Annual Report 2000-2001

The Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation was established in 1994 to perpetuate the memory of Justice Sundanda Bhandare, a judge of the Delhi High Court. Her premature death at the age of 52 brought to a halt a career during which she had worked tirelessly to establish a just and egalitarian society where women and weaker sections of society had the right to live with dignity. Throughout her life she practiced the credo "Foundation to Choose and Right to Excel". This is now the motto to the Foundation and it is to achieve this end that the Foundation has been instituted. Its chief endeavor is to ensure gender justice through various activities.

The 6th Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture
This year's lecture, "The Social Roots of Gender Injustice "was delivered by Prof. Madhu Dandavate, former Union Finance Minister on Wednesday, November 1, 2000. Hon'ble Shri Justice K.T. Thomas, judge, Supreme Court of India, presided.

Rural Legal Awareness Programme
There was a great impetus to the rural legal awareness programmes, in all, 15 camps were organized in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Delhi. Many senior advocates, professors of law, district judges, counselors, the lectures were supported by posters and video cassettes.

Workshop and Seminars
The GOF organised a seminar on the "Status of Muslim Women, 2001" at the India International Centre on 25th July, 2001 in which great emphasis was stressed on education, health, ill effects of polygamy, triple talaq with suggestive remedial steps. A colloquium on "Women and Purdah" was organised at the India International Center on 24th September, 2001

Center For Health of Women and Children
The Foundation in association with the Delhi High Court Bar association organised a blood donation camp and eye donation camp at the Delhi High Court on Thursday,15th February , 2001. The camp was inaugurated by Hon'ble Mr. Justice Arijit pasayat, Chief Justice, Delhi High Court and the donors included Hon'ble judges, members of the Bar and the staff members of the High Court.

Center For Health of Women and Children
The Foundation's Counseling & Legal Aid Center in Delhi, assisted by a panel of professional counselors, lawyers, and volunteers, has rendered speedy and effective justice to women in distress during all the legal awareness programmes. The participants in the rural camps are also provided legal back up after the camps.

The Foundation is happy to report that some of the participants have been able to obtain 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 statutory provisions of persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 for education, health and employment is making good progress and the disabled have got substantial reliefs by Union Public Service Examination and reservation in teaching posts of the University Grants Commission.


 
Rural Legal Awareness Programme

There was a great impetus to the rural legal awareness programmes, in all, 15 camps were organized in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Delhi. Many senior advocates, professors of law, district judges, counselors, the lectures were supported by posters and video cassettes. On an average, each camp was attended by 300 to 400 people but in some cases we had more than 500 participants.

The subjects covered in these camps were:

  • Marriage with reference to bigamy, child marriage, maintenance, divorce adoption, guardianship and property.
  • Dowry, female infanticide and foeticide, violence against women and rights against the police.
  • The Muslim personal law, provisions in family matters, prevention of polygamy and triple talaq, standard nikahnama, containing fair terms for marriage, divorce, guardianship, mahr Mata etc.

The special feature of this year has been the extension of the Foundation's legal awareness programmes amongst Muslim women who are most deprived against in terms of education, employment and freedom of movement. To effectively achieve its objective a group of five(GOF) was formed comprising the Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation, Muslim Women Forum, Guild of Service, National Federation of Indian Women and Sure Nirman Education and Cultural Society, The GOF organized six camps for Muslim women . The Foundation gave special emphasis to the empowerment of Muslim women and concentrated on Muslim personal law. A great awakening was ushered by distributing bookiets on Muslim women's personal laws, marriage, divorce and their property rights in these camps.

The village awareness camps organized in association with the Guild of Service and Legal Service Authority were also of great assistance by getting problems of the participants resolved through various channels, legal, administrative and social etc.

The legal literacy camps were aimed at spreading a movement encompassing educational upliftment, economic self-reliance, social development and legal reforms. They received a very positive response and were successful in communicating the message of equality and equal dignity amongst men and women in our society. All participants took pledges to educate their children, both sons and daughters, not to marry them young, take or give dowry for their sons or daughters, not to marry them young, take or give dowry for their sons or daughters and also practice small family norms to two children. The participants were impressed with the message that neither our country nor our society can progress unless women progress equally with men.

 
Workshop and Seminars

The GOF organised a seminar on the "Status of Muslim Women, 2001" at the India International Centre on 25th July, 2001 in which great emphasis was stressed on education, health, ill effects of polygamy, triple talaq with suggestive remedial steps. A colloquium on "Women and Purdah" was organised at the India International Center on 24th September, 2001 in which speaker from Srinagar to Chennai and Manipur to Islamabad participated. Every participant asserted that purdah is not a religious prescription and that the freedom of movement for Muslim women affects all their other rights including the right to education, health employment and empowerment.


The Foundation organised a two days' workshop for the Delhi Commission for Women on "Property Rights" and "Right of Maintenance" on 21st March and 22nd March, 2001. A one day workshop in association with the Guide of Service was also organized on "How to make a will" and "Inheritance of Property" on 21st April, 2001.

 
Centre for Health of Women and Children

The Foundation in association with the Delhi High Court Bar association organised a blood donation camp and eye donation camp at the Delhi High Court on Thursday,15th February , 2001. The camp was inaugurated by Hon'ble Mr. Justice Arijit pasayat, Chief Justice, Delhi High Court and the donors included Hon'ble judges, members of the Bar and the staff members of the High Court. Displaying a spirit of public service it is remarkable that as many as 107 donors donated blood and 64 donors filled in forms pledging to donate their eyes. The Red Cross made arrangements for collecting the blood. Another blood and eye donation camp was arranged by the Foundation in association with Delhi Bar Association (Civil), Tis Hazari on 16th February, 2001. Col. P.S .Shot, Com, Officer and Sr. Advisor (Path) of Armed Forces Transfusion Center personality supervised the collection of blood. It is a matter of great pride that as many as 261 members of the bar donated blood.

The Foundation is happy to report that some of the participants have been able to obtain 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 statuary provisions of persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 is making good progress and the disabled have got substantial reliefs. In another case, that of Rekha Tyagi, the Supreme Court has overruled the Delhi High court Judgment, denying to the physically handicapped reservation of seats in AIIMS and other medical colleges in Delhi under negative the contention of University Grants Commission in the Writ Petition filed by the All India Federation of the Blind that these could be no reservation for the physically disabled in teaching posts in the Universities.

 
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.