Free, equal and timely access to justice is the hallmark for the success of a democracy. To make this dream a reality, the support of all the stakeholders, especially advocates are required. Undoubtedly every educated and sensitive advocate has a professional and moral duty to represent the underrepresented in our society to ensure that justice exists for all.
To make our students conscious of their social responsibility along with the legal acumen, Legal Aid Centre of VIPS, since its establishment in 2013, is dedicated to perform its social responsibility. VIPS Legal Aid Centre is connect between the DSLSA and the people visiting us on regular basis.
VIPS Legal Aid Centre is comprising of 10 faculty members and 350 students. Our 272 students have already got training from DSLSA and helping society as Para Legal Volunteers (PLVs). Apart from attending to the legal matters, we are actively involved in sensitizing the students towards dissemination of knowledge on Legal issues through Nukkad Natak Society ‘Mashaal’ to nearby localities and also in the drives launched by DLSA (North and North-West). The other sensitizing activities include the conference, visits to jail for informing the prisoners and the self-defence programmes especially for women for combatting difficult situations. The Legal Aid Cell is visited by a practising advocate on every Thursday.
The service to the mankind can be done in many ways and providing legal aid to the needy is one of them. It is one of the ends for which our entire legal system exists and every small step that moves towards the direction to achieve this end is a step towards serving the society.
VIPS takes pride in the fact that this service is readily available along with the dedicated and sensitized teachers and students in conformity with the philanthropic vision of the Management with full support from Bench and the Bar.
VSLLS Legal Aid Centre Legal Aid Awareness Drive
The Legal Aid Centre of Vivekananda School of Law and Legal Studies conducted a Legal Awareness Drive in the slum areas of Haiderpur village on 30th September 2019. This was the second drive of the July-December semester of 2019.
The objective of the Awareness Drive was to inform the residents about the VIPS Legal Aid Centre in the vicinity of the college campus that provides free legal aid consultations and services to the less privileged. This clinic is operational from Monday to Friday between 2 P.M. to 4 P.M. and an Advocate from Rohini Court, as appointed by North- West Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA), is available every Thursday to provide free legal assistance.
Para-Legal Volunteers along with Faculty Members of VIPS Legal Aid Centre
Para- Legal Volunteers with Faculty member and Advocate Neeru Garg (DSLSA) at Haiderpur Village
Para-Legal Volunteers interacting with residents of Haiderpur Village
Para-Legal Volunteers interacting with residents of Haiderpur Village
Before the commencement of the drive, an orientation session was conducted by the Student Co-ordinator and the Sub Heads for the selected PLVs to brief them regarding their respective roles. The PLVs distributed pamphlets and fill the community visit questionnaires provided by DSLSA. The PLVs were accompanied by Faculty Co-ordinators and advocate from Rohini Court, Mrs Neeru Garg, to assist and guide the volunteers in the drive.
Upon reaching the slums of Haiderpur, the volunteers dispersed into groups and engaged with the locals, distributing the pamphlets and writing down the grievances and contact information of the locals in the community visit questionnaires.
It was found that the inhabitants were facing many problems primarily related to birth certificates, Aadhar cards, and Ration cards, denial of school admission to their children, pension issues, cases of domestic violence and atrocities of the authorities faced by the marginalized sections etc to name a few. After hearing and noting down their troubles, the volunteers made them aware of the legal aid facilities available and encouraged them to visit the Legal Aid Centre on any Thursday to get a free legal consultation from an advocate.
Para Legal Volunteers Training Programme
The VIPS Legal Aid Centre organized a two day Para Legal Volunteer (PLV) Training Programme for its students on 4th and 5th September 2019 in collaboration with the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) for induction of PLVs. The session on the first day started with the lighting of the lamp by the esteemed guests, invoking spirits of the almighty before beginning with the event.
The two-day event began with a resplendent Bharatanatyam performance. This was followed by a warm welcome extended by Prof. Rashmi Salpekar (Dean, VSLLS) and felicitation of the guests.
The Session saw around 130 students in attendance and commenced with a lecture by Mr Kanwaljeet Arora, Additional District and Sessions Judge-Member Secretary, DSLSA. He enlightened the students about the objectives of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. Emphasizing on the role of students as the forerunners of tomorrow, he educated them about the role and responsibilities of Para Legal Volunteers and how they can aid the cause of the under privileged.
Welcome Address by Prof. (Dr.) Rashmi Salpekar, Dean, VSLLS
Address by Mr. Kanwaljeet Arora, Additional District, and Sessions Judge- Member Secretary, DLSA
Esteemed Guest Mr. Vikas Chandwani( Soft Skills Trainer and Coach) with faculty members and Para Legal Volunteers
Participating Para Legal Volunteers
Felicitation of Dr. Rajesh Kumar, Executive Director, SPYM by Student Heads, VIPS Legal Aid Centre
His session was followed by Mr. Dhirender Rana, Secretary, North DLSA who enlightened the students about Laws relating to children. He highlighted the legislative changes which had taken place in the last few years, in the wake of Nirbhaya Rape case, the Ryan murder case etc. He also emphasized on the positive role played by the Juvenile Justice Boards (JJBs) and their efforts to reform the lives of children who fall prey to societal evils.
The third session began with Dr. Rajesh Kumar, Executive Director, SPYM addressing the students about Drug Abuse and Eradication of Drug menace. He interacted with the students regarding the ill-effects of taking drugs, the effect it leaves on the near ones of the abuser as well the rehabilitation process of the affected.
Day One of the events came to an end with a session on the Right to Information Act, 2005 conducted by Mr. K. B Rai, Former Advisor, Administrative Reforms Department, Government of NCT of Delhi. He highlighted the objectives of the Act and how it was an empowering tool in the hands of the public.
Day Two of the event began on 5th September 2019 by felicitation of the guests and remembering the greatest Guru of all- Swami Vivekananda, on the pious occasion of Teacher’s day.
The first session of the day began with Mr. Sandeep Gupta, Secretary, Central DLSA providing an overview of the Criminal Justice System and the Schemes of the DSLSA. The session delved into the workings of the Cr.PC and IPC. It was an interactive session and drew enthusiastic answers from the audience.
The session was succeeded by another session on Matrimonial Laws by Ms. Ruchika Singla, Secretary, North-West DLSA. The speaker garnered the interest of the students by displaying an audiovisual clip on the issue of Sexual Harassment. She further went on to discuss personal laws as well as the Domestic Violence Act, the Muslim Women (Protection of rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 and threw light upon the plight of women in today’s society.
Mr. Vinod Kumar Meena, Secretary, West DLSA also addressed the audience on laws relating to Women and Senior Citizens. He brought to light various incidents which took place in recent times against senior citizens and women, and the legal recourse available to them.
The two-day event proved to be a huge success among the enthusiastic students as it enlightened them to a new course of life in the legal world and aroused a sense of social responsibility in them.
VSLLS Legal Literacy Interactive Session
The Legal Aid Community of Vivekananda School of Law and Legal Studies conducted an Interactive Legal Literacy Session on Environmental Issues for the students of Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, District Centre, Vikas Puri, New Delhi-110018 on 30th August 2019.
The aim of the Legal Literacy Session was to create awareness among the students about the various environmental issues plaguing the world and introduce them to the legislation relating to the environment through an engaging and interactive session. The session also attempted to encourage and promote legal literacy at the primary school level.
The heads and subheads of the VIPS Legal Aid Society and the VIPS Nukkad Natak team – Team Mashaal were accompanied by faculty coordinators who guided and supervised them at every stage. The Legal Literacy Session was conducted in the auditorium of the Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya with the audience primarily consisting of students from standard VI to VIII.
The event began with a lively Nukkad Natak performance by team Mashaal which enraptured the students with their scenes and dialogues. The session then proceeded to an interactive session by heads and sub-heads of VIPS Legal Aid Centre.
The student heads of VIPS Legal Aid Centre and other members briefly explained the meaning of environment and the 3Rs of environment. They also threw light upon the ill effects of plastic usage, the plastic debris in the oceans and other water bodies and the deteriorating effect, they pose on the environment and specifically on the marine fauna and penalties which are imposed in case of violation of the law. They also touched upon contemporary issues like the recent Amazon forest fire, groundwater depletion and requirement of rainwater harvesting. They also discussed the initiatives already undertaken by the students in their school and deliberated upon a few motivational quotes on cleanliness inscribed on their school boundaries. The students were also made aware of the abundant natural inheritance of India mentioned in the National Anthem i.e. the Vindhyachal Range, the Himachal Range, Yamuna, Ganges and the Indian Ocean. A brief overview of the environmental rights mentioned in the Constitution of India with special reference of Fundamental Duty of citizens to conserve the environment as mentioned in Article 51A (g) of the Constitution of India was also given. The students were encouraged to understand their responsibilities towards the environment as baton bearers of tomorrow and work on the betterment of the same.
The Legal Literacy Session proved to be an enriching experience for the students as they were exposed to various environment-related issues away from the mundane occurring of an everyday classroom.
VSLLS Legal Aid Awareness Drive
The Legal Aid Clinic of Vivekananda School of Law and Legal Studies conducted Legal Aid Awareness Drive in the slum areas of Haiderpur village on 9th August 2019 with the assistance of DSLSA.
The aim of the Awareness Drive was to sensitize the residents about the VIPS Legal Aid Clinic in the vicinity of the college campus that provides free legal aid consultations and services to the less privileged.
Before the commencement of the drive, an orientation session was conducted regarding the importance of legal aid and need to empathize and communicate in a medium easily understood by non-legal persons. The PLVs were accompanied by Faculty Co-ordinators for necessary guidance. An advocate was also appointed by the DSLSA to assist in the process.
Volunteers engaged with the locals, distributed pamphlets and wrote down the grievances and contact information of the locals in the community visit questionnaires provided by DSLSA.
It was found that the inhabitants were facing many legal issues such as related to Aadhar cards and Ration cards, denial of school admission to their children, property dispute issues and road accident claims, etc. After hearing and noting down their troubles, the volunteers made them aware of the legal aid facilities available right around the corner and encouraged them to visit the Legal Aid Clinic on any Thursday to get a free legal consultation from an advocate. The faculty members supervised the interactions between the volunteers and the locals and even reached out to converse with and help the locals themselves.
The Legal Aid Awareness Drive was a successful attempt to spread awareness about the Legal Aid Clinic of VIPS. It was undoubtedly an enriching experience for the PLVs as it made them familiar with the ground reality.
VSLLS Intra Interactive and Training Session
The VSLLS Legal Aid community organized an Intra Interactive Training Session for student coordinators of VIPS Legal Aid Clinic on 01st August 2019 at the VIPS campus. The session was chaired by Mr. Raman Kaushik, Advocate, Delhi High Court.
Various important aspects of Legal Aid centres that are required to be dealt by the VIPS Legal Aid Clinic like the objective of establishment of Legal Aid centres in Law colleges/Institutions, composition of Legal aid centres, functions of legal aid clinic, importance of conducting Legal Awareness Drives, School visits, the role of DSLSA in providing assistance to legal aid clinic, role of PLV’s, to name the few, were deliberated upon.
The students were educated and advised to enhance their capabilities in building a Legal Aid Society which would be of service for the society in the years to come, in unison with the motto of VIPS- Man making, Character building and Nation building. The session proved to be learning and beneficial experience for the students as they were also sensitized towards the upliftment of vulnerable sections of society. The participants were apprised about the procedure and norms to be followed while conducting extensive activities by Legal Aid Clinic. Various measures were suggested by the guest for yielding better results for the endeavours of VIPS Legal Aid Clinic.