Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Research Project on STOP CHILD LABOUR - Brilliant Work by Mandrem Free Legal Aid Cell


With the motto of  ‘STOP CHILD LABOUR’, the members of Mandrem Free Legal Aid Cell comprising of Chhaya Mhamal, Janhavi Parsekar , Maria, Fernandes, Leesha Kharbe and          Brian Rodrigues undertook a research project on Eradication of child Labour In the shacks in Mandrem. Dr. B.S.Patil, who is also the faculty in charge of the Cell guided the students in this project.

Significance of the study: Child labour has been an international concern because it damages, spoils and destroys the future of children. The problem of child labour is a serious matter not only in India but also in other developing countries. Various legislations governing prohibition of child labour says that any child below the age of 14 years cannot be employed either in a factory or office or a restaurant. Child labour is the practice of having children engaged in economic activity on part or full time basis. The practice deprives the children of their childhood, and is harmful to their physical and mental development. It refers to work that is mentally, physically, socially and morally dangerous and is harmful to children to work whose schedule interferes with their ability to attend regular school or work that affects in any way their ability to focus on school or experience healthy childhood.

Aim: To facilitate the Gram Sabha in passing a resolution that child labour is prohibited and convincing the owners of the shacks to put up a banner outside their shacks which read, “NO CHILD EMPLOYED HERE.” And carry on further inspection of the shacks to check compliance

Purpose served: (1) The tourists would know that there is no child employed in the shacks. (2) In case there is a child labour employed, the tourists as well as the customer can question the shack owner regarding the same.

Drafting the Resolution: The team approached the Panchayat Secretary, Mr. Francis Fernandes and sought information on the date of  Gram Sabha, wherein he informed it to be on 8th November 2015 . The students explained to him about the project wherein he guided them to draft an application about the problem and to submit it in the Panchayat taking inward on it. So, the team drafted an application addressed to the panchayat to pass a resolution in Gram Sabha for affixing banners on topic stop child labour in shacks, restaurants, shops and in all ward of Mandrem village.Accordingly, they went to the panchayat and submitted the application to the secretary and the panchayat clerk registered the problem to be taken in the gram sabha and gave an inward on the application.

Attending Gram Sabha: The team attended the gram sabha held on 8th November 2015 wherein they put forth the contents of their resolution which had been approved by the panchayat without any objections. The application was filed before the panchayat requesting the secretary and sarpanch, Mrs. Vaishali  Shirodkar,  to issue the copy of the resolution.

Follow up: After the resolution copy was provided the team  requested the secretary for a list of names of all the shacks, hotels and resorts in  Mandrem  and  Ashvem villages. The list which was so provided contained 64 numbers of resorts and shacks. The team also requested the Panchayat to provide us with a member to accompany them in their visits to the shacks. So the secretary sent Mr. Nikhil Mandrekar to accompany the team to inform all shacks about the resolution. The team approached the hotel and shack owners on 2nd February 2016 and gave them the information on prohibition of child labour and also informed them about the resolution, size of the banner and the material to be used. Some were very cooperative whereas some had problem with the size of the banner and material. Hence the students agreed with them to reduce the size of the banner and informed that they would further come for inspection on 22 February 2016.

When the team went for inspection on 22nd February 2016 they found that the response was very poor. Hence they decided to speak with the Prof. In charge, Dr. B. S Patil. He suggested that they should write an application to the Goa State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights. Accordingly the team wrote an application to the Goa State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights and submitted it in their office at Panjim. They were told to call and find out whether an officer would be accompanying us or not. The team called them the following day at 3p.m. and they accepted our request to send an officer Audrey pinto to accompany them for the inspection on 29th February 2016.

Impact Assessment: On 29th the team went for an inspection with the Child Commission Officer Audrey pinto. They started with the inspection at 9 a.m. We found out that most of the shacks had displayed the banner and for those who had not displayed the banner, we gave them the last date i.e. 8 march 2016. The officer was successful in convincing the shacks to put up the banner who were not cooperative. On 8th March 2016 they again went for our last inspection of the shacks and resorts. Altogether they covered 64 shacks and resorts out of which 52 shacks and resorts   have put up the banner and 12 have not put up the banner. Some of them gave reasons of shutting down the shacks whereas some assured us that they will put up the banner in October month. Some completely refused to put up the banner and remaining confirmed that they would put up within few days.

Future Plan of Action: The team members plan an awareness campaign to to make all people aware about the prohibition of child labour and to cover all the shops and hotels in Mandrem and Ashvem village and inform them about the same.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Mapusa Free Legal Aid Cell embarks on a project on MRP - Overcharging Menace

The Mapusa Legal Aid Cell of Legal Aid Society, V.M. Salgaocar College of Law, Panjim Goa conducted a city wide survey with one motive, finding the true nature of the MRP overcharging menace. After conducting the survey on 23 January 2016, the members of Mapusa Legal Aid Cell found out that, there's a city wide blatant violation of Law. This isn't just restricted to Mapusa area but throughout Goa. The student Incharge, Abhishek Sawant had taken up the issue first. But as the survey showed it was state wide menace and not restricted to a particular city. In further research he cell members found that shop owners/hotels had right to charge extra such as cooling charges etc but they couldn't attach this cost directly to the goods, increasing the selling price than that of maximum retail price. MRP is determined actually by taking all these factors into consideration but still shop owners and hotels are charging extra, This ranges from 5-10 rupees extra per bottle. After the cell collectively under the guidance of Prof Shruti Kamat Dalal collected all these bills of places at random all over Mapusa, places which were charging more than MRP on sale of water bottles and soft drinks. Mr Abhishek Sawant(Student Incharge) collaborating with the college consumer clinic and filed a complaint before District Consumer forum, North Goa under guidance of H.O.D. Prof Shabir Ali. Mapusa Legal Aid Cell has only one intention, ie to stop this practice in future. They've asked for 10,000/- payment to PM disaster relief funds receipt from each of the establishment, as a tap on the wrist. 

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Consumer Clinic - faculty and students

The Mapusa LAC members submitting the complaint copy to the VMSCL Consumer clinic. Prof. Naguesh Kolwalkar (Consumer Club Incharge), Prof. Dr. Shaber Ali (Consumer Clinic Director), Prof. Sandhya Ram (Consumer Clinic Associate Director) and Prof. Shruti Kamat Dalal (Faculty In – charge of Mapusa LAC).   


Translation of RTI Act to Konkani - An appreciable venture by Bandora Free Legal Aid Cell

This year as part of their legal aid activity, Bandora Free Legal Aid Cell of v.M.Salgaocar College of Law decide to translate RTI Act into Konkani. The free flow of information is a must for a democratic society as it helps the society to grow and to retain a continuous debate and discussion among the people. No democratic government can survive without accountability and the basic postulate of accountability that is the people should have information about the functioning of the government. The Right to Information Act, 2005 was passed for making the government transparent and more accountable; the effective use of it would, in a long run, curb corruption. But when Bandora Cell members researched in this respect they found that there was no translation of this Act in state language and it acted as a barrier in reaching out to more people. Hence the project to translate this important legislation into Konkani and thereby make it easily accessible to all and fill in the gaps as to the benefits of legislation reaching out to people of Goa. We are also working towards getting it published from Government of Goa. Members of Bandora Legal Aid Cell have translated this act with the help of language experts.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Valpoi Free Legal Aid Cell Submits Project Report on Mid-Day Meal Programme

Where there is a will, innovation pours in most naturally. Valpoi Free Legal Aid Cell of V.M.Salgaocar College of Law had shown this to be true through their genuine and whole hearted study on the Mid-Day Meal Scheme for school children in Sattari Taluka of North Goa District.

The Team
Student team comprising of Akshata Gauns,   Safira Shaikh, Pranav Vaze , Akshata Kale, Siddhi Manerkar, Naguesh Gaonkar, Rajdeep Thakur Dessai, Meesbah Beig and Mujahidin Shaikh   commenced the study in  2014 under the guidance of Prof. Shruti Kamat Dalal.

The team visited 10 schools in Sattari Taluka and studied the implementation and effectiveness of the Mid-day meal Programme of the Government of Goa. The team also ventured to study the condition of latrines in the schools in Sattari Taluka. Extensive survey was conducted for this purpose.

 The project had clear objectives namely,
1. Improving nutrition level of the children in the Primary schools.
2. Preventing classroom hunger.
3. To provide better latrine/ toilet facilities to children.
4. Facilitating overall healthy growth of children so that they do not fall sick and are able to better concentrate on studies.

The team came up with the following findings
     A)    Mid-Day Meal
Almost in all the schools pulav and pav bhaji is served on alternate days during recess hours. The food was hardly ever tasted / surveyed either by teachers of PTA members
Also it was found that most of the students are unhappy with the food served.
     B)     Latrines/Toilets 
The condition of toilets in schools of Sattari Taluka was satisfactory in some schools where as poor in some schools.

Regarding Mid-Day Meal-  
 (i) Provide students with milk or fruits for their healthy growth.
(ii)  Inspection of food by the teachers.
(iii) Incentives to self help groups for maintenance of food.
Regarding Latrines/Toilets
(i)                 Proper latrines and toilets to be maintained
(ii)               Supply soaps and water adequately  

Preparation and Submission of Study Report
A detailed report of the study was prepared along with suggestions. The same was submitted to the Director of Education by the students accompanied by Dr.Naguesh Colvalkar, the Professor in charge of Valpoi Free Legal Aid Cell.

Sunday, 20 March 2016


Chorao Free Legal Aid Cell  of V.M.Salgaocar College of Law conducted a Consumer Rights awareness  programme on 20th March 2016 at primary school, Kerem, Chorao - Tiswadi Goa.

Adv. Vahida Elgar, the guest of the day, spoke on the topic of CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT 1986 and the procedures that need to be followed while filing complaint. Mrs. Arti Bandodkar, President of Mahila Mandal of Kerem and Karabhat, Adv. Namita Kucolkar, Shridhar Pai, Adv. Aruni Naique, and our cell faculty incharge Asst.Prof. Ashwini Naik attended the programme.

In the interactive session that followed, the audience asked a lot of questions, all of which were clarified by the speaker.

Around 70 people from Chorao Village attended the program.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Cyber Laws & Cyber Crimes - Awareness Drive by Mala Free Legal Aid Cell

With the sole objective of creating vigilance and awareness on cyber crimes, The Mala Legal Aid Cell of V. M. Salgaocar College of Law under the guidance of Prof. Shruti Kamat Dalal took an initiative of organizing a Programme on 19th March on topic ‘Cyber Laws and Cyber Crimes for students from various colleges across the state of Goa.  The Key note speaker of the session was Adv. Yulette Coutinho.

The Speaker notified the fact of rise in cyber crimes at an alarming rate not only in India but also across the globe. She gave various instances wherein the common man have been virtually assaulted by cyber criminals or most commonly known as the hackers. Various methods of hacking and cheating in the virtual world were explained; instances such as the recent ATM fraud which occurred at multiple ATM’s in Goa were discussed.
She spoke about the possible threats one may encounter over the internet and also how to tackle them. She also described various steps to be taken while surfing on the net. specific precautionary measures netizen is required to follow such as, how to secure oneself on the world wide web i.e. not disclosing personal information online, being vigilant and cautious while talking to new people/ strangers, securing ATM pins and other passwords, how to differentiate between the genuine and a fraudulent web page etc.

Information like procedure of filing a complaint and the location of the Cyber Crime Cell was communicated to the students. The session was informative and interactive.
The compere for the programme was Mr.Siddharth Sardesai. Mr.Rohit Shirodkar welcomed the guest with a floral bouquet. Ms Ketaki Deshpande introduced the guest and gave a brief report on the working of legal aid cells.
Mr. Sufiyan Sayed then presented the guest with a memento and Mr. Aniroodh Sardesai proposed Vote of Thanks.

We all live in the world of technology where any person can be targeted in a blink of an eye. The members of Mala Legal Aid Cell thought it proper to caution the most susceptible section of society i.e. student community who are more vulnerable to such crimes.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

On the Rights of Women - PERNEM LEGAL AID CELL

Pernem Free Legal Aid Cell of V.M.Salgaocar College of Law organised a legal literacy programme on Rights of Women on on 16th March 2016 at village Panchayat Hall of Virnoda Village Panchayat, Pernem Goa.
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The Chief Guest of the programme was P.I. Mr. Ninad Deulkar. The Guest of Honour was Adv. Sameer Sawal Desai. Other Guests were the Dy.Sarpanch of the Village Panchayat Ms. Mayusha Chari and faculty In charge of Pernem Legal Aid Cell Asst.Prof. Bhakti Naik.
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Miss. Anuka Khanodkar,compered the programme. Miss. Varsha Redkar, Dy.Incharge of cell gave an introduction of the cell and its functioning. Introduction of the guests was done by Miss. Priyanka Desai. Prof. Bhakti Naik, spoke about women’s right in general and made people aware about Women’s Day celebrated worldwide.
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The Guest Speaker, Adv. Sameer Sawal Desai spoke on Domestic Violence Act, 2005. He explained the content of the act and explained how it is helpful for women who are being harassed by their husband and in-laws. He also explained it by giving live examples. He even spoke on the topic of registration of birth and death. He made awareness about importance of registration of birth and death and also explained the disadvantages of not registering.
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The Chief Guest of the programme P.I. Mr. Ninad Deulkar spoke about women rights in general when she goes to file a complaint at the police station and when she is arrested for any offence. He even advised women not to feel hesitated to file a complaint. He even explained the procedure of filing a complaint. He also spoke about the side effect of social media on children’s and how their parents can protect their children from such side effects. He also shared some additional information about the counseling done at police station and told  about the helpline number available for women i.e. 1098.
The deputy Sarpanch of the Village Miss. Mayusha Chari spoke about the present position of women in society and the crimes happening and she advised daughter in-laws and mother in-laws to treat each other with respect and care.
After the talk, refreshments were served and then an interactive session was conducted where in people could ask questions to the Guest. Many from audience asked few questions and cleared their doubts.
Miss. Diksha Arondekar, student in charge of the cell gave vote of thanks.           

Sancoale Free Legal Aid Cell – Awareness Program on RTI Act

Sancoale Free Legal Aid Cell under the guidance of Prof. Ashwini Naik organised a legal literacy program at M.E.S.College, Birla-Goa on 16th March 2016.. Adv. Athnain Naik was the guest speaker. 

Ms.Reenal Redkar compered the program. The audience comprised of around 50 NSS students of M.E.S college. Their NSS Prof. in-charge ,Fatima Gomes was also present. 

Adv, Naik spoke of the objective of this act, i.e to tackle corruption, and for transparancy and accountability in government activities. He further spoke that, under this act, any person may request information from a "public authority" who is expected to reply within 30 days. If he refuses or delays then  Rs 250/- will be deducted from his salary per day for such a delay. He said that evry department has a PIO and its his duty to provide for information. He further spoke about the grounds on which information can be refused.

Rights that are available to a citizen under this act, are:-
1) ask any questions from the govt. or seek any information
2) take copies of any govt. documents
3) inspect any govt documents
4) inspect any govt. works
5) take samples of materials of any govt. work.
The fee for filing  for the information is minimal , i.e Rs.10 approximately. The application for asking information can be either hand written or typed, and no complicated procedure. Just your name, phone no. , and the specific information you need. He also spoke about the appellate authorities. He gave eg , of a village in Orissa. Where, money was shown on paper to be used to construct a pond by the govt. ,but it was not constructed. All the villagers filed an RTI and the concerned officers got suspended. This is the power of RTI. Just by asking, you get your work done. Since the authority has to reply within 30 days, or give reasons for not giving information. So instead of goin through that trouble, many a times, they do your work after you file a RTI. Often a lot of things start falling in place just by asking for information. For instance, you would get your ration card done just by your asking for the status of your application. The officials also get a clear message that the people of that area have become alert and any wrong doings in future would not remain hidden as they were in the past. So, their risks of getting caught increases. He concluded by telling the audience to be aware of their rights.
Prof. Ashwini Naik addressing the gathering

Consumer Rights and Lok Adalat - Awareness program @ Sanquelim Free Legal Aid Cell

The Sanquelim Free Legal Aid Cell of V.M.Salgaocar College of Law organised a legal literacy program on Lok Adalat and Consumer Rights, at Kudneshwar Devasthan Kudnem Hall on 16th March 2016. The Chief Guest was Adv. Shivaji Desai and  Prof. Sonal Sardesai, faculty in charge attended the program.Cell member Roshan Sawant welcomed the guests. The program began with traditional ceremony of lighting of lamp.Cell member Mr. Tejas who also compered the program,  spoke about  the legal aid cell, its functions and objectives.
Adv.Shivaji Desai spoke about how the Lok Adalat functions and also about the Consumer Rights.In his speech he told the various consumer rights available for general public and how they can file cases in court. He also mentioned various example happening around. He also informed about Lok Adalat functioning in Goa and how Lok Adalat help people to sort out the problem with mutual understanding and compromising. He also explains the people regarding the whole procedure of Lok Adalat and how it is beneficial to them.

Various questions were asked to the speaker after the speech and finally the vote of thanks was given by the student in-charge Miss.Vibhuti Kamat and the program concluded with distribution of the refreshment to the people present for function.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Road Safety and Traffic Rules Awareness @ Bastora Free Legal Aid Cell


Bastora Free Legal Aid Cell of V.M.Salgaocar College of Law held a legal literacy programme on ‘ROAD SAFETY AND TRAFFIC RULE AWARNESS’ in the Bastora Panchayat hall on 14th March 2016. The student in charge Ms. Dipali Mandrekar welcomed the guest speaker Mr. Minesh Tar, Prof. Kamakxi Sambari (Faculty in charge of the Cell), Sarpanch and panch members of Bastora village and the locals.


Mr. Minesh Tar, raised certain preliminary questions
1. Do all who drive and ride bike have licence?
2. How much distance should be maintained between two vehicles while driving/riding?
3. Who should have the first access to move near circle?

The questions were actively answered by people and was corrected by Mr. Minesh Tar wherever they were unaware of it.
The different traffic signs were shown to the people and was informed what those signs means, what is the significance of those sign boards and the importance of those sing boards on roadsides. He also spoke about importance of wearing a helmet while riding a bike. He informed people, 50% of the head injury in accident by wearing a helmet and can save many peoples life who meet with accident.

He also showed different videos to the audience where drivers makes mistakes which results in accident. In one of the video truck drivers were seen crossing the railway tracks ignoring the stop signal which results in accident. The other video was of Calvi bridge accident, showing how the mistake of driver lead to fall of bus into the river. In another video it was shown that how accidents takes place when a driver or rider takes U- turn n drives/rides in wrong direction.

The programme concluded with vote of thanks by Ms. Sankalp Bhosle where he thanked Mr. Minesh Tar for providing such a valuable information to the people he also thanked Prof. Kamakxi, Sarpanch, other Panch members and locals of Bastora for attending the programme conducted by Bastora Free Legal Aid Cell. Followed by vote of thanks refreshments was served to all the people present for the programme.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Vasco Free Legal Aid Cell celebrates International Womens Day

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On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Vasco Legal Aid Cell conducted a legal literacy program on the 8th of March 2016 at the Officers Club in Sada.
The program was graced by two distinguished speakers, Adv. Suresh Rao and Adv. Loretta Sridharan. Also present were Dr. Ranjana Ferrao (Faculty Incharge of our cell) and Ms Zarita Mendes. The program began at 2:15 pm with around 150 people most of which were women from different fields.
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Our cell member Ms. Murielle Rodrigues was the compere for the program. She began by welcoming all the guests and the audience. Flowers and Mementos were distributed to the members of the panel. Ms Venessa Barreto introduced the speakers and the members of the panel.
The topic of the day was WOMEN EMPOWERMENT which was introduced by our first speaker, Adv. Loretta Sridharan who spoke about the ever changing status of women in today’s world. She also stressed upon the role of women in earlier days and compared it with the recent times and how it has evolved. She encouraged the women and youth to step forward and not fear to take major responsibilities and fulfill their dreams. She also spoke about real life stories of women who have worked so hard to manage their livelihood as well as that of her family  all alone inspite of having husbands who wouldn’t contribute to the families welfare. She pointed out to the fact that women are now being leaders at work as well as at home. They make all the financial decisions for the welfare of their family. Lastly, Adv Loretta urged the female youth of today to make the change in the world without feeling inferior or fearing anything.
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Our second speaker Adv. Suresh Rao spoke about all the laws available to women which are enacted by the state for their protection. He listed laws such as Dowry Prohibition Act, Maternity Benefit Act, Protection of Women from Domestic Violance Act, Immoral traffic (Prevention) Act, Commission of Sati(Prevention) Act, Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, Pre-conception and Pre-Natal Diagonistic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act etc. He stressed on Equal Remmuneration Act and Sexual Harassment of women at workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act since sexual harassment of women at workplace is the most common offence which is still prevailing. He urged all women to speak out since each one has a right to protection under these laws. He also spoke about the mindset of the people which needs to be changed and said that the mindset of others cannot be changed unless you change your mindset first. He also brought up the various laws for protection of women under the Indian Penal Code against abuse and rape and other criminal offences against women.
The program ended with a vote of thanks given by Ms. Roohi Majid while the cell members distributed bookmarks (wishing everyone a Happy Women’s Day) and refreshments to the guests.

Legal Literacy On "Child Rights" at Porvorim Free Legal Aid Cell (Sanjay School)


Porvorim Free Legal Aid CEll ( Sanjay School) organized a talk on "Child Rights" at Sanjay Centre for Special Education, Porvorim, Goa on 8th March 2016.  The Chief Guest and the keynote speaker for the function was Adv. Wahida Elgar, member of Persistent Unit ,member of legal aid committee of Taleigao, and lawyer of the Juvenile Justice Board. Asst. Prof. Kamxi Sambhari, the faculty in charge attended the programme. 

C:\Users\Ameetash\Downloads\IMG_0361.JPGAdv. Wahida Elgar introduced the topic with the various definitions of the term “child” under the various statutes. She also discussed the various statutes such as POCSO Act, Right to Education Act, Juvenile Justice Act etc. She dealt with the various crimes that are committed against children. She also explained the concept of “child in need of care and protection” and “child in conflict with law”. She also had a one-on-one question and answer session with the audience present wherein she dealt with the various situations wherein they may come across any child who is in need of care and protection and what are the actions that can be taken on their part. She also dealt with capital punishment and how to deal with a child if such child refuses to behave properly despite various efforts by the parents and the teachers. 

The  teaching staff of Sanjay centre for special education (Sanjay School) and Dattaram Chopdekar High School attended the program. Also present for the function was Mr. Tatu Kudalkar, principal of Sanjay School. Ms.Namrata Shirodkar compered the function Ms. Dannica D'Souza proposed the vote of thanks.