Taking legal aid to doorstep for needy

Taking legal aid to doorstep for needy
Highlights

Availing legal assistance is no more a difficult task for villagers in erstwhile Warangal district as the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) is in expansion mode reaching out to grassroots with Legal Aid Clinics (LACs).

Warangal: Availing legal assistance is no more a difficult task for villagers in erstwhile Warangal district as the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) is in expansion mode reaching out to grassroots with Legal Aid Clinics (LACs).

At present, there are 30 LACs, of which 19 were set up during last one year, in the district. Each clinic, set up at gram panchayat office covering a cluster of villages and a population of around 5,000, is buttressed by a Para Legal Volunteer (PLV) and a panel lawyer and a complaint box to receive petitions from public.
There are 169 PLVs and 25 panel lawyers associated with the DLSA to offer service free of cost.

Petitions can be related to any issue, whether it is for getting Aadhaar card, NREGS job card, SADAREM (Software for Assessment of Disabled for Access Rehabilitation and Empowerment) certificate, pensions, food security card, labour card or availing welfare schemes offered by State and Central governments.

“The petitions will be collected by the PLV and the lawyer every week. They will be forwarded to departments concerned for processing. After that the cards and the certificates will be distributed to the beneficiaries,” informed the DLSA secretary-cum-senior civil judge P Annie Rose Christian.

Majority of the population does not know the kind of services they can avail from the Authority and also how to approach government offices, said the DLSA secretary, who assumed the charge a year ago and has made great efforts in taking the Authority to the door steps of the needy.

To address the problem, awareness camps are being conducted extensively at both rural and urban areas giving details of the services offered by the authority. The camps are also meant to educate workers engaged in unorganised sector, aged and physically challenged persons, women and girls, she informed.

The Authority has distributed nearly 600 labour cards of 2,800 applications received recently. Similarly, 783 Sadarem certificates of the 1,369 applications received, were distributed besides ensuring pre-metric scholarships to 42 students at Narsampet, Christian told The Hans India.

The DLSA is not confined to legal services. ‘We rehabilitated a 16-year-old mentally challenged girl, Sirisha of Rajupet at Mallikamba Manovikasa Kendram’. She won gold medal at district-level and silver medal at state-level in the recently held ‘Special Olympics Bharath’, she informed.

At an awareness camp at Hasanparthy, with the help of Sri Guru Deva Charitable Trust of Vizianagaram district, artificial limbs were distributed to 19 persons and spectacles to 23 persons and with the help from an NGO Tharuni, cycles were distributed to five girls, taking the DLSA services to a different level.

Similarly, with the assistance from donors, air coolers were provided to old age homes and cases are being filed under Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 to help elders abandoned by children. Efforts will be made to set up more LACs to help the needy, Christian said.

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