As we all know, the legal system can be daunting, time-consuming, and expensive. But what if I told you that there is help available for those who need it? That’s right, free legal aid awareness programmes exist and they are changing lives for the better. Firstly, let’s discuss what these programmes entail. Typically, they are initiatives that aim to educate people about their legal rights and provide them with free legal assistance. They can take the form of workshops, seminars, or even online resources. The goal is to empower individuals and communities by equipping them with the knowledge they need to navigate the legal system. The benefits of these programmes are astounding. For one, they ensure that everyone has access to justice, regardless of their financial situation. This means that low-income families, vulnerable sections of the society, and other marginalized groups are not left behind. Additionally, they help to reduce the workload of courts by resolving disputes outside of courtrooms. This saves time and money for everyone involved.
The Legal Services Authorities Act was enacted by the Parliament in 1987. The Act came into force on 9th November, 1995. The main objective of the Act is to establish a nationwide uniform network for providing fee and competent legal services to the weaker and vulnerable sections of the society on the basis of equal opportunity. As per the guidelines of Bar Council of India, School of Legal Studies, The Neotia University is having an active Legal Aid Clinic. The Legal Aid Clinic is conducting legal awareness programmes on regular basis. The Legal Aid Committee is made up of faculty and student coordinators. Students are having hands-on experience on dealing with various legal issues and dealing with people having legal problems. Among the various Legal Aid Awareness programmes, some of them are mentioned below –
- On 9th April, 2022, the Legal Aid Cell of School of Legal Studies, The Neotia University organized a Legal Awareness Camp on Right to Legal Aid at Delhi Public High School situated at Girls’ School Road (Trikon Park), Diamond Harbour, West Bengal. Students of School of Legal Studies, The Neotia University took part in this Legal Awareness Programme where Right to Free Legal Aid has been discussed. They also performed a skit on the awareness of Right to Free Legal Aid.
- Legal Aid Cell organized a Legal Awareness Programme on “Right to Legal Aid” on 8th June 2022 at Paikan Barasta High School and Paikan Barasta Abaitanik Prathamik Vidyalaya, at Gopalpur Gram Panchayat, Barasta Village, P.O – Mohirampur, P.S. – Falta, South 24 Pgs, West Bengal. Here also students and faculties have interacted with villagers and discussed various issues on free legal aid opportunities.
- On 24th May, 2023, the Legal Aid Cell of School of Legal Studies also organized a Legal Awareness Camp on Legal Aid at Muzaffar Ahmed Primary School, village- Highland, PO – Nainan, PS – Ramnagar Falta, District 24 Parganas South. The students also performed a skit to create awareness on the pressing issues of the underprivileged.
- A legal awareness programme and workshop was organized by School of Legal Studies and Sub Divisional Legal Services Committee, Diamond Harbour, District South 24 parganas. Shri Jai Prakash Singh, Additional District & Sessions Judge, Diamond Harbour Court graced the occasion to spread importance of Litigation-free villages and Free Legal Aid Awareness.
The most exciting part of free legal aid awareness programmes is the impact they have on people’s lives. They can help people avoid legal troubles altogether by educating them on preventative measures. For example, a workshop on domestic violence law could teach someone how to recognize and report domestic violence before it becomes a legal issue. Alternatively, if someone is facing a legal problem, these programmes can provide them with the support they need to resolve it quickly and effectively. Thus, free legal aid awareness programmes are a game-changer for those who need them. They are empowering, accessible, and impactful. By providing education and support to individuals and communities, they are making the legal system less intimidating and more equitable. The School of Legal Studies of The Neotia University is working continuously to encourage everyone to look into these programmes in their area and spread the word about their importance.