Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan on Saturday said that empowerment of women would enable them to fight inequalities, corruption and human right violations.

Inaugurating a programme for promotion of women empowerment and their rights launched by the Kerala State Legal Services Authority (KELSA) and People's Council for Social Justice (PCSJ), he said that poverty was the biggest human rights violation. Efforts should be made to ameliorate poverty. A number of schemes had been drawn up by the Central government for empowerment of women. But they did not percolate down to the beneficiaries. He said that unlike in other States, women in Kerala faced a different kind of prejudice.

Non-governmental organisations were implementing various schemes for empowerment of women. The problem was selection of organisations which had credibility. The implementing agency which did not have credibility could not produce results, the Chief Justice said. If the schemes for empowerment were implemented in their true spirit by these agencies, it would produce results. He also stressed the need for establishing legal aid clinics in remote villages. The Chief Justice said that each government had its own rules relating to the legal services authority.

Call for uniform law

He had requested the Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily to formulate a uniform law in this regard. He also suggested that the legal services authority could implement the afforestation progrmames of the Centre.

Justice K. John Mathew, former High Court judge and president of the PCSJ, presided. Justice C.N. Ramachandran Nair, executive chairman, Kerala Legal Services Authority (KELSA), delivered the key-note address. Kerala High Court Chief Justice J. Chelameswar; former Supreme Court judge V.R. Krishna Iyer; member-secretary, National Legal Services Authority, U. Sarath Chandran; member Secretary, KELSA, P. Mohanadas; president, Women Lawyers' Federation, Sumathi Dandapani and P. Rangadasa Prabhu of the Ernakulam District Residents' Association Apex Council spoke.

M.P. Krishnan Nair and P.R. Balachandran, general secretary and vice-president respectively of the PCSJ welcomed and proposed a vote of thanks.

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