Legal Literacy



Legal Literacy

The term ‘literacy’ can be defined as the basic ability to read and write. The United Nations Educational, Social and ultural !rgani"ation #UNES !$,

defines the term %literacy& as 'a (erson is literate who can, with understanding, read and write a short statement on his e)eryday life'. Literacy is the ability to use '(rinted and written information to function in society, to achie)e one*s goals, and to de)elo( one*s +nowledge and (otential'. ,n recent years, the focus of literacy has changed from an em(hasis on le)els of schooling to a focus on functional s+ills.

- definition, based on the Macquarie Dictionary definition of the words is *the (ossession of an education connected with the law ... a de)elo(ment or training connected with the law*. Legal literacy means ma+ing (eo(le aware of their rights. ,t is the first ste( towards the +nowledge of law. Legal literacy is seen as a tool to bring about .ualitati)e change at the grass/root le)el. ,t has been witnessed that better awareness of laws hel(s (eo(le wor+ more effecti)ely in di)erse s(heres. Legal literacy is commonly understood as +nowing the (rimary le)el in law. 0hen citi"ens, (articularly marginali"ed or under(ri)ileged grou(s, +now


Legal Literacy

what the law has to offer them, they can recogni"e and challenge in2ustices much more forcefully. The first ste( towards that +nowledge of the law, which can transform (eo(le*s li)es, is legal literacy. ,t is essential to use this +nowledge as a tool for )ulnerable grou(s to be able to understand and criti.ue the law, to familiari"e themsel)es with the sco(e of their rights under the law, and e)entually to assert their rights as a means to ta+e action and bring in change. Legal literacy is the core basis of the rule of law and essential for the sur)i)al of our constitutional democracy. ,ndeed, our entire 2ustice deli)ery system is based on the (resum(tion that all (eo(le are aware of their rights and are able to a((roach the concerned institution. ,n terms of legal literacy, the mere ability to read is not enough. Em(owerment of (eo(le is )ery im(ortant. Literacy without em(owerment is useless. Em(owerment is not created automatically by being able to read but it is created by being able to read rele)ant information and using that information. The information offered through legal literacy must be such that it enables the (erson to ta+e some action. Thus legal literacy is the first ste( for the em(owerment of the masses, es(ecially the wea+er sections of the society. There are a number of organi"ations within and outside the go)ernment that are in)ol)ed in s(reading legal literacy among )arious sections of the society, using )arious methods and tools. There is a subtle but significant, difference between ‘literacy’ and ‘legal literacy’. ,f a (erson is 2ust a ‘literate’, he or she may say at best, ‘this is mine’3 but if that (erson is a ‘legal literate’, that is imbued with the

Legal Literacy

s(irit of ‘legal literacy’, he or she may say with assertion, ‘this is rightfully mine’. Lessons in legal literacy are the means of ma+ing (eo(le aware of their rights 5 the rights that are guaranteed to them by the onstitution of their own creation.

The o((ressed and ignorant masses are re.uired to be taught what their rights are, how those rights relate to them, and how they themsel)es should fructify them in their own life in order to become the master of their own destiny.

Legal literacy is the core basis of the rule of law and constitutionalism. ,n fact, the whole conce(t of administration of 2ustice is (remised on the (resum(tion that the (eo(le are legal/literate3 that is3 they +now their rights, which are recogni"ed and (rotected by the law and onstitution. Legal literacy, thus, hel(s in a)oiding conflict situation. ,t facilitates access to 2ustice system. ,t hel(s in eliminating ine.uality and discrimination. Lac+ of legal literacy, on the other hand, ma+es the ignorant masses )ulnerable to dece(tion, de(ri)ation, and e6(loitation of all sorts. ,n ,ndia, there are go)ernmental organi"ations such as the National Legal Ser)ices -uthority #N-LS-$ and non/go)ernmental organi"ations #N7!s$ that are in)ol)ed in the s(reading of legal awareness among the masses.



namely.t has to be reali"ed by these marginali"ed and (oor sections of the society that (o)erty cannot come in the way of their ha)ing free access to 2ustice. The (eo(le are to be made aware of their rights. the Legislature. the E6ecuti)e and the >udiciary ha)e 2oined hands to reach out to the most marginali"ed and )ulnerable sections of the society and ma+e them aware of their rights. . The motto of the :ission was %From Ignorance to Legal Empowerment&. The target grou(s or beneficiaries . The National Legal Literacy :ission is a (ro2ect in which the three wings of go)ernance. 1<<9 by =rime :inister :anmohan Singh. which (ro(oses to launch a door/to/door cam(aign reaching out to the remotest )illages to educate the (eo(le and enlighten them into awareness. . the obligations of the State and other citi"ens towards them. The National Literacy :ission is a fi)e year (rogramme. 2005 The National Legal Literacy :ission was launched on the . The :ission has been launched for a (eriod of fi)e years. th of :arch.Legal Literacy THE NATIONAL LEGAL LITERACY MISSION. The (rimary ob2ecti)e of the :ission is to ri( a(art the dar+ curtain of ignorance by the (ower of +nowledge and by s(reading information and +nowledge. They are also to be told about the forums and means a)ailable for enforcing such rights and obligations.

The main (ur(ose of the National Literacy :ission is the em(owerment of the 2ustice deli)ery system of the country. ?ollowing the s(irit of the National Legal Literacy :ission.ualities. disasters and disease. The :ission also (ro(oses to sensiti"e the (olice. B . children. army and other organi"ed forces which are (rone to committing in2ustice and causing )iolation of human rights and other +inds of atrocities. a(art from (o)erty. crime. child and bonded labour.lliteracy and ignorance force large masses of (eo(le to tolerate social and economic ine. @th of No)ember since 1<<9. is being obser)ed as the Legal Literacy Aay. The :ission aims at the stri+ing at the root of the (roblems of ignorance and illiteracy which (ose a great threat to securing 2ustice for all citi"ens of the country.Legal Literacy on its (rime list include women. farmers hit by natural calamities such as drought and floods and so on. The National Legal Literacy :ission is being carried out by the National Legal Ser)ices -uthority and other such State authorities. es(ecially in the North/East. The main hurdles that come in the way of em(owering the 2ustice deli)ery system are ignorance and illiteracy. minority communities.uality before the law continues to remain a myth or an illusion. This day till the year 1<<8 was being obser)ed as the ‘Legal Ser)ices Aay’. )ictims of se6 e6(loitation. downtrodden and tribal. )ictims of militancy. . landless farmers. The goal of e.


nationwide networ+ has been en)isaged under the -ct for (ro)iding legal aid and assistance. To ensure the a)ailability of the same constitutional (ro)ision to the citi"ens of . -rticle 18 and -rticle 11#1$ also ma+e it obligatory for the State to ensure e. the Legal Ser)ices -uthorities -ct was enacted in the year 1@CB.of the onstitution of . National Legal Ser)ices -uthority is the a(e6 body constituted to lay down (olicies and (rinci(les for ma+ing legal ser)ices a)ailable under the (ro)isions of the -ct and to frame most effecti)e and economical schemes for legal ser)ices.ual 2ustice is made a)ailable to the (oor. by suitable legislation or schemes or in any other way.ual o((ortunity to all. Legal aid stri)es to ensure that constitutional (ledge is fulfilled in its letter and s(irit and e. The National Legal Ser)ices -uthority has a statutory status. to ensure that o((ortunities for securing 2ustice are not denied to any citi"en by reason of economic or other disability. and shall in (articular. . downtrodden and wea+er sections of the society.ual o((ortunity. (ro)ide free legal aid. 1@@9 under the Legal Ser)ices -uthorities -ct. but the -ct came into force on @ th No)ember.uality before law and a legal system which (romotes 2ustice on a basis of e. .Legal Literacy THE NATIONAL LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITY -rticle 4@.ndia (ro)ides that State shall secure that the o(eration of the legal system (romotes 2ustice on a basis of e. 1@@9.t has @ . The National Legal Ser)ices -uthority #N-LS-$ was constituted on 9 th Aecember.ndia.

Legal Literacy a )ision. N-LS-. by the way of )arious legal aid cam(s.organi"es a number of legal literacy cam(s at )arious (laces throughout the country in order to s(read legal awareness among the masses. called the ‘(aralegals’ #on the analogy of ‘(ara/medicals’$. . N-LS. is s(reading legal awareness among the (eo(le. the im(ortant schemes introduced by N-LS. brochures. The National Legal Ser)ices -uthority en)isages the creation of a cadre. es(ecially the wea+ and the down/trodden.t also disburses funds and grants to State Legal Ser)ices -uthorities and N7!s for im(lementing legal aid schemes and (rogrammes. a((reciate and articulate the needs of the under(ri)ileged. State Legal Ser)ices -uthorities all o)er the 1< .issues =ress Deleases in almost all the leading news(a(ers in the country in English. Eindi and regional languages to con)ey to the (ublic salient (ro)isions of the Legal Ser)ices -uthorities -ct. a mission and a (assion for securing 2ustice to all. !ne of the initial schemes and measures of the National Legal Ser)ices -uthority included accreditation of N7!s for Legal Literacy and Legal -wareness cam(aigns N-LS. etc. who shall be trained and de(loyed as ‘community ad)ocates’ 5 the (ersons who would be able to understand.for (ro)iding legal aid and the utility of Lo+ -dalats. so that (eo(le should +now about the facilities being (ro)ided by Legal Ser)ices -uthorities throughout the country.

legal literacy cam(s and underta+e legal awareness cam(aign to ma+e (eo(le aware of their legal rights. Legal Ser)ices -uthority welcomes all indi)iduals and Non/7o)ernmental !rganisations who are willing to in)ol)e themsel)es in the abo)e mentioned acti)ities of the -uthority as it would go along way in achie)ing the aims and ob2ecti)es of the -uthority.Legal Literacy country organise Lo+ -dalats. Legal Ser)ices -uthority s(reads legal literacy byF • • • !rgani"ing Legal Literacy am(s3 !rgani"ing 0or+sho(s of Law3 (ro)iding Law Literature to the (ublic in the regional language at low cost by (ublishing boo+s on )arious sub2ects of law written by e6(erts in the field3 • creating awareness about the law of the land amongst general (ublic by utili"ing mass media li+e Dadio. Tele)ision and the li+e. 11 .


. State Legal Ser)ices -uthority is headed by the hief >ustice of the State Eigh ourt who is its =atron/in/ hief.Legal Literacy STATE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITY . through whom legal literacy cam(aign may be ta+en to tribal. Talu+ Legal Ser)ices ommittees are also constituted for each of the Talu+ or :andal or for grou( of Talu+ or :andals to coordinate the acti)ities of legal ser)ices in the Talu+ and to organi"e Lo+ -dalats. -lmost all the State Legal Ser)ices -uthorities are identifying suitable and trustworthy Non/7o)ernmental !rganisations #N7!s$. Aistrict Legal Ser)ices -uthority is constituted in e)ery Aistrict to im(lement Legal -id =rogrammes and Schemes in the Aistrict. bac+ward and far/flung areas in the country. The Aistrict >udge of the Aistrict is its e6/officio hairman.ser)ing or retired >udge of the Eigh ourt is nominated as its E6ecuti)e hairman. for 14 . The effort is to (ublicise legal aid schemes so that the target grou(. E)ery Talu+ Legal Ser)ices ommittee is headed by a senior i)il >udge o(erating within the 2urisdiction of the ommittee who is its e6/officio hairman.n e)ery State a State Legal Ser)ices -uthority is constituted to gi)e effect to the (olicies and directions of the entral -uthority #N-LS-$ and to gi)e legal ser)ices to the (eo(le and conduct Lo+ -dalats in the State.

1@CB.nformation regarding the organi"ation of legal aid cam(s and awareness (rogrammes of some of the State Legal Ser)ice -uthorities is as gi)en belowF • DELHI LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITY (DLSA) Aelhi Legal Ser)ices -uthority has been constituted under the State Legal Ser)ices -uthorities -ct. Legal Ser)ices -uthority at Tis Ea"ari and its Sub/!ffices at =atiala Eouse Dohini ourts ourts. economical and (olitical.n a country where ma2ority of the (eo(le still li)e below (o)erty line. where millions and millions ha)e ne)er gone to a school and the society still discriminates on the basis of se6.of the onstitution of .ual 2ustice for all'. was enacted to effectuate the constitutional mandate enshrined under -rticles 18 and 4@/. 18 . The Legal Ser)ices -uthorities -ct. . may come to +now about the same and a((roach the concerned legal ser)ices functionaries. 1@CB.Legal Literacy whom Legal Ser)ices -uthorities -ct has (ro)ided for free legal aid. The -uthority has constituted Eigh ourt Legal Ser)ices ommittee at Aelhi Eigh ourt. legal literacy and legal awareness is the only road which can lead the suffering ma2ority to the door of e. ha)e a )ery )ital role to (lay so as to nourish and safeguard the constitutional goal of 'e. Legal Ser)ices functionaries therefore. .ndia. The ob2ect is to (ro)ide ‘access to 2ustice for all’ so that 2ustice is not denied to citi"ens by reason of economic or other disabilities. religion and caste.uality /social. Gar+ardooma ourts om(le6 and om(le6.

To ensure this. The -uthority is s(reading legal awareness amongst (eo(le by gi)ing ad)ertisements through electronic media. H National Legal Ser)ices Aay in (artnershi( with 7o)ernmental and Non/7o)ernmental !rgani"ations. Such ste(s are needed to be ta+en to ensure that nobody is de(ri)ed of an o((ortunity to see+ 2ustice merely for want of funds or lac+ of +nowledge.t is necessary that they are made aware of their rights. women. . in order to enable the citi"ens to a)ail the o((ortunities under the -ct in res(ect of grant of free legal aid etc. (rint media and by (ublishing articles in )arious news(a(ers.Legal Literacy Eowe)er. children and handica((ed etc. 19 am(s in different (arts of National a(ital . 0orld -nti/Tobacco Aay. 2. The goal is to secure 2ustice to the wea+er sections of the society. downtrodden and socially bac+ward. These (rogrammes areF 1. The -uthority celebrates e)ents of National . %-ccess to >ustice for all& is the motto of the -uthority. The -uthority has been organi"ing )arious legal awareness (rogrammes from time to time to sensiti"e the (ublic about their legal rights. (articularly to the (oor.m(ortance li+e 0omen’s Aay. Legal aid is an essential (art of the -dministration of >ustice. the -uthority organi"es Legal Literacy and -wareness Territory of Aelhi. Labour Aay.

=am(hlets. Aomestic Iiolence against 0omen etc. etc.n furtherance of the same ob2ecti)e. . the Aelhi Legal Ser)ices -uthority organi"ed legal awareness cam( and a legal aid (rogramme. Legal literacy :ission through Electronic :edia.Legal Literacy 3. . -rticles. s+its. :aga"ines and Nyaya Giran. Aocumentary films namely ‘Satyame) >ayate’ on legal aid H ‘Aesh Gi Shaan Eai Jeti’ on issues relating to women were released. Joo+lets. The Aelhi Legal Ser)ices -uthority is ma+ing a constant endea)our for the s(reading of legal awareness and also its multifarious acti)ities amongst the general (ublic. 5. The -uthority is organi"ing Nukkad Nataks. =rint :edia. 6. 1. to educate and generate (ublic awareness on social and legal issues li+e ?emale ?oeticide. hild Labour. street (lays. . 4.Dadio (rogramme is also being broadcasted on ?: Dainbow for ma+ing the general (ublic aware about their legal rights and the laws (assed for eradication of social e)ils.

S. brochures and boo+lets of ALS. ounsellor. 7autam :anan. .were also distributed to the (ublic in general. Eau" Dani. Detired Aistrict H Sessions >udge.on Legal -wareness and acti)ities of ALS. The counsellor heard the cases of 19/4< beneficiaries and ga)e a((ro(riate ad)ice. ALS-. 7D /SG.Legal -wareness H Legal -id =rogramme was organised by Aelhi Legal Ser)ices -uthority in (artnershi( with -dharshila on 1<th >anuary.$ on 14rd >anuary. .and Sh. ALS. =ro2ect !fficer. Aelhi H ounsellor. -bout 89< (am(hlets.Legal Literacy IN THE MONTH OF JANUARY – 2010 1. -nother -wareness =rogramme was organised by Society for Securing >ustice #Degd. The general (ublic was made aware about the acti)ities of Aelhi Legal Ser)ices -uthority. S. Danga. New Aelhi. 2. 1<1< at -dharshila 0elfare entre. Aelhi Legal Ser)ices -uthority attended the (rogramme and s(read legal awareness amongst the community. 1<1< at >ahangir =uri. 1B . =. Sh.Tandan. Aelhi which was conducted by Sh.

New Aelhi for the welfare of women.nformation Joo+let in Eindi and English setting out the mandate of the Legal Ser)ices -uthorities -ct /1@CB. 1<1< at Garawal Nagar.nformation Joo+lets of ALS. Auring ?ebruary. The . so that wea+er sections of the society are not de(ri)ed of free and com(etent legal ser)ices by reason of economic or other disabilities. 4. the Aelhi Legal Ser)ices -uthority has started ad)ertising through Dadio >ingles.n order to s(read awareness amongst the masses the Aelhi Legal Ser)ices -uthority and its acti)ities. in 1C . =ro2ect !fficer. eligibility criteria and the )arious acti)ities of the -uthority. the Aelhi Legal Ser)ices -uthority has (ublished an . Awarene !rogrammeF -wareness =rogramme was organi"ed by Aelhi Legal Ser)ices -uthority in association with :aa >awala >i Aarbar Aharmarth Trust on 18th ?ebruary.were also distributed freely. Sh. Aelhi Legal Ser)ices -uthority addressed the gathering and the general (ublic was made aware about the rights of women and acti)ities of Aelhi Legal Ser)ices -uthority. 7autam :anan. 1. %a&io 'ingle F To gi)e wide (ublicity and to create awareness amongst the masses. 1<1< the >ingles were aired on Ded ?: and Dadio ity with the aim of reaching the (ublic at large and ma+e them aware of the monthly Lo+ -dalats on the Second Saturday of e)ery month for all ty(es of cases. In"ormation #oo$letF .Legal Literacy IN THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY – 2010 1.

Legal Literacy order to settle dis(utes (ending in the ourts as also at the (re/litigati)e stage amicably. effort and money of (arties and the ourts. 1@ . thereby sa)ing time.

s(ecial bus has been designed for this (ur(ose and it shall ser)e as a court room for Lo+ -dalat. 1< . the system of % hariot Legal Literacy&.Legal Literacy • ARNATA A STATE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITY The Garnata+a State Legal Ser)ices -uthority in the year 1<<C started a (ro2ect named %>ustice on 0heels& which is aimed at (ro)iding legal aid and legal literacy on door/to/door basis. . There has also been started along with the mobile Lo+ -dalat.

$ =rogramme oordinators of fi)e Uni)ersities in Gerala. i. Aes(ite the (aradigm shift in focusing legal literacy to the educational institutions li+e schools and colleges. these under graduate students who are in the thresholds of their social and family life are gi)en general awareness on the law relating to women.e.9la+h (ersons.uarter of the year.Legal Literacy • ERALA STATE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITY ( ELSA) -s a measure to s(read legal literacy among the general (ublic.. The TLS s ha)e been instructed to conduct at least one legal literacy cam( in e)ery . the Gerala State Legal Ser)ices -uthority has in the recent (ast gi)en more im(ortance to im(arting legal literacy among the women of the state.has not withdrawn its acti)ities of conducting legal literacy cam(s in )illages and remote areas. GELS.S.S. -(art from the ob2ecti)e of demystifying law. The legal literacy classes ha)e co)ered during this (eriod about B. 11 . !ne la+h co(ies of Lessons in Law ha)e been distributed to the targeted grou( of women students with the acti)e co/o(eration of the National Swayamsewa+ Sangh #N. em(owerment of women through legal literacy.

. Law Students on regular basis on Sundays and holidays. National Legal Literacy :ission was launched on .got (ublished 11.<<< boo+s titled %Aap Aur Apka Kanoon” and sent to Sar(anches of all the 7ram =anchyats. The (lan and (rogramme of this mission is to )isit all the remote areas in all the )illages to educate the (eo(le about their rights and their duties.1<<9. To educate the masses about Legal Literacy. -nother 4. E-LS. :unici(al hairmen of :unici(al ouncils H =resident of ouncils of Earyana State. 11 . E-LS.<<< boo+s titled % Kahani Ki Kahani Kanoon Ki Jubani& were also got (ublished.Legal Literacy • HARYANA STATE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITY To (ro)ide Legal Literacy to the masses is the main ob2ecti)e of E-LS-. Social wor+ers -d)ocates. .4. Law (re(ared one documentary film (Savera) which has been telecasted by the Aoordarshan Gendras of handigarh and Eissar. To (ro)ide (rinted material for Legal Literacy (rogramme. also organising Legal Literacy am(s in the remote rural areas and urban slums with the hel( of retired >udicial or E6ecuti)e !fficers.


They ha)e to be made aware on the a)ailability of free legal aid and the (rocedures to be followed therein. Under the legal literacy (rogrammes of the Aelhi Legal Ser)ices -uthority. Such cam(s can be held in )arious areas and may create awareness with regard to the rights of the (eo(le.Legal Literacy TOOLS USED FOR THE PURPOSE OF SPREADING LEGAL LITERACY The National Legal Ser)ices -uthority. information boo+lets are circulated among the (eo(le. the )arious State Legal Ser)ices -uthorities and the Non/7o)ernmental !ganisations #N7!s$. The information boo+let also consists of an a((lication form in both English and Eindi. These boo+lets contain information regarding the (ersons who can benefit from the ‘free/legal aid’ scheme of the authority. 18 . ommon tools used for the (ur(ose of s(reading legal awareness includeF • Legal Literacy )amp am(s on legal literacy are one of the most common modes through which awareness is created among the (ublic. in)ol)ed in the wor+ of s(reading legal literacy among the general (ublic use a number of tools for the same. These organi"ations are s(read across the country and their wor+ in)ol)es the s(reading of legal literacy amongst different +inds of (eo(le.

ra+a$ 'aago-. =am(hlets and brochures of the State Legal Ser)ice -uthorities. -rticles may be written on the same issues in the news(a(ers. Dadio is also an im(ortant tool in this regard because many (eo(le regularly listen to )arious (rogrammes or shows on the radio. almost all the news(a(ers contain ad)ertisements titled % 'aago . creating awareness on )arious issues are being circulated. These can be used to create awareness with res(ect to certain rights of the (eo(le or they may contain of the brief e6(lanation of a new or an e6istent enactment in brief.Legal Literacy • *ew paper an& ot+er $in& o" common print me&ia . using which the go)ernmental agencies are trying to create awareness among the consumers with regards to the )arious rights they ha)e in case they (urchase faulty or defecti)e goods. Short ad)ertisements relating to certain issues or enactments may aired )ia the radio on different channels. 7enerally news(a(ers ha)e wide circulation and are also a)ailable in the local language of an area. The same ad)ertisements are also aired on )arious radio channels. • %a&io 'ingle Dadio is another common tool that can be used for the s(read of legal awareness or legal literacy. many short 2ingles 19 . The National ommission for 0omen also ad)ertises about its free legal aid schemes for women. =resently. =resently.

women’s rights. 1. etc. etc. mediation and conciliation may be held. are being aired on almost all the channels on the radio.Legal Literacy regarding Lo+ -dalats. • Legal Literacy /or$ +op 0or+sho(s creating awareness on the use and im(ortance of (rocedures such as -lternati)e Ais(ute Desolution #-AD$.treet !lay =resently. a large number of N7!s use the mode of street (lays or Nukkad Nataks to create general awareness on certain socio/legal issues li+e domestic )iolence. (ayment of ta6es. dowry deaths. . • . education of the girl child.


1C . Li+e for instance the methodology followed by a firm called the Enviro-Legal Defence ir!". These factors are as followsF 1. The methodology ado(ted by different organi"ations might differ from one and another. 1 En0iro2Legal De"ence Firm i a "irm t+at organi3e legal literacy camp wit+ relation to t+e legi lation on 0ariou i ue relate& to t+e en0ironment.) F%&/ %!anc+ayat . D)-)#. .+i0ir& is the Eindi term for an interacti)e Legal Literacy am( / broadly translated as a )illage council wor+sho( or it is also +nown as % 1anooni .t is )ery necessary that (eo(le conducting these cam(s include a small number of such (ersons who are well/)ersed with the local language of the area in which such a cam( is being held. mention some common factors the e6istence of which is loo+ed by the trainers during legal literacy cam(s.+i0ir&.Legal Literacy METHODOLOGY OF CONDUCTING LEGAL LITERACY CAMPS FOLLO!ED BY SOME NGO" (A) E#$%&'(L)*+.a$ +arta .

some of the (oints that can be +e(t in mind are as followsF 1.uences of not following the (ro)isions of such legislation. The (ur(ose of the -ct or legislation is to be first e6(lained. 4.n case of literacy cam(s held on common to(ics. . 1@ . 8. (artici(ation of both men and women of the )illage or area should be ensured. the authorities res(onsible for the enforcement of the -ct should be e6(lained along with the conse. (referably a recent e6am(le or one familiar to the audience. 1. or which the trainer might ha)e undergone himself or herself during their res(ecti)e field )isits. .n case the literacy cam( relates to raising of awareness with regards to a (articular -ct or legislation. Li)e e6am(les are used. -nother method that is commonly used by the Non/7o)ernmental agencies is that they generally start building u( on the e6isting +nowledge of the (eo(le on law. 4.Legal Literacy 1. The main definitions contained in the (articular legislation should be e6(lained to the (eo(le in a language and manner that are easily understandable to the masses. Ne6t. This will hel( (eo(le understand how legislation wor+s in the field.

A6+&)#)"" This tas+ is achie)ed in three ways. om(le6 legal conce(ts should be bro+en down into sim(le com(onents. es(ecially the economically and socially disad)antaged women. =artici(ants should be encouraged to s(ea+ during the cam(. then the uni..L)*+.1%2.1%'# R)")+&. .ts focus is on legal rights of women.) A. 9. .n case.3 G&'02 (MARG) :arg is a non/go)ernmental organisation founded in 1@C9. the legislation is area/s(ecific. (B) M0. children and other disad)antaged sections of society. The wor+ is carried out through three (rogrammesF • Legal Literacy =rogrammes • 0omen and hildren =rogrmmes • Ais(lacement and Dehabilitation =rogrammes The goal and ob2ecti)e of :-D7 has been to bring +nowledge of basic rights to as many (eo(le as (ossible.Legal Literacy 8. .ueness of that legislation should be e6(lained along with its im(ortance and effect on that area. S1&+1)*4 -'& 13) "2&)+5 '. 4< .

by (ro)iding legal counselling to (eo(le who a((roach the organi"ation. laws on child marriage. -bout 19 laws ha)e been e6(lained in a lucid manner under the aegis of Labour laws such as :inimum 0ages -ct. 0or+men family laws relating to Eindu. E. etc. di)orce. TARGET GROUPS 41 . :uslim and om(ensation -ct3 hristian laws on marriage. 1.Legal Literacy 1. Secondly. -ll these manuals and materials ha)e been written in the sim(lest manner. These +its include the followingF • :-D7 has 1< legal manuals titled ‘#a!are Kanoon$ in Eindi and ‘%ur La&s$ in English. custody of children and (ro(erty rights. -do(tion. :edical Termination of =regnancy -ct. ra(e and other rights )is/K/)is (olice and other miscellaneous laws such as the =rotection of i)il Dights -ct. :aternity Jenefit -ct. by conducting legal literacy wor+sho(s with women at the grass root le)els3 and 4. These manuals form the (art of the training materials in wor+sho(s held by :-D7. maintenance.ual Demuneration -ct. by (roducing legal literacy materials. Thirdly. ?irstly. • riminal law (ro)isions such as those relating to dowry. :-D7 uses legal awareness training +its.

These legal literacy cam(s are held with the (ur(ose of em(owering the (eo(le through legal awareness of their rights.t also has summer cam(s where students are made )olunteers and are also trained in certain laws. 41 . :-D7 has also been conducting legal literacy wor+sho(s in schools and colleges. These cam(s when held do not consist of more than 4< (artici(ants. . so that they can im(art that +nowledge during the legal literacy cam(s.Legal Literacy :-D7 organi"es legal literacy cam(s for women and men. both at the urban and rural areas in order to ma+e them aware of their rights under )arious laws.


uite dismal. There are many reasons that are causing hindrances in the way of the agencies in reaching the masses. . . one of the ma2or reasons being that non5a)ailability of ade. The go)ernment is aware of the fact that the funds for the (ur(ose are limited. -nother ma2or cause for the half success of the Legal Literacy mission is the orthodo6y (resent in the social outloo+ of the society. !rgani"ing legal literacy cam(s is an e6(ensi)e affair.uate funds.ronically. the (resent legal literacy rates are not )ery high. The National Legal Literacy :ission during its life of a (eriod of fi)e years. those who should be ta+ing benefit of these (ro)isions are obli)ious of the fact that they ha)e such (ri)ileges. but somehow it has failed to remo)e the hindrances. =eo(le li)ing in many of the rural (arts of the country are still not aware of their basic rights and (ri)ileges. The agencies in)ol)ed in im(arting legal literacy ha)e the (aucity of funds and thus that (re)ents them from going to the )ery remote (arts of the country. u( till now has achie)ed success u(to an e6tent.Legal Literacy LEGAL LITERACY: PRESENT DAY SCENARIO The go)ernment has ta+en u( many initiati)es to create legal awareness among the (eo(le of the country. :any a times.t may be said that ins(ite of the many efforts and measures ta+en to create legal awareness. The e6tent of legal awareness in the (resent day scenario is . though. the thought of what the society may thin+ of 48 . our onstitution (ro)ides for )arious measures in this regard.

uired. .Legal Literacy a (articular act +ee(s the (eo(le. es(ecially women away from a((roaching the concerned authorities to curb the menace.t is this outloo+ that has to be changed and for this change to be brought about the coo(e4ration of e)ery segment of the society is re. 49 .


• Noon/7o)ernmental !rganisations should be gi)en funds from the go)ernment for the (ur(ose of conducting legal literacy cam(s and wor+sho(s. es(ecially the rights gi)en to them by the onstitution. • Legal literacy should be com(ulsorily im(arted in schools. • The (rint media as well as the media should be in)ol)ed more in the s(reading of legal literacy and awareness because these are the two mediums that reach out to most of the (eo(le.Legal Literacy SUGGESTIONS • S(reading of legal literacy should in)ol)e lawyers and 2udges because they are much better e6(erience as well as s+illed than the non/lawyer trainers. 4B . • Law students should ha)e com(ulsory training (rogrammes on )arious laws relating to social issues so that they can contribute this +nowledge in im(arting legal literacy. This will ma+e children aware of their )ery basic rights. irres(ecti)e of the areas they li)e in.


The onstitution guarantees free legal aid but this (ro)ision does not hold well till the time the beneficiaries of the (ro)ision become aware of their (articular right. the (light of many (eo(le of the wea+er sections of the society is )ery sad because they are not aware of the basic rights that the )arious legislations enacted by the =arliament ha)e for them. female infanticide. es(ecially the (eo(le of 4@ . that still (ersist on a large scale in the society e)en after ha)ing a number of legislations on the same. The main reason for the half success of these legislations is the lac+ of legal awareness among (eo(le. Today. child marriage.gnorance of law is no e6cuse’. These are also causing hindrances in the com(lete success of )arious legislations that ha)e been enacted es(ecially for the u(liftment of the (oor and the down trodden. e)en though our 2udicial system has made great ad)ances.t is said that ‘.Legal Literacy CONCLUSION . etc. E)er since the (assing of the National Legal Literacy :ission much de)elo(ment has ta+en (lace. No (erson can run away law. domestic )iolence. Jut still a lot has to be done in this field. There are many issues such as social e)ils such as dowry. :any go)ernmental organi"ations and non/ go)ernmental organi"ations are in)ol)ed in creating legal awareness among the general masses. =o)erty and illiteracy are two ma2or hurdles in the (ath of de)elo(ment of our country.

Legal Literacy does not in)ol)e lawyers only and is not confined to legal ser)ices alone. it integrates legal wor+ with other efforts that enhance ca(acities of marginali"ed (o(ulation and hence the termLlegal em(owerment. negotiation and arbitration. s(reading of legal awareness among the (ublic should be a constant endea)our of the go)ernment so that it e6(eriences full success in its go)ernance. the occurrence of these social e)ils would come down. such as conciliation. Thus. Thus.Legal Literacy the lower strata of the society.nstead. legal literacy has a big role to (lay in the de)elo(ment of the society. !nce the (eo(le become aware of their rights and the )arious (ro)isions of law made for their betterment. . Legal awareness would certainly get along with it em(owerment. 444444444444444444444444444 8< .