Flower Mandi

Between April 2012 and February 2013, India exported 23,000 tonnes of flowers worth Rs 385 crore, growth of 16.6 per cent over the corresponding period in the previous year.

Law students providing free legal aid

20.09.2013. Abhishek Chhabra, a PLV informs people of Aruna Nagar about their legal rights and various government schemes. Photo : Malvika Saini.

20.09.2013. Abhishek Chhabra, a member informs people of Aruna Nagar about their legal rights and various government schemes. Photo : Malvika Saini.

Champa Devi  lives with her handicapped husband and  two sons in a one room house in Aruna Nagar of North Delhi. Her husband Vijay Singh wipes his tears and says  “We had a big house in Shakti Nagar, but after i fell ill , my brothers threw us out of the ancestral home”.

The hardships did not end here for the family. After the cardiac arrest three years back which left Vijay Singh 40% handicapped for the rest of his life, he  took voluntary retirement from Delhi Transport Corporation.  The pension however stopped coming after few months.

To deal with the finances of the family, Champa Devi gave away the first floor of the house on rent , but it’s been an year now that Kamlavanti , the tenant refuses to move out of the house.

Champa Devi says , ” Our money is all gone on my husband’s illness and whatever little my sons earn is to run the family and on  medication. We can’t spend on court cases.”

Vijay Singh and Champa Devi however have found a ray of hope in the Para Legal Volunteers (PLV), who provide free legal aid to the needy. PLV’s are students of Faculty of Law, Delhi University.

“Legal Services Clinic” is a  law society , which was  inaugurated  on 25th august, 2012 in the presence of Mr. Siddarth Luthra , the Additional Solicitor General of India. It is recognized and supported by Delhi State Legal Service authority (DSLSA),  which was formed with an objective of “access to justice for all” under the Legal Services Act ,1987 .The Act formulates that justice is not denied to citizens by reason of economic or other disabilities.

Working towards the objective, the PLVs’ go door to door, looking for people in need and  spreading legal awareness amongst people, about their rights and various government schemes.

In its first year (2012-2013) , the clinic   served 173 people who were eligible for free legal services. Women made up for the majority of the beneficiaries , constituting 51% of the total visitors.

Abhishek Chhabra , a member from Law Centre 1, says ” The nature of disputes varies from issues of public distribution system (Aadhaar cards, rashan cards etc.) , to domestic violence, pension, debt recovery.  PDS however forms 75% of the cases.”

The outreach committee of the society visits places like Aruna Nagar , Majnu Ka teela, Dheerpur, etc. The cases are then researched upon by the research team. To guide the students, DSLSA has deputed Mr. Bhawani Kumar, a lawyer who visits and  meets the parties on every saturday from 10 am  – 1 pm in the Law faculty. The cases which need court’s assistance are forwarded to DSLSA through Mr. Kumar.

“Local police never took action against the boys of our neighbourhod, who would drink up every night and misbehave with my daughters and throw bottles in our home. It was only after i was assisted  by Kamlesh Mishra, a PLV that our problems came to an end”, says Nagma. She had filed a complaint but it was not before , Kamlesh Mishra e-mailed the area ACP, DCP and police commissioner, that the police interfered and took control of the situation.

Fareeda Begum, a resident of Aruna Nagar  disagrees ,”Students come here but never return for follow ups”.

The problem has been recognized by the society members too , according to whom the frequency of the visits change as per the academic schedule  for the student, and so are delayed at times.

Vijay Singh and Champa Devi  however are hopeful and says ” It is better to have something than nothing. Now atleast we are aware of what to do and we need no money for it”.

Dilli haat and the artisans

Malvika Saini

September 6, 2013. New Delhi.

Artisans and craftsmen across the country still rely on traditional hand made production methods in an age of machines. In order to encourage their work , the government initiates various programmes  and Dilli Haat was one out of them.