For 60 year-old Sarfunnisa of Vilacheri, life has been a struggle ever since her husband left her. Adding to her woes, a freak accident in 2010 left her left leg crippled.

With no one to care for her, she is finding it hard to make both ends meet.

Repeated pleas for financial aid from the State government also proved futile.

At a time when she was left to fend for herself, the district legal services authority (DLSA) came to her rescue and promised to get her the old age pension, she is entitled to.

Sarfunnisa is one of the several women who submitted their petitions seeking old age pension at the legal aid clinic which was inaugurated at the panchayat union office in Vilacheri on Monday.

Speaking at the inaugural function, DLSA secretary Jecintha Martin said the clinic would offer free legal services to the poor and the needy. People facing domestic problems and even those who require ration cards, birth and death certificates, educational loans and old age pension could approach the centre, she told the gathering.

The Vilacheri clinic is one of the two centres opened by the DLSA on Monday. The other centre was opened in Nilayur.

Three more

Three more clinics are scheduled for opening on Tuesday at Periyapatti, Sakkudi and Samayanallur, as per the directions of the National Legal Services Authority, Ms. Martin told The Hindu.

As many as 99 legal aid clinics had been opened so far. The clinic would function from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. It would be manned by two para-legal volunteers and a panel advocate who would receive the petitions and hear the grievances. The para-legal volunteers would act as a bridge between the legal services authority and the petitioners who needed legal assistance, she said.

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