Advocacy to ‘Be the Change’ (ABC) Maharashtra Tour

Context

A tour in Maharashtra will be the stepping stone to bringing awareness of the law and judicial mechanisms. In the simplest terms it can be seen as a tool based on the power of information and awareness to bring about a change at the grass-roots level. It is the starting point towards beginning to exercise our rights, demanding implementation and challenging faulty enforcement. In essence, it is the common man’s vehicle for questioning the system and getting from it what is due to him.

The main focus of the tour will be to bring judicial as well as non-judicial reforms through public participation. Public participation includes discussing issues like delays in cases, pendency in cases, undignified treatment to common people in court premises, inadequate number of judges, inadequate allocation of funds for judiciary branch, delay in filling up vacancies in the courts, lack of commensurate infrastructure, misuse of the process of court with impunity, irresponsible filing of appeals by the government, prolix arguments, enormous procedural complexities in civil and criminal matters, prevention of vexatious litigation by government, accountability and transparency in the system, setting up of human rights courts and child right courts at the district level, filing public interest litigations, etc.

The problems faced by the people often are beyond the literal meaning of the law, and this can be understood only with direct interactions with the people. This is also the reason why we focus on non-litigating solutions to problems of the people as well.

Project Goals and Objectives

1. Increase the participation of the common people in accessing justice delivery system and to make the system people oriented.

  • To bring awareness among the general public to use law for social change
  • To increase and strengthen access to justice
  • To sensitize the stakeholders in the justice delivery system
  • To engage lawyers in legal aid work
  • To engage students to work with socio-legal perspective
  • Engaging media to reach out to masses

2. Advocacy through direct intervention in the court

  • To encourage common people to approach the court for rights
  • To identify issues of mass violations
  • To have dialogue with people/communities/groups whose rights have been violated
  • To collect and analyze data for filing Public Interest Litigation
  • To represent such communities/groups in court

3. Advocacy through non-litigating strategies

  • To understand the situation of various stakeholders when a human rights violation has occurred.
  • To empower these stakeholders to find their own ways to solve the problems they face.

 

 

 

Kasturba Yoga and Naturopathy College

This college is affiliated with the Kasturba Gandhi Yoga and Nisargaupachar University in Delhi. Since 2005, we have been conducting classes in Yoga and Naturopathy. This college is a medicine-free society. Therefore, we believe in Naturopathy and inexpensive self-healing methods to be the way for anyone to live a healthy life. At our college, we have visiting lecturers and we conduct weekend classes. The students come from all around Maharashtra, appearing for courses conducted by our university. Due to our urgent need for funding, we conduct only a small part-time course in Naturopathy for seven to ten students at the moment. Our further plans need to be placed on hold due to current monetary shortcomings of our organizations. However, we are in the planning process of establishing a cadre of socio-medicos, who will travel to remote areas to educate the local people about inexpensive and natural ways of healing. The infrastructure of health services is widely insufficient, and hospitals and doctors are often hours away from the rural villages. With more advanced financial support, we would also be able to buy an ambulance vehicle which could go to the poor areas and provide direct medical help.

We also organize camps in schools, where there are subject experts who interact with our students

Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil Shikshan Samitee

This is an initiative to help children of farmers who committed suicide. Yavatmal district has the highest number of suicides in Maharashtra. Ultimately, the children suffer along with the adults. Without care and education their futures are bleak. If there is no one to give a helping hand then there is a very high possibility of them getting caught in the vicious circle of borrowing money and poverty. The initiative has been set up to raise money for the education of those innocent children who have had to drop out of school due to their family’s financial misery. As part of this initiative, Sahyog is further trying to keep a long term follow-up on how the child is faring, not only in school but in his or her overall development. This process is conducted with different local volunteers and organizations. To overcome the trauma of their parents’ death, Sahyog is organizing camps for the children who are supported through this scheme. The camps are to counsel the students who are currently suffering from the loss of their relative, to have people interacting with them on various subjects so as to motivate them, boost their courage and build up their confidence. Surprise visits are also paid to the village in which these children are staying and studying. Our efforts will be to energize them to move forward in life.
[How to support]

Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil Dattak Palak Yojana

This is an initiative to ensure the education of children from very low income backgrounds. In this scheme, which we established in 2000, we appeal to donors to adopt one child by paying funds as fixed deposits to maintain the education of the children from poor families. Through this scheme we support the students from 1st standard to 10th standard. At present, the school fees, books, texts, uniform and medical aid of approximately 230 students per year are taken care of.

While selecting students, we take into consideration their family background (the social and economic conditions, the family income and the number of dependents in the family), the desire of the student to pursue education, his/her performance, etc. At present, there are 6 people who have supported the students of our school through this scheme. The money is then deposited into a bank account, and the students’ welfare is taken care of from the interest.
[How to support]

Education

The Sahyog Trust has been working in the field of Education since 1986, running two schools and several education programs. We at Sahyog believe that education is not about just attending classes and acquiring degrees. It is more about building perspectives, skills and social values. Gender equity, concern for the poor and needy, solidarity with the people’s movements, promotion of social justice, provision of quality information on health issues and the values of non-violence, is what we try to impart to the students of our school. We promote the action for self-reliance, hope and awareness for change.

Sahyog believes that if we can develop the abilities of understanding in children, we can transform their lives! For this purpose the schools run by Sahyog are using various innovative, interactive and creative techniques.

There are two schools, a pre-primary and a primary school. These schools are in Waghapur area of Yavatmal District. Yavatmal is declared as a Tribal District. The students who attend these schools are from families which are low-income and socially backward. Therefore, we try to support their intellectual as well as personal development in the best way. There is always an attempt made at introducing various methods of informal education along with the formal education.

Our schools are run for students who cannot afford to spend too much on education or for those classes in society where the percentage of educated people is low. As a part of our initiative, we started the following schemes: Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil Dattak Palak Yojana and Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil Shikshan Samitee.

Further, Sahyog started Kasturba Yoga and Nisargaupachar Mahavidyalay. It is affiliated to the Kasturba Gandhi Yoga Nisargaupachar University at New Delhi. There are students from all over Maharashtra who appear for Naturopathy exams from this centre. This venture was started to spread the knowledge and science of Yoga and Naturopathy so that people who cannot afford health care are able to take care of themselves by using the science of Naturopathy.

Point of View

Synopsis: – Point of View is a compilation of articles written by advocate Asim Sarode in various newspapers in Maharashtra. These articles reflect his understanding of the various socio-legal issues in India. These articles are an effort to make India’s legal system more responsive and sensitive to the social justice problems faced by the people. Through these articles Mr. Sarode has tried to make the people aware of their rights and to fight for them. The scope of these articles is vast and covers various issues like true democracy, participation of the people in decision making at the grassroots level and problems faced by AIDS patients in India. These articles have the power to awaken the masses. Mr. Sarode has drawn in his vast experience as a lawyer, human rights activist and social-worker. The author hopes that this book will act as a catalyst for social change.

Domestic Violence and Law

Synopsis: – This book has been written in the most simple language possible giving the right- based interpretation of the law. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA) 2005 is landmark legislation; it vindicates the constitutional Promise of equality, non-discrimination, right to life and liberty for women. The author has written this book in interpretation mentioned, taking into consideration the norms and principles expressed in the Convention against Elimination All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The writer has also taken into consideration this law as one which is particularly relevant to our society where violence against women often enjoins socio-cultural sanction. This book is specially meant for victims of domestic violence, lawyers, judges, protection officers and to all men who want to bring the concept of violence-free society and family. This book can be of great use as an easy to use handbook.

How our working areas evolved?

with-justice-dharmadhikari

  • Sahyog, headed by social worker and Gandhian, Balasaheb Sarode, has been working from 17 years (founded 1987) as a humanistic pro-active organization. Sahyog started with a primary school for children of the nearby slum area, whose parents couldn’t afford to pay for their education. For many parents sending their children to school is not an option because they are dependent on the extra income generated by their working children. As a result, the teachers of Sahyog school often needed to seek direct contact with the parents, persuading them to let their kids attend the classes. Besides the gain of basic education skills, social values such as gender equality, concern for the poor and needy, solidarity with the people’s movement, the promotion of peace and social justice were imparted to the contents of the classes. In terms of providing them with broad education and raising them to be responsible people who are able to see things from different perspectives, they were well exposed to different philosophies of great thinkers like Mahatma Gandhi, received quality information on health issues and other informal skills such as environmental consciousness and so on.

Continue reading “How our working areas evolved?”

Exemplary Activities

Gandhi philosophy
  • Women’s Rights and Domestic violence
    Due to a long tradition of female discrimination, women’s rights are far from being fully recognized. HRLD is fighting for the fulfillment of the Right to Equality for women. Besides empowering and educating women about their rights, they offer legal aid to victims of rights violations who are too poor to afford a lawyer themselves. In the past few years, HRLD has filed various suits and complaints for women who have been insulted, physically and mentally abused and tortured by men or other relatives. One drastic example was, when Adv. Sarode defended the rights of a dowry victim (Rekha Gupta; Nagpur 2008) who was set on fire by her in-laws and died due to her injuries. Continue reading “Exemplary Activities”

People we help

How do HRLD get to know about their cases and who are the people they help? Many victims of rights violations who turn to HRLD for help have heard about the NGO and their work through the media. Various articles and reports about their activities have been published, so many people have contacted Sarode and his team after reading about their work.

Continue reading “People we help”