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Human rights forum in Jamshedpur

- NGO offers free legal help to poor, including tribals who don’t know Hindi

Now, get legal guidance on human rights issues for free.

A first-of-its-kind forum to ensure justice to the economically weaker sections of society was launched by a Jamshedpur-based human rights outfit near Slag Road in Bhuiyandih, on Wednesday evening.

Jharkhand Human Rights Conference (JHRC) came up with the initiative for people who can’t afford legal counsel.

Although the organisation will not be entitled to try any case or deliver a verdict, they will provide comprehensive legal aid to victims.

Human rights court, as it is called, will function out of a single room and have two legal counsellors to address violation of human rights issues.

Initially, the court will function only on Sundays between 10am and 2pm.

For those who cannot come down to their office, especially domestic violence victims, the JHRC has floated two helpline numbers — 9334712399 and 9835130762.

The forum will help complainants prepare documents for filing of PIL and other kinds of cases.

The counsellors will also bridge the language gap for poor tribals who cannot read, write or speak in Hindi.

“We regularly hear about tribals coming from rural areas to the city, but for their inability to read or speak Hindi, they fail to pursue their cases. We will help them in filing of PIL and getting information under RTI,” said Malaram Saroj, one of the legal counsellors.

The response to the first centre will determine setting up of others in the city.

“From the first week of January, we will carry out our ‘proceedings’ daily between 10am and 5pm, once we increase the number of counsellors. We plan to open more centres in the city gradually,” JHRC president Manoj Mishra said.

Saroj, a former additional public prosecutor at Jamshedpur civil court, added that labour rights violations were an area in which they would offer their services. “Contract workers and labourers are ignorant of their legal rights. If they approach us, we will help them fight cases,” Saroj said.