Justice is essential not only for human development, but also essential for democratic governance, poverty reduction and conflict prevention. It is towards this end that OneWorld Foundation India has partnered with the UNDP and the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India, to provide information on laws, policies and schemes to empower marginalised communities. The project, “Establishing Voice Based Legal Information Kiosks in the States of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh”, entailed setting up 50 kiosks in these two states.
The project focusses on strengthening access to information on legal rights, policies and schemes for the less privileged, particularly women, scheduled castes, tribal communities and minorities. In the first phase of the project, legal information, laws and the welfare schemes relevant to the region were digitised and presented in an interesting, menu-driven audio-text-video modules. These modules are available on a user-friendly touch-based menu interface. The digitised content has been packaged in a robust and scalable software application, which focuses on Central and State Government Laws, Policies and Schemes categorized into Child Rights, Citizens’ Rights in a Police Station, Women’s Rights, Senior Citizens’ Rights, Disability Rights, Labour Rights, MGNREGA, Panchayati Raj Information, Right to Information, Motor Vehicle Act, Free Legal Services and Rights of SCs, STs and Forest Dwellers.
- I am a person with disability. Do I have any special rights?
- Do I have rights over my husband’s property?
- I am old and my children don’t want me to live with them. Where can I go?
If one needs help in answering a query on his/her rights and procedures, all one has to do is to come to these information kiosks. Each information kiosk consists of a touch screen computer and a printer. Packed with easy-to-use features, accessing information has been made extremely easy for users who may not be familiar with computers. The touch screen text is also voice supported for people who cannot read.
A dedicated Para Legal Volunteer (PLV) has been appointed at each location as a Kiosk Operator who helps in sensitising people about the purpose and usage of the kiosk. The operator is also be responsible for helping the community in learning how to operate the kiosk and obtain the required information.