Asman Mahali, PLP

My name is Asman Mahali and I belong to Adivasi (also known as tea tribe in the state of Assam in India) community. I used to hear the name of LCHR but I did not have any relation with LCHR. In 2013 I got an opportunity to attend a training programme organized by LCHR. Prior to attending the training programme, I did not have any knowledge on legal matters. After attending the training programme I came to know many things about the law. I learnt about the Right to Information Act, Plantations Labour Act, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act etc. After getting the training from LCHR I could conduct awareness programmes in the villages and succeeded in solving many problems of the society. I succeeded in many works which I had wanted to do. If I would not get training from LCHR, would not succeed in those works. LCHR gave me a good platform to do work for the society.

Megha Marak, PLP

I am Megha Marak, a trained Para Legal Person (PLP) from Chandrapur in Kamrup district of Assam. I received first training on para-legal and advocacy skills from LCHR in February, 2015. I have filed many applications under the provisions of RTI Act to obtain information about the development projects taking place in our area.

I filed an application on September 22, 2015 at Chandrapur Development Block seeking information about the schemes undertaken and total amount of funds released for No. 3 Pachim Mayong Gram Panchayat during the financial years from 2012 to 2015.

I received the information on November 3, 2015 from the Public Information Officer (PIO) which stated that during the financial year 2013-2014 an amount of Rs. 1,20,000/- was sanctioned to the Gram Panchayat for the construction of a road from Ghoramarajanpar to Gonesh Mondir playground and Rs. 2,80,000/- for the construction of fishery at Ghoramara near Kaminidal in the financial year 2014-2015. The PIO also stated that 100% physical progress of work and the entire amount was utilized for the construction of the road and fishery. The fact is that the construction of the road has never taken place in that financial year. Further, the fishery was not constructed at the described place but a small pond was constructed in a private land which is about a kilometer away from described spot. Hence, after getting this information I, with the help of villagers organized 2 meetings at Ganesh Mandir to discuss about the matter. The villagers, in writing, requested me to enquire more about it and requested me to approach the Government authority for the strict action against the Gram Panchayat.

Accordingly, I submitted a letter written by the villagers to the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Kamrup (Metro) district demanding to carry out fully the work of construction of the same road and the fishery and also to initiate action against those who are involved in this corruption. My letter was accepted by the office of DC and registered as case no. 7888/16 on March 9, 2016. The district officials ordered for verification report at the earliest.

Narayan Tanti, PLP

Great thanks to LCHR group. The reason is that they helped the tea garden labourers a lot. They showed them their rights who had lived in dark.

I took training from LCHR and did a lot of social work in my village. One day I came to know that sewing machines were brought to our village. Getting this information I went to the office of the Gaon Panchayat and enquired about it. The Panchayat told me that the machines would be given to those people who had certificates and were qualified. But I made them understand that providing the machines to those people would not be better as they were already richer than the poor people of the Panchayat. I asked the Panchayat to give the machines to the girls who were poor and who were in need of them. Thinking on this matter, finally, the Panchayat provided the machines to the poor girls.

Atuwa Urang, PLP

I, Sri Atuwa Urang, belong to a lower class family of Khariyagaon village in Tinsukia district of the state of Assam. Prior to attending the Para-legal and Advocacy Skills Training organised by LCHR, I have witnessed lots of problem faced by my villagers. I was not much confident to solve their problems. I did not have knowledge about Public Distribution System, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, Plantations Labour Act etc. Para-legal and Advocacy Skills training organized by LCHR showed me a new way to help people struggling for justice. Being a Para-legal person trained by LCHR, I helped many people to get residential certificates from village headman, helped to open bank accounts, helped in filing applications under the provision of the Right to Information Act etc. I have succeeded in many activities. I am grateful to LCHR for selecting me as a Para-legal person.

Bikash Murah, PLP

I, Sri Bikash Murah belong to an Adivasi family residing at Tengpani Tea Estate. I am very happy to be a part of the Para-legal and Advocacy Skill training. I am grateful to Advocate Ravi Sagar, Director of Legal Cell for Human Rights (LCHR) for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the training. Prior to the Para-legal training programme I was not able to speak to the government officials. I have been taking many initiatives to protect and promote human rights after the training.

Dubraj Murah, PLP

I am Dubraj Murah. LCHR gave me a platform to do social work. Prior to getting training from LCHR, I could not do any social work. Even, I did not know about the social welfare schemes of the Government. After getting training from LCHR, I could conduct awareness programme in the villages and I have succeeded in solving many problems of the society.

Jiten Xalxo, PLP

I belong to a lower class family and I am a resident of Bajaloni Tea Estate. My father Mr. Jitrai Khalkho is working in the tea estate. Prior to Para-legal and Advocacy Skills Training I was not aware about rights and entitlements of a citizen. For the first time in my life I heard about the provisions of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, Right to Information Act and many other legislative enactments.
One day, after attending the Para-legal and Advocacy Skills training, I went to Tengapani Gaon Panchayat to know about welfare schemes for Ward Number 5 of the Panchayat. I met the President of the Gaon Panchayat and asked him what schemes were going to be implemented at Ward Number 5. He told me that the Panchayat had submitted proposals for construction and repairing of roads. He also told me that he would inform me when he received orders from the higher authority. Further, the President requested me to bring the villagers to the Panchayat office to know about government schemes. I felt happy that because of the Para-legal and Advocacy Skills training I was able to help people of my village. I am grateful to Advocate Ravi Sagar, Director of Legal Cell for Human Rights for his initiative.

Sonjit Proja, PLP

Before relating myself with LCHR I was not having any knowledge on the topic of law. But still I did a lot of social work. Those works which could be completed in just one day took a lot of time as I did not know the ways of working and approaching the right persons or authorities.

In the month of June, 2013, I got a chance to be trained by LCHR. From the training programme I came to know about the social welfare schemes of the Government. For example- MGNREGA, PDS, Right to Food, RTI, Plantations Labour Act and different other laws. After getting the full knowledge it became easier for me to work now.

Suraj Urang, PLP

My name is Suraj Urang and I belong to tea tribe community in Assam. I got an opportunity to receive training from LCHR. Before getting the training, I had no any knowledge about the legal matters. After the training programme I came to know many things about the law. I could conduct awareness programme in the villages and I could succeed in solving many problems of the society. I got courage to fight against corruption. LCHR gave me this braveness and gave me good platform to work for the society.

Bipul Sangma, PLP

I completed my training from LCHR in 2015. In this training, I came to know about various available schemes and projects available for the development of the rural people. I was trained to get correct information from the government offices through provisions of RTI Act. I learnt how to make RTI applications. To my pleasant surprise I got reply to my first RTI application in which I had enquired about the Indira Awaz Yojana, a housing programme for the rural people. I got a list of people who were granted the housing facility. After an enquiry, I found out that the listed people have never got the houses. I informed the beneficiaries and the villagers, and wrote an application to the Block Development Office requesting it to provide houses to the listed beneficiaries. I could not believe myself that these listed beneficiaries were called to the Block Office and were informed that their houses will be construction soon. Martha Marak, Sunita Marak, Mukta Sangma, Sushma Barman and Sudon Das from Nizgobardhan (Chandrapur) village in Kamrup got houses under “Indira Awaz Yojana” in 2015.

Shiblal Panika, District Coordinator

I am Shiblal Panika from Udalguri district of Assam and involved in LCHR as a district coordinator. I help my villagers to write RTI applications to know the status of development projects and activities in my village. I have assisted people to open bank accounts. I wrote applications to the tea garden management to provide fire-woods for the labourers which were not provided for the last one year. I met Member Secretary of the District Legal services Authority (DLSA), Udalguri to discuss with him to register PLP as Para Legal Volunteers (PLV) under DLSA, Udalguri. I collected required forms to apply for myself and other LCHR trained PLPs.

I organised a programme on May Day in which 300 persons participated. Member Secretary of DLSA, Udalguri was the resource person. I work hard to settle land disputes among the villagers without taking them to the court. Recently, I helped a family to claim their provident fund arrears. I have helped 83 families to fill up NRC forms. I learn about availability of welfare schemes to help the tea tribes. In the last two months I have helped 10 people to get birth certificates, and through courts order to another 6 people.

I conduct awareness meetings on RTE, NRC, Human trafficking, Plantation Labourers Act and witch-hunting and settled some disputes relating to them. I discuss the problems related to the education of children in the plantations. I tell my people about the need of raising their voices against child labour.

Sulogna Roy Choudhury, NEHU, Shillong

I am Sulogna Roy Choudhury, a student of North Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong pursuing B.A. LL.B (Hons) (10th Semester). I have undergone one month internship from 19th January 2016 to 19th February, 2016 in Legal Cell for Human Rights (LCHR) Guwahati. Throughout the internship I have been assigned with tasks like study on child rights and preparing of report on the training programmes. During my internship I have also attended two trainings, one in Tezpur and another in Dibrugarh, namely “Training of Para Legal Persons (PLPs) on Child Rights”. After attending the trainings I have gained in practice and came to know the prevailing conditions of the marginalized sections of the society especially tea gardens.
I have also done internship last year in December 2014 to January 2015. During that period I have also attended two trainings of PLPs on various legal issues. It is great experience to work with LCHR because I learnt things practically rather than theory. The field work helped me to know the gaps that are faced by the marginalized sections of society. I have actually learnt the insight of human rights and gradually I am getting interest in this field. The working environment of LCHR is very friendly; interns are given the opportunity to learn. I appreciate whole family of LCHR for their endeavour to work for the marginalized sections of society and for their effort to eradicate the evils prevailing in the society.

Shilpa Bhattacharjee, MSW Final Year, IGNOU

I am Shilpa Bhattacharjee, student of MSW at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). I have started my internship in LCHR on June 6, 2016. The duration of my internship is 45 days. Before joining LCHR, I was not properly aware of the activities of LCHR. After joining LCHR as an intern, I learnt its diverse activities, its mission, vision, structure and its various programmes. I learnt a lot from LCHR about Human Rights, Right to Information Act, 2005; the importance of the Act, and the important role of the statute as a powerful tool in bringing about transparency in public departments and in promoting good governance. I also learnt about MGNREGA, various laws relating to protection of women and children. Again, after attending the awareness camp on bringing back school drop-outs at Hatichila village, I got an opportunity to have the practical experience on conducting awareness camp. I got to know the problems which the children and the society in that place have been undergoing and what effective remedies could be suggested for their improvement. I further learnt about Alternative Dispute Resolution system such as arbitration, conciliation and mediation. The well equipped library added an extra edge towards expansion of my knowledge and ideas. Lastly, I would like to thank Sir Ravi Sagar, Director, LCHR for giving me this opportunity to have access to the organization and the staff members of LCHR for their valuable support during the period of my internship.

Aloli Assumi, NERIM, Guwahati

I am Aloli Assumi, pursuing Masters in Social Work, at NERIM group of Institutions, Guwahati. Hearing from the other friends, I was waiting to grab an opportunity to be part of LCHR as an intern. I love to share my 20 days of fruitful experience in LCHR. LCHR has taken keen interest in guiding me and to learn the new concept of Para Legal Persons and their activities which I am unaware of.

I had a wonderful learning experience during my maiden visit to tea garden (Seconne Tea Garden). Interacting with the tea workers, understanding their problems and the issues confronting them taught practical aspects of all that I am learning in the class room. I learned so much while being an intern in LCHR which I carry with me for the rest of my life priceless jewel.

Kangkana Medhi, NERIM, Guwahati

I am Kangkana Medhi, a student of NERIM group of institutions studying in MSW. I am privileged to do my internship at LCHR. I am grateful to LCHR for guiding me and giving me a chance to learn professional skills. I got an opportunity for useful discussions on various issues.

Attending a legal awareness programme with PLPs in a tea garden taught me both theoretical and practical lessons. It is a milestone in my career. I will strive to use the knowledge and skills I gained to achieve my career objective. Hope to continue to cooperate with LCHR in the future.

Rinku Parida, District Coordinator

I am Rinku Parida from Nagaon District of Assam and involved in LCHR as a district coordinator. Since 2013, I have been receiving training from LCHR. During training programme, LCHR staff taught me about various Laws and Acts and learnt about various Government Schemes. I was satisfied to learn about RTI Act, 2005. Adv. Amal Dutta trained us to file an RTI. After the training, we filed an RTI at Tea and EX-Tea Welfare Board, Kaliabor sub-division and possibly, we got much information. I helped my village people by filing RTIs in various departments from which they learnt about various schemes. As a result, people got entitlements of Government Schemes like – Bicycle, Sewing Machine and RS. 9000/5000/3000 under ‘Family Oriented Income Generating (FOIG) Scheme’. After acquiring all information, I disseminated it to aware the public and make them understand regarding scheme. Now in our Tea Estate, people have benefitted from various governmental facilities and schemes.Therefore, I would like to express my gratitude to LCHR for giving me wonderful opportunity to be part of this organization for the good of the society.

Babul Thakur,  PLP 

I am Babul Thakur, a trained Para Legal Person and a member of ‘Ujjal Manav Adhikar Manch’ from Borboruah, Dibrugarh. A group was created under LCHR to become a member of Ujjal Manav Adhikar Manch to help the village people and I am associated with this organization from 2017 onwards. On 7th February 2019 around 03 pm, I received information about a strange woman, who was suffering from mental disorder, but she was able to tell her name as Pritom Singh and contact number of her family. Whereas the woman was very hungry since, she had not taken food. Her body was with wounds, so I took her home where my wife gave her first aid, bathing and fed her. Next day I went to the Borboruah Police Station and reported the case. The concerned authority of the station asked me to take care of her for few days. After that, I made arrangements and sent her back to Bihar. Now, she has recovered from the sickness.

Kartik Lokare, St. Joseph’s College of Law, Bangalore

I am  Kartik Lokare, pursuing my LL.B. in St. Joseph’s College of Law, Bangalore. Interning in LCHR was a wonderful experience. Time was utilized judiciously on working with various programmes such as drafting, conducting training programmes in different districts, meetings with PLPs and knowing their success stories, going to court and many more. Learning was so much fun that I really forgot it was already end of my internship. I felt happy for taking right decision to intern at LCHR.  This made me realize where I stood and where I should improve myself. I am grateful to the Director of LCHR, Adv. Owen Chourappa, for giving me such an opportunity as intern, along with him. The internship was a memorable one and especially the office staffs who were so cheerful, supportive and encouraging to me.

Binod Ghatowary, PLP

I am Binod Ghatowar from Gangabari Tea Estate, Tinsukia District.Many children in our tea gardens do not go to school. All my efforts to persuade their parents to send their children to go to school were in vain. After attending the 2nd training programme by LCHR, I organised awareness camps on the provisions of ‘Rights of Children to free and Compulsory Education Act 2009(RTE)’. I enlightened them on the availability of free education for the children by the government. Explained to them that books, uniforms and mid-day meals are provide to the children free of cost by the government. The result is that after knowing the availability of these facilities, the parents and guardians themselves were interested in enrolling their wards in schools. Consequently, child labour is also reduced.

Poonam Das Panika, PLP

I am Poonam Das Panika from Batabari village, Baksa District. A year back, I knew nothing about the availability of government schemes for the poor. Even if they were available, access to information was impossible. After my training in LCHR, I organised awareness camps on many topics. One of them was on housing facilities for the poor namely, Indra Awaas Yojana (IAY).Beneficiaries of this scheme in my village were facing difficulties in constructing their IAY houses. One day, I along with some villagers went to the office of the village Panchayat to request them to complete the construction of the IAY houses. They also informed the officials that if the construction is delayed they would not hesitate to file RTI application and would inform the higher officials as well. The Village Committee assured the villagers that they would get the IAY houses as per the scheme. They also pleaded us not to file RTI application. The construction of the houses started the very day. Most of the houses were completed within a very short time. I am delighted to see the happiness of people to get their IAY houses.

Kripa Tirkey, PLP

I am Kripa Tirkey from Jamuguri, Baksa District. I learnt from LCHR trainings that there are many Government Schemes available for the vulnerable sections of the society, but due to the ignorance, they failed to receive benefits. Funds are misused by rampant corruption an nepotism. After knowing the availability of schemes, i collected forms my Panchayat relating to solar lamps, tailoring Machines and water supply and filled them up not only for me but also for the other 15 women. Out of 15, 14 of them got solar lamps, tailoring machines and water supply at their homes. Now, we are able to stitch clothes in our neighbourhood, which helps us to meet expenses of our family.

Ruben Oriya, PLP

I am Ruben Oriya, a Para Legal Person (PLP) and member of Margherita Manav Adhikar Manch (MMAM). Prior to becoming a member of MMAM, I have received a good number of trainings from LCHR on various laws that important for the poor, deprived and common people. This helped me to raise voice for the voiceless in my area through legal awareness programmes and meeting the Government Officials, Police Officers and Political Leaders. Earlier, I was not confident enough and hesitated to face the people in power and in the Government due to lack knowledge and information on legal rights, but now I am able to face them confidently and speak for the rights of the needy. I have gained a lot of confidence and courage to deal with people in the Government because of LCHR. Further, as a member of MMAM, I have received various trainings on Group Management Skills and Leadership, which has greatly developed my skills. As a member, I worked on matters related to land, child marriage, child trafficking, child labour, school dropout children, opening bank accounts, public distribution system, etc. I have also helped people to get PAN cards, caste certificates, etc. All of these became possible because of LCHR and therefore I thanked LCHR sincerely.

Kemesssanuo Sophia, J.B Law College, Guwahati

I am Kemesssanuo Sophia, a student at J.B. Law College, Guwahati. It has been a fun and good experience as an intern in LCHR. I got to learn new things, not only expanding my knowledge from books but also through activities like typing on computers, filing applications under the provisions of Right to Information (RTI), Act, 2005, etc. what I would also like to mention is that the working environment of the office is very good. Here everyone is friendly and always willing to help in every way possible. As a whole, through this internship, I got to learn a lot. I thank LCHR for giving me this wonderful privilege.

Elina Toppo, District Coordinator

I am Elina Toppo, a trained Para Legal Person from Tinsukia district and member of Deepjyoti Manav Adhikar Manch (DMAM), rights based group created by LCHR.  In the month of April, 2018, I was approached and informed by the mother of Sarita, aged about 15 years, was taken to Delhi about 2 years and 6 months ago for domestic work without her consent. Knowing this, I went to the office of District Child Protection Officer (DCPO), Tinsukia to seek help. The officials of DCPO advised me to file an FIR in the nearest police station. Accordingly, I filed an FIR at Doomdooma police station and requested the police to take the most appropriate action immediately. Without any delay, the Doomdooma police contacted the Delhi police and sought their help to find the whereabouts of the girl. The address of the family where the girl was kept was found out and the girl was rescued. She was handed over to her parents on May 25, 2018 and is living happily. This was one of my greatest achievements of my life as a PLP. This was a case of abduction as the girl was a minor and the family was never consented. I thank LCHR for continuously encouraging and motivating me to work for the poor and needy. I have gained a lot of legal knowledge from trainings, legal awareness programmes and through my work experiences.

James Tirkey, PLP

I am James Tirkey from Tinsukia District. After the training given in April 2017 by LCHR, our group did survey on the school dropout children and found out that among the total number of dropouts, 10 of them were girls. We discussed about the matter with their respective parents and readmitted them in schools. Our group conducted awareness camps on RTE, child labour, women law, child marriage and right to Protection & survival of children. People were cooperative in organizing the camps. They became aware about the issues and were motivated to help the people who are in need. I thank LCHR for providing me such opportunities to help my people.