The legal aid-cum-legal literacy camp conducted recently at Kovilur village in Alangudi taluk in Pudukottai district, in connection with the Legal Aid Movement day, evoked good response with a large number of villagers turning up to submit grievance petitions seeking free legal assistance. The camp was organised by the Alangudi Taluk Legal Services Committee in association with non-Government organisations (NGOs) and women self help groups (SHGs).

R. Malathi, Judicial Magistrate and Chairman of Alangudi Taluk Legal Serices Committee presided over the camp and received petitions from the public for free legal assistance. She said the legal aid movement was started in Tamil Nadu on April 6, 1977, when the erstwhile Tamil Nadu State Legal Aid and Advice Board was constituted with Justice P. Ramakrishnan as the first chairman and Justice N. Krishnaswamy Reddy as first vice-chairman.

She pointed out that the movement in Tamil Nadu, constituted by the State government and registered under the Societies Act, pioneered the movement for legal assistance to the poor in the country. She said the programmes of the erstwhile Legal Aid and Advice Board received wide attention and all these programmes have now been adopted by the Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority for effective implementation from November 9, 1977.

Ms Malathi said the legal aid-cum-legal literacy camps were being conducted to bring about equal opportunities and equal justice through legal services.

S.P. Raja, advocate, R. Anbazhagan, Director of Right, R. Neela, coordinator of Valarkalvi, K. Senthilraj, coordinator of ISED, Susila, secretary of Alangudi block level women SHGs and others spoke on the various programmes of legal services committee and its activities.