Internship Experience @ State Legal Services Authority, Chandigarh: Visits to Legal Aid Clinics, Jails, Villages

Your Name, College, Year of Study, Email ID

Anonymous

Name of Organisation, Location City, Team Strength

State legal Services Authority, U.T. Chandigarh

Application Process

I applied by making a few calls and regular visits at their Chandigarh office at sector 9, Chandigarh

Duration of Internship and Timings

1 month during the month of June 2014 they had/have 2 batches in summer (June & July) and one in winter break ( December- January).

First Impression, First Day Formalities, Infrastructure

1st day we had to assemble in their office in sector 9 where the Lok Adalat sits.

Honestly, I missed the first few days. They made me repeat it in the next batch.

I’m very grateful they made me repeat it because I had missed my Jail visit and that was a very integral part of the Internship. Well! At least for me.

Good insight into the Real World of what happens inside prisons!

Main tasks

Week 1 – Visit to all Legal aid clinics, Jail, Juvenile home, Senior citizen homes, child protection homes as a part of conducting awareness and providing them with legal aid.

Week 2 – Permanent Lok adalat Sector 17 Chandigarh. Attended proceedings, understood the jurisdiction of Lokadalat, studied cases and were given lectures daily by Retired Justice V.K. Gupta, Chairperson Permanent Lok Adalat Sector 17 Chandigarh.

Week 3 – Mediation Centre, 4th Floor, Sector 43 District Court, Chandigarh. I was appointed under advocate Manjeet Kaur, Mediator. I attended and took part in mediation and counseling relating to matrimonial, family matters and check bounce cases.

Week 4 – Visit to villages in UT Chandigarh. Conducted a survey in the villages wherein, spread awareness about the services of state legal authority and were required to get our own cases. Cases and violation of laws were reported to the panchayat and legal aid clinic installed in the village for immediate legal help.

PS – Certificate upon successful submission of Report regarding the survey conducted.

I put all my heart into making that report hoping some officer would someday refer it and improve the conditions of these helpless people suffering with alot of graphs/diagrams just in case Text appeared too boring!

Also during the JAIL visit we were made to talk to the inmates. Girls spoke to female inmates while the boys spoke to male inmates.

We had to inquire in case there was any non uniformity in the functioning of the staff/authorities.

Work environment and people

Rajeshwas Sir, Law officer was one the best people/mentor you will ever meet. He is forever helping and regardless of however many times you ask him he will readily help you without getting annoyed.

Sir had later on allotted me a few schools to deliver lectures on fundamental rights/duties, etc. Any other legal issue school wanted us to talk about. Which I feel is a very good thing on behalf of the government and therefore delegated to SLSA.

It was more like an interactive session. Many students came up with their problem of peer bullying / ragging, which were resolved and at times referred to school/SLSA.

Best things

Well the best part of the entire internship was Free Food during our last week visits to villages for survey.

But it was like an incentive and it helped us work harder.

Bad things

Some non-serious and non-punctual co-interns who caused delay to others.

Stipend

None but we got lunch that too Mc Donalds/KFC/what not.

Biggest Lessons

The visits to the villages in and around Chandigarh and collecting our own cases. Some of domestic violence, dowry, property and solving them with the help or para-legals and at times Lok Adalat.

This mode of Alternate Dispute Resolution was an absolute success especially for the poor and needy who have no access to pay lawyers.

The Jail visit was an eye opener. Will always be one of the best things I have done in my life.

I felt I was doing something for the public as if associated with doing social work throughout. 🙂

Any Other Thing

Big or small. If you’re a learner you will make the most out of everything that comes your way!

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