LLP AT PALAKKAD
The outstation Legal Literacy Program organised by the Legal Services Clinic was held this time at Palakkad, Kerala on 27th December, 2008. The LLP was conducted by 2 groups of students . The second group consisted of Ashwini, Aditya Banavar, Anjali Anchayil, Linda Beatrice, Rohit Jayaraman, Nidhi Killawala, Adhiti Gupta, Soumya, Bhargavi, Bhavishyavaani Reddy, Ramya Shankar and Nandivarman. The LLP was conducted in 2 gram panchayats, namely Mundoor and Kongad.
The first session was at Mundoor Panchayat. It was held at 12.30 p.m. Nearly 50 people turned up for the program. The major areas covered were Criminal Law (FIR, Arrest and Bail), Right to Information Act, Legal Aid and Consumer Protection. These areas were explained with the help of small skits and people were asked to point out flaws in the skits. The people were quite interested in the RTI Act, considering that the Panchayat Secretary also held the post of the Public Information Officer. They were quite aware of the existence of consumer courts and the procedures to be followed during arrest. The response was quite mild.
The second session was held Kongad gram panchayat from 2.00 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. The turnout there was approximately 55. The people didn’t know much about the law in this case. They were quite unresponsive when asked whether they had any doubts as regarding the law explained. However, quite a good number of people came up with individual issues and clarifications later on. They asked about what to do in particular situations that they were facing then. They told that they had learnt what to do in cases of consumer related complaints and so on. The session was quite a success.
Re-learning the Law
Legal Literacy Programme, Palakkad, Kerala
Legal Services Clinic, NLSIU, Bangalore.
The result of long days of planning, the Legal Literacy Programme that was organised at Palakkad in Kerala on December 27 and 28, 2008 turned out to be a great success. The 20-member team that was chosen from numerous applicants was divided into two groups. The first group, which comprised Vikram Hegde, Navaneeth Nair, Krishnaprasad, Sahana Manjesh, Megha Amarnath, Linda, Nishita Vasan, Swati and Geetha Hariharan, conducted two LLPs - one in the Akathethara Panchayat and one in the Kuzhalmannam Panchayat in Palakkad District. Both were well received.
The points of law covered under both LLPs were basic Criminal Law, Consumer Protection Laws and the Right to Information Act. At the Panchayats, though the entire presentation was well-appreciated, the presentation on Criminal and Consumer Protection laws proved to be most effective and useful, with members of the audience actively coming up with problems they had personally faced, including pending cases in the District Forums and courts. The presentation on Right to Information, though well received, turned out to be slightly superfluous, for both Panchayats had had over a dozen classes on it over the past couple of years!
As a community-service tool, the LLPs proved very effective, as it provided a way to reach out to people in different parts of Palakkad district and gauge the awareness of citizens’ rights and of laws, and LSC was able to pass on information wherever possible. Language was no barrier to communication as, along with the students, the audience also strove to understand and help the other communicate!
As a learning tool for the students, this LLP in Kerala turned out to be very effective, for it gave us an idea of the amounts of preparation required to communicate to people who are well-read and aware of their rights and laws, and pointed us in the direction of more research and the need for practical experience and knowledge. As such, the LLPs in Kerala were sound learning ground for both the students and for the community.
- Geetha Hariharan