Legal Aid Society, NLUO
Life in the midst of COVID-19 has sparked fear, frustration and anxiety all around. With the advent of the second wave now, more than ever, the Legal Aid Society has decided to focus all of our energy on defeating this pandemic and the challenges associated with it. Nothing is more important than ensuring the health and safety of our community and our state.
After careful analysis and thoughts, we found that Odisha’s situation differs from that of the other states as here, there is no lack of resources but rather a lack of information. Even with the government trying its best to help the population, their resources are not reaching the beneficiaries for a simple reason – THEY DON’T KNOW HOW AND WHERE TO AVAIL THE SAME. This is where we decided to step in and do our part.
Our initiative, Project Prayas is a 24x7 Covid-19 Helpline people can reach out to avail any information about : -
• Oxygen Cylinders
• Food Delivery
• Vaccination Procedures and
• Mental Health Counselors
Let’s come forward and together help Odisha fight against COVID- 19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unforeseen medical challenges affecting the lives of thousands of people around us. In the light of these circumstances, Legal Aid Society NLUO has started 'Project Prayas' a 24x7 covid helpline where people can reach out to avail information related to covid resources.
In pursuance of the same, we have started our own Blood Donation Repository called “Project Prayas- Sahyog” under its current ongoing initiative ‘Project Prayas’ to help covid patients as well as people in need of blood all over Odisha.
The society will act as a mediator between the patients requiring blood and the donors and work on arranging blood for patients. The implementation of this project is possible with the collective effort and help from all of you. So, a repository will be made by the society where all of you (preferably residents of Odisha) can provide us with your names, contact details and information on blood group type. With this database, we can locate the required blood group and contact the person for blood donation in Odisha. The blood donation will be on a voluntary basis.
We believe that this is an opportunity where we all can come forward and turn our prayers into actions by doing every little bit to help recover this world from the pandemic. Each and every blood donation goes to saving a life! We hope that you join us in this drive to save those who need us in this emergency.
collaboration with nyaaya
With the advent of the second wave, COVID 19 continues to impact the lives of the people in multiple ways. The Legal Aid Society, NLUO in pursuance of our objective to serve the society especially in these uncertain times has collaborated with NYAAYA (Vidhi Centre) on their newly launched initiative. Nyaaya has launched COVID Whatsapp helpline number to assist people by answering any legal question that they may have during the existing crises. Any person will be able to reach us either through Whatsapp message or voice note on Whatsapp helpline number or through social media handles and ask their doubts on legal processes, information and rights.
The purpose of this helpline is to empower people with the knowledge of their rights and enable them to take action. The services were primarily provided in English, Hindi, Kannada, Bangla and Gujarat. Now through this collaboration these services will be provided in Odia too.
We thank all the Lawyers and Students who have come forward and joined us in this initiative and a special thanks to our faculties- Dr Kuntirani Padhan, Ms. Nikita Pattajoshi, Ms Eluckiaa A. and Ms Dipanwita Mitra for joining us in our endeavour.
Conception of law can act as an effective tool for pursuing social and political change around sexual rights and gender equity. It provides aspirational norms that can be mobilized to hold institutions accountable and to provide material benefit to those excluded from systems of power. The fundamental questions, then, involve how, and when, formal law is useful for attaining gender equity in international and domestic law. And, when is it limited in utility?
The Legal Aid Society, NLUO conducted training sessions on Gender, Sexuality, and Law in collaboration with The Centre for Studies in Gender and Sexuality (CSGS), Ashoka University to offer divergent answers to these questions.
The training was divided in three main sessions
1. Framing Gender
2. Exploring Sexuality
3. Understanding the Law and Diversity
Our aim was to provide a safe, hospitable and inclusive environment for all sex, gender and orientation alike and an opportunity to grow by learning.
COViD19: sHARE FOR THOSE WHO TAKE CARE (nlu0)
With the outbreak of COVID-19, the whole world was battling with this pandemic and was suffering sick and scared. To prevent India from succumbing to COVID-19, a complete lockdown was announced. In this catastrophic situation, the most affected amongst the NLUO family were the Housekeeping Staff, Guards, Gardeners and Mess Workers.
Thus, to help those who always ensure that we live in a clean and hygienic environment at college, The Legal Aid Society, NLUO along with few enthusiastic students of the college took an initiative to extend our gratitude to 55 house-keeping staff, 45 guards, 32 gardeners, and 36 mess committee workers that were struggling to survive this lockdown and it was for these 168 individuals that the campaign to help the helping hands has been initiated. The collection of monetary donation is irrespective of their salary which they have already received from the university since the beneficiaries belong to the rural and unprivileged sector.
We are proud to inform that within three days of our campaign: help the helping hands, with the joint efforts of Staff, Alumni and Students, we had successfully raised INR 1,24,000+ and after 15 days the total amount successfully raised stands up to INR 2, 35,000+.
The amount raised was INR 2,55,297 and was equally distributed to the bank accounts of the 168 beneficiaries. We are glad that this initiative attained the goal for which it formed its genesis and could inspire people to help each other in the time of this grave crisis.
WEBINAR ON MIGRANT CRISIS
Migrant labourers were caught unaware when the lockdown was announced, and not knowing what to do and in absence of a safety net. Most of the migrant labourers were left feeling like "stateless" and in a state of disarray created by the suddenness of lockdown. They are national assets, and petty interstate parochialism should not come into picture at all. In our population of 130 crore Indians, these 130 million+ are one of the most affected in the current crisis. These are the people, who will play a key role in national reconstruction required after the pandemic, and attending to them at this hour is the key.
The Legal Aid Society, NLUO in collaboration with GNLU, Centre for Law and Society is conducted a webinar on Migrant Labour Crisis and issues in contemporary India on 8th May, 2020.
Ms. Aditi Ratho- Junior Research Fellow at ORF analysed and explained the recent trends in migration of labourers between states. She highlighted that non-dissemination of information was the major problem that aggravated the migrants’ sufferings as they were oblivious to the various aiding schemes proposed by the government. She emphasized the need for systematic co-ordination between different ministries to mitigate the losses and work towards protection of informal sector.
Prof. Sophy Joseph- National Law University, Delhi focused on the challenges of domestic migrant workers and narrated the anecdotes of workers she came across in Dwarka, Delhi as a testimony to the adversities faced by the marginalized communities. The perpetual and deep root injustices encountered by them due to non-possession of ration or identity cards is supplemented by the discrimination at the workplace. The workers gets entangle in vicious web of financial commitments and eventually succumb to employer’s demands.
Umi Daniel – Director – Migration and Education- AIDE ET Action remarked that “invisible migrants are now brcoming visible”. He presented statistical facts and iterated that as per ILO report, this pandemic will drive 400 million people in poverty and over 100 million people will remain hungry as per World Food Population. The pandemic brought back the practice of untouchability in disguise of social distancing for these low wages workers. It is essential to strategize a plan to extend the quarantine services to these workers.
The session was very informative for the students and an opportunity to learn and deliberate on the issues encountered by the migrants workers with or without pandemic.
VIRTUAL CONFERENCE ON RIGHT TO EDUCATION
The Legal Aid Society collaborated with Sarkarischool.in for celebrating a decade of the Right to Education that gave wings to the future of Children of our country. We collaborated to give power and passion to 10 substantial years of Right to Education by organizing a National Conference on "10 years of Right to education". Through this conference, our aim was to ignite a healthy discussion on the journey of the implementation of this crucial fundamental right in the span of 10 years and its expected prospects ahead. We attempted to reflect on the changes that came in our country post 10 years of RTE: our achievements as well as challenges that still need to be addressed.
The conference was graced by our Chief Guest- Ms. Aparajita Sarangi, Guest of Honour- Prof. (Dr.) Yogesh Pratap Singh and Guest of Honour- Dr. Aruna Srilakshmi.
The conference emphasized the importance of the right to education for an individual and for the nation as a whole, and the judicial journey that it undertook to become one of the integral fundamental rights under Article 21 – The Right to life.
The conference was then followed by five Panel Discussion presided by esteem panelists who have worked at a ground level and made an impact, strengthening the roots of this fundamental right. The first session discussed the New Education policy and its effects on Right to Education. The second session deliberated on the gender equality in the education sector and how education breaks the fetters of discrimination and stereotypes, giving our daughters wings to fly. This session was succeeded by third panel discussion analyzing the pedagogical methods and the trend that is observed wherein the students prefer mugging over learning. The fourth session examined the need for devising innovative methods for specially- abled and at last, in the fifth session the panelists deliberated regarding the future of right to education and how we all can contribute by empowering the children of the nation through education.
The Right to Information Act, 2005 is an important legislation for the functioning of any democracy as it sanctions its citizen the right to inspect the work of the government. It ensures that the people in power are answerable to the public and by no means can they use funds arbitrarily.
he Legal Aid Society of National Law University Odisha conducted a drafting session on Right to Information Act, 2005 on 30th September, 2019. The session was conducted by Shri Jagadnanda, Former Information Commissioner of Odisha. Shri Jagadnanda had campaigned for the Right to Information Act and has immensely contributed in its formulation.
He explained the students the formulation of RTI and his experience about the time when RTI ordinances were passed. The session was very informative for the students and an opportunity to learn and share information on the Right to Information Act, 2005, that every citizen of India should be aware of.
The Legal Aid Society introduced our own inter-university annual Legal Aid Fest ‘AYUDA’, where colleges from different districts of Odisha participate. The aim of the event is to expand its outreach and viability to all the people across the country. To implement the same effectively and efficiently the same, an idea of cooperative working is envisaged not only among the law universities but also among the universities from other streams by inviting them to contribute in legal aid through their skills and services. The objective of the fest is to introduce the participants to the idea of legal aid, have them contribute to our understanding and ultimately culminate in the greater collaboration among the students of NLUO and the participating colleges to help and support the cause of legal aid in the state of Odisha.
The conclave is not only aimed at providing a platform to colleges across Odisha to share their ideas and experiences in the field of legal aid and education but also to learn and understand the best practices that they can employ in furthering the cause of Legal Aid. It also encourages the colleges to establish their own Legal Aid Clinic/ Society, as to ensure that more and more people are associated with legal aid and increases the outreach to the maximum beneficiaries possible. It is only with the aid of dedicated volunteers we believe that the Constitutional dream of Legal Aid for the marginalized can be achieved.
National Law University Odisha had collaborated with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) by implementing it in certain districts of Odisha. The project, “Access to Justice for Marginalised People and Socially Relevant Legal Education” was supported by Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India. Under the project, the society had set up three legal aid clinics in Jankia, Dompara and Brahmagiri districts, to make legal aid easily accessible to people in these areas.
A permanent staff of UNDP co-ordinators and para-legal volunteers had been appointed to all the three clinics. The staffs render paralegal assistance to visitors. This assistance involved drafting of applications and related documents, referral services, follow-up of the cases with appropriate authorities, counselling and in that process they created a link between NLUO Legal Aid Society and the communities and related documents, referral services, follow-up of the cases with appropriate authorities, counselling and in that process they created a link between NLUO Legal Aid Society and the communities.
The student members of the society frequently conduct Legal Literacy Camps in these three districts. They discuss and deliberate on the issues that are directly relevant to the audience, relating to social challenges like domestic violence, importance of education, government schemes,social security measures introduced by the government and the importance of Lok Adalats in dispute resolution mechanism.