Pune: Three-day Barefoot Lawyers Paralegal Training Program 

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Pune, 26th May 2022: Symbiosis Law School, Pune, a constituent of Symbiosis International (Deemed University), in collaboration with Ashta No Kai, India, a public charitable trust working in villages in Taluka Shirur, Pune, is organizing a Barefoot Lawyer paralegal training programme for 25+ women volunteers from the outskirts of Pune District on 27th, 28th and 29th May, 2022.

The project will commence under the leadership of Dr. Shashikala Gurpur, Fulbright Scholar, Director, SLS-P, Dean, Faculty of Law, SI (DU), Jean Monnet Chair Professor (EUC-LAMP, co- funded by EU), in collaboration with Ashta No Kai, an NGO founded and chaired by Ms. Armene Modi. With the aim of increasing woen’s literacy rate in Pune, India, Ashta No Kai established in 1998, by Ms Armene Modi, a Professor of English in Tokyo, has been dedicated to empowering rural women by providing them with the education, vocational skills, and resources they need to become economically independent and self-reliant.

Symbiosis was established in 1977 with the motto of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” translating to ‘the world is a family,’ under the patronage of Hon’ble Dr. S. B. Mujumdar, Founder and President, Symbiosis, and Chancellor, Symbiosis International (Deemed University). Symbiosis Law School, Pune (SLS-P) is the first private law school from the state of Maharashtra and the only one in Pune to have been nominated among 29 law schools to house the Pro Bono Club under the Nyaya Bandhu Scheme of Department of Justice, Govt. of India. The Community Legal Care and Literacy Cell of SLS-P has been actively working with the objective to promote social justice, raise the confidence of the underprivileged, and build a network of the legal care leaders.

The Barefoot Lawyer paralegal training programme, a three-day intensive program has been scheduled 2022 for 25+ women. The modules consist of Women’s Rights as per the Indian Constitution, Laws dealing with Violence against women under the Domestic Violence Act, Child marriage Act and PCPNDT. Laws dealing with Sexual Violence under the IPC and the Criminal Amendment Act, POCSO shall be explained to them as well. The volunteers shall further be made aware of divorce processes and Hindu Personal Laws.

Training shall be provided to these women via demonstrative activities like skits, role- play, client counselling, dispute prevention and resolution, mediation and a hands-on training session on filling marriage registration and birth certificate forms along with stimulation sessions shall be conducted to aid these women to be equipped with a better understanding of the law and its application in society.

In the words of Dr. Shashikala Gurpur, “Programmes like these organised by SLS Pune, in collaboration with activists like Ms. Armene Modi motivate and build these participants as first responders to women in need of protection and justice against atrocities. It is an empowering train-the-trainers initiative and a movement on a large scale.”

The training shall be provided by the faculty members of Symbiosis Law School, Pune, Dr. Shirish Kulkarni, Assistant Professor, SLS-P, Dr. Ashish Kulkarni, Assistant Professor, SLS-P , Ms. Aditi Mane, Teaching Associate, SLS-P, Adv. Chaitraly Deshmukh, Adv. Sangramjeet Chavan, Dr. Radhika Jagtap, Assistant Professor, SLS-P, Ms. Shivani Rajesh, Assistant Professor, SLS-P and Mr. Yogesh Dharangutti, Assistant Professor, SLS-P along with student volunteers of Community Legal Care Centre and Literacy Cell of SLS Pune.

Barefoot Lawyers Paralegal Training Programme shall be actively working with the objective to promote social justice, raise the confidence of the underprivileged and to assist women in search of their own voices to make the transition from passive acceptance of their fate to becoming vocal and active partners in their own development.