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Covid-19: JKSLSA reaches out to varied sections of people

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JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir State Legal Services Authority (JKSLSA) under the guidance of Justice Gita Mittal, Chief Justice, High Court of J&K and Patron-in-Chief J&K SLSA and Justice Rajesh Bindal, Executive Chairman, reached out to varied class of people to mitigate their sufferings amid the Covid -19 pandemic.

J&K SLSA drew up a comprehensive plan to reach out to people in distress, helped them overcome their fears and anxiety during Nationwide Lockdown. It took up redressal of the grievances of the labourers and daily wagers with the concerned authorities and provided relief to the migrant labourers of other states.

To redress the grievances of the labourers /daily wagers belonging to other parts of the country and stranded in the UTs of J&K and Ladakh, a helpline was created, which is managed by Amit Sharma, Secretary, DLSA Ramban (9419035006) and Rafia Hassan, Secretary, DLSA Anantnag (9149450377).

Ever since the helpline was created a number of calls were received which were redressed by providing ration, food stuff etc. From April 27, 2020 to May 2-2020 a total number of 919 calls were received.

The redressal of the Grievances of Students was also sought and taken up with the competent authorities.

As the panic across the country engulfed far and wide, another helpline to redress the grievances of the people including the students belonging to the UTs of J&K and Ladakh, who were stranded in other parts of the Country was created with Faizan-ul-Haq Iqbal (9622200042) and Swati Gupta (9419190340), Secretaries, DLSA Baramulla and Samba respectively as its nodal officers. Through this helpline as many as 1458 calls were received and redressed.

Realizing the fact that the elderly are doubly effected by the COVID-19 lockdown and are not only vulnerable to contracting the virus in view of their old age but are in tremendous difficulty to manage their day-to-day needs, particularly groceries, medicines etc, JK SLSA launched another helpline comprising of six nodal officers to specifically help and facilitate the senior citizens who live alone and are unable to step out to get medicines, groceries etc. Moreover, their mandatory hospital visits were also facilitated by the officers on the helpline. In this helpline 252 calls were received and redressed.

The present scenario created by the COVID-19 Pandemic, has made the legal aid imperative and more demanding. The lives of women could not be put on hold till we emerge out of the pandemic. JK SLSA is already engaged in providing legal aid to the needy and distressed women especially victims of domestic violence. The Para Legal Volunteers (PLVs) are the first line of contact with the victims of domestic violence and other crimes against women. They have been educated on the issue and are providing legal aid to the needy victims. JK SLSA is also coordinating with the police stations and retainer lawyers to redress incidents of violence being faced by women.

In order to increase tele/online legal and counseling services for women and girls, teams of women lawyers have been nominated in each district of the UTs of J&K and Ladakh by SLSA, to coordinate with One Stop Centers (OSCs) and officials handling Women Helpline Number 181.

During the lockdown period, 19 incidents of domestic violence were reported in UT of J&K, whereas, no such incident was reported in UT of Ladakh.

Sensing multifarious problems being confronted by youngsters amidst Lockdown, JK SLSA launched Helpline to address the queries of youngsters relating to their educational guidance, e-learning, general knowledge about art galleries and world museums in addition to counseling related to their intellectual and physical well being. The Helpline is being manned by six secretaries of DLSAs namely Naushad Ahmad Khan (9622283677), Sandeep Kour (9419223000), Noor Mohammad (9419005744), Khursheed-ul-Islam (9419092103), Spalzes Angmo (9419341131) and Tsewang Phuntsog (9419978757).

Since the launch of the helpline on 16th April, 2020, a number of calls were received. During the week i.e. 27-04-2020 to 02-05-2020 a total number of 658 calls involving 846 youngsters were received.

The JK SLSA also conducted a survey activity to identify the transgender community members across UT’s of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. A total of 680 transgenders were identified. This community earns its livelihood by alms being offered by the people. The JK SLSA reached out to them and with the help of administration and NGOs provided ration/food stuff.

An initiative to enhance creative instincts of youngsters has been coupled with offering counseling during the current times of novel CORONA-19 Lockdown.

The initiative of J&K SLSA began in collaboration with Directorates of School Education Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh by forming a creative activity forum, “ACTIVITY KARO NA” to engage the children in constructive activities during the lockdown period due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under this activity number of students in the age group of 03-06 years exhibited their artistic skills by submitting paintings, self-composed poems on the topic “Save the Planet”. The students in the age group of 07-10 years submitted posters, short stories and slogans on the topic “Advantages of Lockdown in the wake of COVID-19 Pandemic” or “COVID-19 Hygiene Practices”. Moreover, students in the age group of 11-15 years submitted photographs and articles and slogans on the topic “Preservation of Rich Heritage of our Composite Culture”. The last date for receipt of entries set as 03-05-2020 has been extended up till 17-05-2020, in view of extension of lockdown.

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