Legal Awareness Programme
“Access to Justice” for all is the fundamental right of the citizens of India

Naomi Klein a writer, filmmaker and activist once said, “We live in an interconnected world, in an interconnected time, and we need holistic solutions. We have a crisis of inequality, and we need solutions that solve that crisis.” Keeping this in mind, St. Joseph’s College of Law in co-ordination with the Karnataka Jesuit Educational Society organized a one-day Legal Awareness Programme on the 10th of March 2018 in Solur, a village in the Ramanagara district of Karnataka, to expose the students to the harsh socio-economic realities of today’s world.

The visit to Solur was organized to provide an opportunity for the students to apply their academic knowledge in the real world. Solur is an hour away from the city by road and is located on the Bengaluru - Mangaluru highway. The Karnataka Jesuit Educational Society through the years has played an active role in helping the villagers by making them aware of their rights and duties. Under their guidance students got an opportunity to interact with the residents of the village. The students were divided into groups to visit houses in the village. Each group had their questionnaires prepared to interact with the community. They engaged with the villagers, discussing with them the various problems regularly faced by them such as poor medical facilities, unhygienic surroundings, scarcity of drinking water, non-availability of subsidized gas cylinders and other such matters. The students posed questions to the villagers on socio-economic matters such as education, gender inequality, domestic violence, alcoholism, abandonment of the elderly, unemployment, informed voting, and other contemporary issues.

While the villagers were aware of the various facilities that could be secured through the use of Aadhaar cards, ration cards, pan cards, subsidized gas cylinders, etc., they were unable to avail of these facilities owing to the inefficiency of the local government.

The discussion allowed students to deliberate on the possible solutions to these issues. Solutions such as increasing awareness about existing schemes to benefit individuals and the establishment of community centres to bridge the social divide were discussed by the students. The discussion concluded with a consensus on the need to file RTIs.

In the inaugural address the Director emphasized that the purpose for the establishment of the college was “To practice law, promote justice and transform society.” The rural exposure camp is an affirmative step in this direction. Through the means of such initiatives students are given an opportunity to view the society as “what it is”- both categorized and exclusive.

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