3-day legal literacy programme to enlighten downtrodden

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Ranchi, Feb 14 (UNI) With a view to spreading awareness among the downtrodden sections of the society about legal terms and procedures, a three-day legal literacy programme will be organised here with active involvement of women's self help groups from Saturday.

About 600 women are expected to participate in the programme, jointly hosted by the NGO Rural Litigation and Enlightement Kendra (RLEK), National Legal Services Authority, New Delhi, and Jharkhand Legal Services Authority.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, Union Panchayati Raj, Youth Affairs and DoNER Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, Supreme Court Justice S B Sinha, Jharkhand High Court Chief Justice Karpaga Vinayagam, among others, are expected to grace the occasion.

Speaking to UNI here today, RLEK chairperson Avdhesh Koushal said, ''The legal maxim that ignorance of law excuses no one has put the women, Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and the illiterate at the receiving end of the judicial system.'' These groups suffered more despite the existence of several laws enacted in their favour, he noted.

The Dehradun-based NGO's chairperson said the programme could be an endeavour to resolve the legal problems of the downtrodden.

There would be sessions on Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996, STs and Other Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005, laws protecting women from witch-hunting, laws relating to marriage, dowry, divorce and Maintenance of Right to Information Act, 2005.

Mr Koushal claimed that for the first time in the country, the legal literacy programme would also aid and assist the visually challenged persons.

UNI PRS DPM VD RAI0851

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