1st Exclusive Legal Aid Clinic for Transgenders in North India – SAMTA NYAY KENDRA inaugurated by Justice Jaswant Singh
THE VOICE OF CHANDIGARH NEWS:
District Legal Services Authority, UT Chandigarh in association with Chandigarh State Aids Control Society and its partner NGO, Association of Professional Social Workers & Development Practitioners (APSWDP) has opened the first of its kind Exclusive Legal Aid Clinic for Transgenders called SAMTA NYAY KENDRA. The centre is, a first of its kind in north India, to provide counselling and help to the third gender to redress their grievances. The Centre was set up New Indira Colony, Mani Majra, Chandigarh
The clinic was inaugurated by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Jaswant Singh, Judge, Punjab and Haryana High Court-cum- Executive Chairman, State Legal Services Authority, UT, Chandigarh. Speaking at the inauguration he said that after the landmark decision by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India AIR 2014 SC 1863, whereby the Apex court declared transgender people the ‘third gender’, it becomes imperative that all stakeholders make efforts to create safe spaces for persons from the transgender community where they have access to multidimensional services and feel included as a part of mainstream society. He also said that there is a need to sensitize all stakeholders including the judiciary about specific needs of this community. He further informed that through the clinic persons from the Transgender Community will be provided Legal Aid Services, Legal Awareness Training, Linkages and capacity building services.
Gurbir Singh, Learned District and Session Judge-cum-Chairman, District Legal Services Authority said that this clinic is a step towards ensuring that the fundamental rights granted under the Constitution of India will be equally applicable and accessible to members of the transgender community.
Puneesh Jindia, Learned Member Secretary, State Legal Services Authority said that the clinic was established in association with Chandigarh State Aids Control Society that has been working with this community since many years. He further informed that the Clinic would function on Wednesday and Saturday. He said that after inauguration of this Legal Aid Clinic, to make it functional Panel Lawyers and Para Legal Volunteers will be deputed on need based assignments. He also informed that the Para Legal Volunteers who would be deputed from within members of the Transgender Community.
Sandeep Mittal, Deputy Director, Targetted Intervention, Chandigarh State Aids Control Society said that he was thankful to Justice Jaswant Singh for his path breaking and innovative initiative in setting up such a clinic and he was hopeful that through this the clinic would help counsel and guide the community members to lead a dignified life in society.
Also present at the inauguration were Ashok Kr. Mann, Learned CJM-cum-Secretary, District Legal Services Authority under whose monitoring the Legal Aid Clinic will function, Dr Sumit Arora, President APDWDP, Ms. Rekha Trivedi, Project Director from Association of Professional Social Workers & Development Practitioners (APSWDP), Panel Lawyers and Para Legal Volunteers from District Legal Services Authority and many members from the Transgender Community.