri Jagadnanda, Former Information Commissioner of Odisha. The session aimed to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to draft effective RTI applications and promote transparency and accountability in governance. The session was well received by the participants, who gained valuable insights into the RTI framework and its applications.
A. PROJECT SAHAYOG
Project Sahayog, is aimed at acting as a mediator between patients in need of blood and blood donors. The project involves creating an online repository of blood donors and conducting awareness campaigns to promote voluntary blood donation. The project has been a huge success, and it has helped in saving numerous lives by providing timely access to blood donors.
B. GENDER SENSITIZATION SESSION
In collaboration with The Centre for Studies in Gender and Sexuality (CSGS), Ashoka University, the Legal Aid Society NLUO conducted training sessions on Gender, Sexuality, and Law. The sessions aimed to sensitize individuals about issues related to gender and sexuality and provide them with the necessary legal knowledge to address such issues. The sessions were well received by the participants, who appreciated the informative and interactive nature of the training.
C. MIGRANT LABOR CRISIS WEBINAR
In May 2020, the Legal Aid Society NLUO, in collaboration with GNLU, Centre for Law and Society, conducted a webinar on the migrant labor crisis and issues in contemporary India. The webinar aimed to shed light on the plight of migrant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss possible legal solutions to address their issues. The webinar saw enthusiastic participation from experts and participants, who engaged in fruitful discussions and debates on the subject.
D. RTE CONFERENCE
In collaboration with Sarkarischool. The Legal Aid Society NLUO organized a national conference on "10 Years of Right to Education." The conference aimed to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Right to Education Act and discuss its impact and challenges. The conference was attended by several eminent personalities, including Ms. Aparajita Sarangi, and it provided a platform for students, scholars, and activists to engage in meaningful discussions on the subject. The conference invited papers from scholars, academicians, researchers, and students on various themes related to RTE, including challenges and opportunities, implementation, policy reforms, and the role of stakeholders. The call for papers received an overwhelming response, and the conference provided a platform for meaningful discussions and deliberations on the RTE Act.
E. PROJECT PRAYAS
The Legal Aid Society of National Law University Odisha (NLUO) has been at the forefront of providing assistance to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. We launched Project Prayas to provide telemedicine facilities, mental health counseling, and other essential services to those in need. Our team worked tirelessly to ensure that people had access to medical and mental health professionals during the pandemic, and we received an overwhelming response from the community. We are proud to have resolved more than 100 queries and been a major source of information during the pandemic.
F. NYAAYA HELPLINE
Following the success of Project Prayas, we launched a 24×7 legal helpline in collaboration with Nyaaya during the second wave of COVID-19. The project aimed to provide free legal aid and advice to people who were affected by the pandemic in their vernacular languages. Our team of legal experts provided guidance on a range of issues, including employment, healthcare, and other legal matters related to the pandemic. The project was well-received, and we were able to assist a large number of people during this difficult time.
G. PLANTATION DRIVE
Following the skit, the Legal Aid Society NLUO, in collaboration with the Bhubaneswar forest division, undertook a plantation drive in July 2021. The drive was a part of the Haryali Mahotsav, which is an annual event aimed at promoting afforestation and environmental conservation. The plantation drive saw enthusiastic participation from the members of the Legal Aid Society NLUO, as well as the local community.
H. ANNUAL DIWALI DONATION DRIVE (DONATE A SMILE: GIVE AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN UNTO YOU)
In November 2021, the Legal Aid Society NLUO organized our annual Diwali Donation Drive at Swami Bichitrananda Kalyan Ashram. The drive aimed to provide essential items and clothes to the underprivileged sections of society. The members of the society collected donations from their peers and the local community and distributed them to the needy. The event was a huge success, and it helped in spreading happiness and cheer among the underprivileged sections of society during the Festival of Lights.
I. PARA-VIRAJ 2022
The Legal Aid Society NLUO conducted the 2nd edition of its flagship event, Para Viraj in collaboration with the interim sports committee and volunteering partner, IDIA. The event aimed at promoting sports for para-athletes and students with disabilities. The event aimed to provide a platform for the participants to showcase their skills and talents and encourage them to pursue their passion for sports. The event saw the enthusiastic participation of over 100 participants, who demonstrated their capabilities in various sports.
J. FLOWER SHOW AND ZAIKA
During NLUO’s first-ever flower show, which took place from January 21-23, 2023, we set up a stall to educate people about their must-know rights, such as how to file an online RTI. We believe that everyone should have access to legal information and be able to navigate the legal system effectively. We also organized a food fest named Zaika during this event, which provided a fun atmosphere where people could enjoy some delicious food while learning about their legal rights. The “Know Your Rights’ ‘ and “RTI online’ ‘ brochures were published both in English and Odia for better reach. We distributed these brochures to visitors of our stall and also had interactions with them about the concept of Legal Aid. This helped us add to the number of advocates willing to join and help us in our endeavor.
K. DONATION DRIVE IN PATHAPUR VILLAGE (DONATE A SMILE: GIVE AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN UNTO YOU)
Following up on this, on 22nd February 2023, we organized a donation drive in Pathapur village. The aim of this drive was to collect clothes, stationery, books, and other useful items that could be donated to people in need. We believe that it is essential to give back to the community and help those who are less fortunate. Through this donation drive, we were able to provide much-needed assistance to the people of Pathapur village.
The Legal Aid Clinic, NLUO helped people get old pensions under the Madhu Babu Pension Yojana and included families under the Rural Housing Scheme. The clinic assisted in covering various women under widow pension schemes. The clinic also aided in covering various families under the Rural and Housing scheme for the construction of houses. The clinic also advised people in the making of their ration cards to include their names under the beneficiaries of the Public Distribution System of Government under the National Food Security Act. The clinic also benefited the artisans by including them in the Mukhyamantri Kalakar Sahayata Yojana by getting them Kalakar allowance. The clinic also resolved various matrimonial disputes by referring cases to DLSA, Cuttack. A girl was also provided financial assistance for medical purposes by forwarding the application & related documents to the Director, Department of Health, Govt. of Odisha requesting free-of-cost medical treatment or financial support to the applicant for proper treatment. The clinic assisted in tracing and rescuing a girl who had gone missing by approaching the CID, Crime Branch, Odisha by making representation to DG Police. The clinic aided in disability-related matters by getting people hearing aids, artificial limbs, and disability pensions and also quashing mala-fide lawsuits against elderly persons with disabilities by referring them to the appropriate authority, regularizing services of a blind lady teacher and suggesting procedures and requisite documents needed to apply for a disability certificate.
M. IMPACT ASSESSMENT
The Legal Aid Clinics receive the highest number of applications with respect to deprivation to get benefits out of social security schemes. In such cases the Legal Aid Clinics refer the cases to appropriate authorities; follow-up action is being taken by the Legal Aid Clinic but it takes a very long time to provide relief to the victims or applicant. There may be particular reasons with the appropriate justice delivery authorities or institutions /administrative institutions or personnel to redress the grievances of the applicants. In several cases, the Legal Aid Clinic facilitates dispute resolution in the community in matters of matrimonial disputes, other family disputes, or disputes between husband and wife and their in-laws, etc. In a few cases, the Legal Aid Clinic tries to settle the dispute at the clinic level and in some cases refer the cases to appropriate authorities.
N. PROBLEMS AND CHALLENGES FACED
A lot of times, the committee has noticed that we cannot correctly identify the needs of a specific village. We work on assumptions when visiting a village for the first time and a lot of times we are not able to help them with the problems pertaining to the village. The visits, therefore, help us to better plan future camps and programs for the particular village. Therefore, a better assessment of the specific needs of villages is required for making an impact on society. Another constraint faced by us is financial restrictions. A lot of villages around us have problems with sewage. Such problems require a lot of financial backing which is unachievable in a low-budget student-run committee. Another challenge is that there is low participation from villagers due to skepticism regarding our intentions or capabilities. This leads to a fear that we would waste their time and therefore a lot of times the turn up is low. During menstrual hygiene, participation from men is extremely low due to a set mentality that they adhere to.
Membership and Structure
Dr. KUNTIRANI PADHAN Mr. SANTOSH KUMAR BEHERA
RITIK KHATRI ADAYSA HOTA SWETA SATPATHY
VINAMRA KOTHARI B.R. GARIMA RAO
CONVENOR CO- CONVENOR
ABHIPSA ANANYA ARYAN RWAT RISHITA SINHA SECRETARY SECRETARY TREASURER
(LEGAL AID CLINIC) (DOCUMENTATION)
AVISMRITA SHYAMALI MISHRA ISHANT S JOSHI BHABESH SATPATHY
LAVANYA BHARGAVA AISHANYA BAKHSH ANSHIKA AGARWAL
ADITYA GANDHI SAMEER RAHMAN VASUNDHARA MUKHERJEE
TRISHNA AGARWALLA SWARNAVA SENGUPTA
DEVPRIYA SENGUPTA ADYA MANSI NARULA
ADITYA CHARAN ZAINAB HASSAN TRISHA BHARDWAJ
VARADA GOYAL PARTHVI BISWAL SNEH KUMKUM KAUSHIK
The Legal Services Committee has made significant strides by promoting legal awareness, extending outreach, and providing vital education. Their efforts have disseminated legal knowledge, empowering informed decisions and ensuring justice access. Their outreach initiatives bridge gaps for underserved communities, offering accessible legal aid. Equipping people with legal education aids in navigating complexities. The committee’s inclusive approach is evident in their social campaigns like menstrual hygiene. The "Para Viraj" initiative showcases their innovation. Overall, they’ve created an empowered society through legal awareness, education, and outreach, leaving a lasting positive impact.
1. DURBADALA MANTRY (SPECIAL OFFICER LSC) – +91 96920 04909
2. VINAMRA KOTHARI (CONVENOR) – +91 70672 23151
Social Media Links
1. INSTAGRAM- @nluolsc
2. TWITTER- @lscnluo
3. LINKEDIN – The Legal Aid Society
4. GMAIL- legalaid.nluo.ac.in
Legal Aid society collaborated with Blood Connect foundation.
Legal Aid society collaborated with The Parichay Collective.
Legal Aid society collaborated with Odisha State Child Protection Society.
Legal Aid society collaborated with Blood Connect foundation.