Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) and Central and West District Legal Services Authorities (DLSAs) are dedicated to upholding the motto of Sewa Samadhan Samarpan. Their extensive grassroots work has revealed that children often suffer from various forms of violence and abuse, hindering them from realizing their rights despite being entitled to free legal services under Section 12 of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.
Children live in diverse family atmospheres and economic conditions, which can lead to situations where they become victims or witnesses of crime. It's the statutory duty of DSLSA and DLSAs to conduct legal literacy and awareness activities to empower these young individuals. To achieve this goal, they've identified that 'Educational and Vocational Guidance Counsellors (EVGCs)' play a crucial role in shaping children's lives and helping them navigate difficult situations.
During interactions with education officials and EVGCs, it became evident that students approach EVGCs for various academic, emotional, and behavioral issues, many of which are rooted in socio-legal problems like domestic violence, drug abuse, and child abuse. However, the EVGCs lacked training in legal subjects, limiting their ability to provide legal solutions.
To address this gap, DSLSA, along with Central and West DLSAs and the Directorate of Education, GNCT of Delhi, organized a Training Program for EVGCs. This program equipped 475 EVGCs with basic legal knowledge to share with their students, totaling 13,15,282 across Delhi schools.
The project not only benefits the EVGCs but also empowers the vast student population by making legal and judicial institutions more accessible and approachable. The training included judicial officers, subject experts, and scholars as resource persons. Field visits were organized to core legal institutions to provide practical exposure to the EVGCs.
A handbook of basic laws, prepared by DSLSA and Central and West DLSA, will be distributed to all EVGCs as a reference guide to assist them in guiding children through socio-legal issues. The program, which began on July 31, 2023, will conclude on September 16, 2023. On the latter date, the first milestone ceremony of Project Arushi: Umeed ki Kiran will be held at NDMC Convention Centre, New Delhi, attended by esteemed dignitaries, including the Hon’ble Chief Justice and other judges of the Delhi High Court, Secretary of the Department of Education (GNCTD), Principal District and Sessions Judges, and the Member Secretary of the National Legal Services Authority.
By providing legal knowledge to EVGCs, DSLSA and DLSAs aim to create a brighter future for the youth and strengthen the legal awareness within the community.