Nearly 60 Anganwadi teachers facilitate settlement of 400-plus matrimonial disputes

The legal aid movement in the district has got a fillip from the 1,348 ‘para-legal volunteers’ (PV) whose determination to help the poor is yielding good results. They are also helping in the successful functioning of ‘legal aid clinics’ (LAC) which are easily accessible to those in need of assistance in drafting applications, filing petitions etc.

Among the steadily growing number of paralegal volunteers, nearly 60 Anganwadi teachers have performed excellently last year by facilitating settlement of 400-plus matrimonial disputes by the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA).

The para-legal volunteers are reaching out to a variety of people needing legal assistance like the HIV-positive people, orphan children, victims of atrocities on women etc. Their job is not an easy one as they have to acquire working knowledge of not one or two but 23 Acts like the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CRPC) about which people often hear but do not have basic knowledge.

Paralegal training is given to any person coming forward to render legal services, in six sessions in Telugu as per the instructions of State Legal Services Authority and they are given identity cards on completing the course, DLSA Secretary & Senior Civil Judge M.V. Ramana Kumari told The Hindu.

Legal aid clinics are working satisfactorily with the valuable contribution of advocates and para-legal volunteers and support extended by the District & Sessions Judge & DLSA Chairman M. Satyanarayana Murthy.

Ms. Ramana Kumari said thousands of pre-litigation cases are settled by the DLSA. The unique thing about Guntur DLSA is settlement of Labour court cases, which are normally the exclusive domain of that department.

Legal aid can be extended to men whose annual income does not exceed Rs. 100,000 and all women irrespective of their incomes.

Protecting the legal and human rights of the poor is the basic objective of the legal services authorities, Ms. Ramana Kumari said and added that wide publicity is being given to the DLSA activities as most of the people know little about it.

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