School for Democracy’s Course on ‘Law and Poverty’ [July 25-26; Bhilwara, Rajasthan]

The School for Democracy (SFD) or Loktantrashala, is a non-formal educational institution dedicated to promoting and deepening democratic education and learning in India.

It is conceived as a space that will enable eclectic groups of adult learners from diverse social and educational backgrounds to learn about the theory and practice of a functioning democracy. Loktantrashala is committed to the values enshrined in the Constitution of India, which inspires and frames all our activities.

The school aims to develop effective tools and techniques of political education, while engaging actively with the challenges of fashioning a more equal, just and participatory democracy.

The School for Democracy (SFD)/Loktantrashala is organising a two day residential course on “What law does to poverty” on the 25th and 26th July, 2016 in the SFD campus in Badi Ka Badia, near Bhim, Rajasthan.

The course will be facilitated and steered by Usha Ramanathan, independent researcher in law and well acclaimed expert on matters of law, and rights of the marginalized.

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Course content:

There exists a fundamental disconnect between the law and poverty. The course is conceived as an exercise to investigate and understand the nature of law and the nature of justice, in the context of what we broadly characterize as poverty.

It attempts to find out ‘is the law an equalizer, or does it deepen inequalities or can do it both at different times?’

The investigation on laws could be located around anti-beggary, manual scavenging, land acquisition, criminal processes such as `camp courts’ and plea bargaining, torture, death penalty, industrial disasters and compensation, laws in fifth schedule areas (or tribal areas), de-notified tribes, and any other that is drawn from the experience of the participants.

The course will also attempt to address the following questions as part of the deliberations.

· What does it mean to have ownership of a law? (eg. PESA, NFSA, NREGA)

· Do the poor really have no use for privacy? What could it mean for them?

· What do the ideas of principle, pragmatism, and prejudice do to what the law does?

· How does power, control, authority affect the lives of those in various states of impoverishment?

· How do legality, legitimacy, and notions such as illegality and encroachment affect the understanding that justice has of those in poverty?


The course will be conducted in the School for Democracy (SFD) campus (4 km from Bhim, in Rajsamand district), Rajasthan.

The campus includes meeting area, training hall, dormitories and other lodging and boarding facilities.


The course is open to students, literate local youth, activists, young people from outside or those interested in examining and understanding the various issues and topics related to law and poverty.

The number of participants is limited to a maximum of 30 persons.

Course fee:

Towards the boarding and lodging expenses, the School for Democracy will be charging Rs.300/-

(Rupees Three Hundred Only) per participant per day.


The course will be conducted in English

For course registration please write to us at

(For logistical details and more information pls contact us via email ( or
at 09799106973 or 08003439216).

The brochure is here.

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