Disability India Network

Legal Literacy Campaign

The Society for Child Development's newest project is the Legal Literacy Campaign, begun in 2007. Realizing that the poor and the uneducated have little or no access to legal information or access to justice, the legal literacy campaign was launched. In this program underprivileged slum communities are surveyed and the identified persons with disabilities are helped to access the various facilities provided by the government including the all-important Disability Certificate, one-time financial assistance, unemployment allowance, and travel concessions. Weekly meetings are held to counsel them about their difficulties and also to provide information regarding relevant laws and policies using the legal modules developed by SFCD.

The purpose of the Legal Literacy Campaign is to empower persons with disabilities in low-income communities by educating them about their rights and helping them access government aid.

Project Details:

Stage 1:
The SFCD selects a basti and sends a Field Team to identify the persons with disabilities. These individuals, their family members, and their neighbors are surveyed to determine whether they have faced discrimination and how aware they are of the rights they are entitled by the Persons with Disabilities Act of 1995.

Stage 2:
The Field Team gives each individual a request letter to determine how he or she would like SFCD to help. SFCD then processes these requests, which include applications for a Disability Certificate, a pension for the disabled, an academic scholarship, etc.

Stage 3:
As the applicants wait to hear back from the relevant public agencies, SFCD holds weekly legal modules for persons with disabilities and any others who would like to attend. These cassettes in Hindi feature a conversation focused on a particular topic (such as employment, education, marriage, etc.) and explains how the law addresses this issue for persons with disabilities. Following the cassette, Shahla Haidar and Dr. Vipin Malhotra, both experienced lawyers, hold a group discussion and answer questions.

Through this project SFCD has contacted a marginalized segment of the population and give them the training and education to protect their rights and obtain government benefits entitled to them.

On-going Sites:
Viklang Basti: Located behind Nehru Stadium, Viklang Basti is home to over 200 people and 63 persons with disabilities. SFCD is currently processing their requests.
Nizamuddin Basti: Located in Nizamuddin, Stages 1 and 2 have been completed and legal modules are being held for interested individuals.
Completed Sites:
Siddharth Basti (2007-2008)

Contact information:

To learn more about the Legal Literacy Campaign, please contact SFCD
at madhumita@sfcd-india.org