Odisha government is getting prepared to reactivate Student Legal Literacy Clubs (SLLCs) in high schools across the State.

The clubs, which were established during the 2010-11, could not take off as was envisaged. The SLLC scheme, which was implemented under the aegis of Odisha State Legal Services Authority (OSLSA), was to be launched in 15 high schools for each district in the first phase. Students belonging to Class VIII and IX are members of the club.

School and Mass Education Secretary Usha Padhee issuing an instruction to District Education Officers said “Chief justice of Orissa High Court and patron-in-chief of this authority desired that different competitions like essay, debate and drawing among the club members on important issues may be organised at district, zonal and state level to create awareness.”

Model booklet

Authority is also taking steps to prepare a model booklet on ‘lessons in law’ for use of the club members in Odia language.

DEOs were asked to pass on the instructions to headmasters of high schools for providing facilities for functioning of the legal literacy clubs in their respective schools. It needs to be mentioned that all necessary expenses in this regard would be borne by the Odisha State Legal Services Authority.

For legal awareness

“Basic idea behind launching the clubs was to make students literate about basic legal provisions and legal systems of the country. Upon being made aware about legal nuances, these students would have been social messengers spreading legal awareness,” said Bibhu Prasad Tripathy, senior advocate of Orissa High Court.

Mr. Tripathy said SLCCs would also have helped students know their basic rights and other legal complications they confront in everyday life. According to OSLSA, every high school in the State will have on SLCC comprising of selected students of Class-IX and below as members and the members should be not less than 10 and not exceed 25.

Apart from being made aware about legal provisions, members of clubs will identify persons in their neighbourhood who deserve legal aid or assistance and who are in need of protecting their rights conferred by law, and to refer those persons, with recommendation of the Teacher-in-Charge, to their nearest legal services institutions.