GENESIS OF LCHR

The Jesuits came to Nagaland in 1970 at the request of the then Education Minister of the Government of Nagaland. The Superior General of the Society of Jesus entrusted the Mission to Karnataka Jesuit Province. Charged with the zeal to help people to grow in the ‘faith that does justice’ the Jesuits saw the need to accompany the people of North East through Education and other innovative ministries. Seeing the good work of Karnataka Jesuits in Nagaland and in neighboring states the Superior General of the Society of Jesus formally erected the Kohima Jesuit Region in 1995 giving it a new identity and purpose. Kohima Jesuit Region comprises of the seven states of North-eastern India. Enthused by new identity as an Autonomous Region, the Jesuits re-committed themselves to be more effective in their mission of accompanying the people. Therefore the need to address the changing times professionally became need for being effective in their ministry. It is this felt need gave way to starting a Research centre in the form of NESRC and Legal Cell in the form of Legal Cell for Human Rights LCHR. These two wings of the Social Action Ministry of the Kohima Jesuits seek to address the needs of the people professionally.

LEGAL CELL FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (LCHR) AND IT’S BIRTH

Realizing that law is an important tool for bringing transformation and justice to the poor and the needy people in promoting social change, the Kohima Region sent Ravi Sagar for training in the field of law in 1998. The Legal Cell for Human Rights (LCHR) is thus an initiative by the Jesuits of the Kohima Region of the Society of Jesus in keeping with a comprehensive and strategic action-plan for social transformation of people of the Northeast India.

In 2000, Ravi Sagar completed graduation in law (LL.B) at Symbiosis Society’s Law College at Pune in Maharashtra, India under the University of Pune. He also completed one year of post-graduate diploma studies in Labour Laws and Labour Welfare (DLL & LW). Later, he was assigned to Gana Chetana Samaj of Balipara in Sonitpur district of Assam for his practical training in forming, promoting self-help groups and in building up their capacity to manage their affairs through self-help. For a couple of months getting in touch with the rural people, and having understood the untold stories of injustice meted out to them, he was motivated to get into the legal practice as an advocate in the law courts.

As a bold step, the Kohima Jesuits allowed him to practice in law courts on a regular basis in order to acquire basic professional skills to help the poor and the needy. Accordingly, he was allowed to register himself in the Bar Council in 2001, which enabled him to take the membership in the Tezpur Bar Association. Thus it became a pioneering work of Jesuits in the Northeast.

Eight months after being under an experienced senior advocate in Tezpur the district headquarter of Sonitpur district in January 2002 he was transferred to Guwahati to practice in Gauhati High Court and in other courts in Guwahati. All these activities were conducted under Nagaland Jesuit Society till 2006. In January 2007, in order to consolidate this work it was registered as PROCHODAYA TRUST. LCHR was born as a unit of Prachodaya Trust. At present LCHR has been rendering remarkable service with its staff, volunteers and associates.