Annual Report 1998-1999

JUSTICE SUNANDA BHANDARE FOUNDATION ANNUAL REPORT 1998-1999

The Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation was established in 1994 to perpetuate the memory of Justice Sunanda Bhandare, a judge of the Delhi High Court who died at the age of 52. Throughout her career she worked tirelessly to establish a just and egalitarian society where women and other weaker sections of society had the right to live with dignity. Her motto in life, which she practiced more than she preached "The Freedom to Choose and The Right to Excel" is now the motto of the Foundation. It is to fulfill this dream that the Foundation has been instituted. Its chief endeavor is to ensure gender Justice through various activities. For the year 1998-1999 these included:

The 4th Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture
This year's lecture, "Gender Based Violence; The Response of the Sri Lanka Legal System" was delivered by Prof. Savitri Goonesekere

Publications:

The Foundation commemorated the golden jubilee of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with the publication of a book

Centre for Legal Literacy
A Legal Literacy Programme of the Foundation in Collaboration with the National Association for the Blind, for a mixed group of participants- both visually handicapped

Centre for the Health of Women and Children
The Foundation in collaboration with the Indian Association of Physiotherapists, Delhi State branch and other distinguished specialists in various medical fields


 
The Fourth Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture:

This year's lecture, "Gender Based Violence; The Response of the Sri Lanka Legal System" was delivered by Prof. Savitri Goonesekere, Professor of Law, University of committee. Hon'ble Ms. Justice Sujata V. Manohar, judge, Supreme Court of India presided over the function.


 
Publications

The Word of Gender Justice
The Foundation commemorated the golden jubilee of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with the publication of a book, The world of Gender Justice. The book is a compilation of 14 essays by contributors who have a deep commitment to the cause of human rights and gender justice. It covers a range of topics in which inequality of women is patent and discrimination is a daily routine. It also contains the four Justice Sunanda Bhandare memorial lectures and a lecture Justice Sunanda Bhandare herself delivered at the concluding session of the 10th Biennial Conference of the Indian Federation of Women Lawyers on 4 January, 1988 at New Delhi. The contributors include Federico Mayor, Director General, UNESCO, Rights and Justice M.N. Venkatachaliah, Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission of India and former Chief Justice of India. The first copy of the book was presented to H.E. Shri K.R. Narayan, President of India on 17 December 1998 at Rashtrapati Bhawan. The Foundation expresses its deep gratitude to the President, First Lady Smt. Usha Narayanan and to all the contributors.


Women and Media
In September 1996 the Foundation had organised a national seminar on women and media in collaboration with the Press Council of India. The seminar was attended by 150 eminent personalities including Justice Ranganath Mishra, former Chairman of the National Commission for Human Rights. The deliberations of this seminar were published in a book Women and Media.

 
Centre for Legal Literacy

Legal Awareness Among the Disabled.
A Legal Literacy Programme of the Foundation in Collaboration with the National Association for the Blind, for a mixed group of participants- both visually handicapped and sighted was arranged in Mumbai from 30 March to 3 May, 1999. Brail material was made available to visually impaired participants.


Legal Literacy Programme for training Para Legal Volunteers.
One of the Foundation's main aims is to disseminate awareness of the rights of women so that they may be asserted effectively. Awareness and assertion of equal rights also help change discriminatory attitudes towards women in society. The Foundation in association with the Indian Law Institute conducted its legal literacy programme on Women and the Law for Para legal volunteers at the Indian Law Institute, New Delhi from 6 September, 1999 to 1 October, 1999. The participants were a mixed group of men and women comprising journalists, doctors, advocates, law students, army officers and others. Certificates to successful participants were awarded by Hon'ble Ms. Justice Leila Seth, Member, Law Commission of India and former Chief Justice of Himanchal Pradesh. Prof. S.k. Verma, Director, Indian Law Institute also addressed the Participants.


Rural Awareness Programme:
Legal awareness programmes in rural areas have received a big impectus and moved ahead despite the severe heat of the preceding summer and the general elections. During the course of the year, the Foundation organised and conducted 20 legal awareness camps in rural areas of Maharashtra, Delhi and Haryana. Many senior advocates, Professors of law along with law students and N.G.Os participated in these camps. The response has been positive with and average attendance of 400-500 participants. The subjects covered in these camps were:


1. Marriage with reference to bigamy, child marriage, maintenance, divorce, adoption, guardianship and property.


2. Dowry, female infanticide and feticide, violence against women, rights against the police.


The Foundation also provide counseling and legal aid to those who needed it. All the lectures were supported by posters and video cassettes.


The Foundation is happy to report that some of the participants have been able to gain favorable orders in litigations instituted after awareness of their legal rights through the Foundation's programmes. The Public Interest Litigation filed by the Foundation in 1998 in the Supreme Court of India for the implementation of the salutary provisions of persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, protection of rights and full participation) Act, 1995 for education, health and employement is making headway and the disabled have got substantial relisfs by way of time relaxation in answering question papers in public service examinations.

 
Centre for the Health of Women and Children.

The Foundation in collaboration with the Indian Association of Physiotherapists, Delhi State branch and other distinguished specialists in various medical fields organised a camp in physiotherapy, speech therapy and diabetes at diabetes at the Arya Samaj Mandir, Madan Gir New Delhi on 8 January 1999. Specialists in diverse fields from various government hospitals as well as private practitioners offered their services In multiple dimensions of physiotherapy. In addition patents were examined for diabetes and reports given to them. Children with speech problem were examined by a speech therapist. In all, 225 patients-men, women and children-were examined, diagnosed and treated. Free aids and appliances were given to 60 needy people.


Blood and Donation Camp In association with the Delhi High Court Bar Association the Foundation organised a blood and eye donation camp at the Delhi High Court on 12 October 1999. The function was inaugurated by Hon'ble Shri Justice S.N. Variaya, Chief Justice, Delhi High Court. The donors included Hon'ble Judges and members of the Bar. 118 participants donated their blood. The Indian Red Cross Society team headed by Dr. S.K. Chaudhary, Director, Blood Bank made arrangements for blood sampling, analyzing and collection of blood. Prof. Raj Vardhan Azad, Secretary General, National Society for Prevention of blindness, A.I.I.M.S. Deputed his team to collect eye donation forms. In all 101 donors filled out forms and 40 more took the forms to be returned duly filled in by post.

 
WOKSHOP ON MOTHER'S DAY & DIVORCE UNDER MUSLIM LAW

Mother's Day was celebrated on 7th May, 2012. The Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation in association with Sur Nirman Educational and Cultural Society, organized a Workshop on 21st May, 2012 at Welcome Colony, Seelampur, Delhi. The workshop covered various topics relating to 'Mother' such as - (i) Status of Women both as working women and housewives, (ii) Position of girl child from 'Womb to Tomb', (iii) Divorce and its various forms. Shri H.N. Gandhi, Admn. Officer of the Foundation and Ms. Monika Singhal, Advocate participated in the workshop

The workshop also covered the issue of Divorce under Muslim Law. Under unfortunate circumstances, when a matrimonial contract is broken, divorce takes place. A man may divorce his wife without giving any reason, by pronouncing the word 'talaaq' 3 times. Every adult Muslim husband of a sound mind is competent to pronounce talaaq. A husband, who is minor or of an unsound mind, cannot pronounce it. A guardian cannot pronounce a talaaq on behalf of minor husband.

 
WOKSHOP ON WILL

A workshop on "WHAT IS WILL AND WHY DO I NEED ONE" was organized by the foundation in association with Sur Nirman Education and Cultural Society on Saturday, 15th September, 2012 at Delhi Gate in Gali Guna Misar, Delhi. Resource persons included Dr. Abha Kulashreshta, Advocate, Shri Neeraj Kumar, Advocate, Shri H.N. Gandhi, Administrative Officer, Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation and Ms. Sajida Khan, President, Sur Nirman Educational and Cultural Society. There were more than 120 participants. It was explained to the participants that a WILL is a legal document that entitles one's loved ones get the assets one wishes to give them. Making a WILL is fairly a simple process and in the events of one's death, can give peace of mind to members of the family.

There are following 5 types of WILLs:
(i) Self proving/Testimony WILL
(ii) Holographic WILL
(iii) Oral WILL
(iv) Living WILL
(v) Islamic WILL
The WILL should be in writing and signed by the person and witnesses. If one does not have a WILL, one dies intestate. In such a case, the State will direct the distribution of one's assets according to a set formula. Methods of preparing the WILL, with compilation of list of assets and debts, safe deposit boxes, items of sentimental value, were explained to the participants. They were also explained how to change a WILL by replacing the old WILL or to make an amendment known as Codicil.


 
Centre for Health of Women and Children

A workshop on "WHAT IS WILL AND WHY DO I NEED ONE" was organized by the foundation in association with Sur Nirman Education and Cultural Society on Saturday, 15th September, 2012 at Delhi Gate in Gali Guna Misar, Delhi. Resource persons included Dr. Abha Kulashreshta, Advocate, Shri Neeraj Kumar, Advocate, Shri H.N. Gandhi, Administrative Officer, Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation and Ms. Sajida Khan, President, Sur Nirman Educational and Cultural Society. There were more than 120 participants. It was explained to the participants that a WILL is a legal document that entitles one's loved ones get the assets one wishes to give them. Making a WILL is fairly a simple process and in the events of one's death, can give peace of mind to members of the family.

There are following 5 types of WILLs:
(i) Self proving/Testimony WILL
(ii) Holographic WILL
(iii) Oral WILL
(iv) Living WILL
(v) Islamic WILL
The WILL should be in writing and signed by the person and witnesses. If one does not have a WILL, one dies intestate. In such a case, the State will direct the distribution of one's assets according to a set formula. Methods of preparing the WILL, with compilation of list of assets and debts, safe deposit boxes, items of sentimental value, were explained to the participants. They were also explained how to change a WILL by replacing the old WILL or to make an amendment known as Codicil.


 
Centre for Counseling and Legal Aid

The Foundation's Counseling and Legal Aid Centre in Delhi, assisted by a panel of professional counselors, lawyers and volunteers rendered speedy and effective justice to women in distress during the year. The harassed victims, approaching police stations in distress, referred to us in the Gender Awareness Programmes, were provided free legal aid by our legal experts.

The Public Interest Litigation filed by the Foundation in the Supreme Court of India for the implementation of the statutory provisions for Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 is pending before the hon'ble court. The Foundation also got favorable orders for a number of destitute women and physically challenged citizens from courts.