Annual Report 2002-2003

The Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation was established in 1994 to perpetuate the memory of Sunanda 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 the weaker sections of society could have the credo the "Freedom to Choose and Right to Excel" This is now the motto of the Foundation and it is achieve this end, that the Foundation has been institute. Its chief endeavor is to ensure empowerment of women, gender parity and gender justice through various activities.

The 8th Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture
Former President of India, Hon'ble Shri K. R. Narayan delivered the Eigth Justice Sunanda Bhandare memorial lecture "Human Rights and Empowerment of Women" on October 30, 2002 at the India Habital Center, New Delhi. The function was presided over by Hon'ble Mr. Justice G.B. Pattanaik. Hon'ble Mr. Justice B.N. Kirpal, Chief Justice of India, was the Chief Guest.

The Justice Sunanda Bhandare portrait in the High Court:
On May 19, 2003, a portrait of Justice Sunanda Bhandare, donated by the Delhi High Court Bar Association, was unveiled in the Delhi High Court by Hon'ble Mr. Justice B.C. Patel, Chief Justice, Delhi High Court.

Rural Legal Awareness Programme
This year, the Foundation organized six legal awareness programmes in rural and slum areas of Haryana and Delhi.
The legal awareness programmes designed by the Foundation have proved to be a huge success and have been, since their inception, attended by over 1, 00,000 men and women throughout the country.

Workshop and Seminars
A one day national seminar on gender Parity and Property Rights of Women in association with the India International Center was held on August 23, 2003 at the I.I.C. The seminar was was inaugurated by Mr. Justice Y.K. Sabharwa, Judge, Supreme Court of India while Hon'ble Ms. Justice Leila Seth, former Chief Justice, Himachal Pradesh.

Centre for Health of Women and Children
The Foundation organized a hexa-disciplined medical camp in physiotherapy, ophthalmology, diabetes, Ayurveda and homeopathy; In addition, the medical camp also held a blood donation and eye donation drive. The camps were held in collaboration with physiotherapists, Delhi State Branch and other medical speciallists

Center for Counseling and Legal Aid
The Foundation's Counseling & Legal Aid Center in Delhi, assisted by 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 provide legal back up after the camps.


 
Rural Legal Awareness Programme

This year, the Foundation organized six legal awareness programmes in rural and slum areas of Haryana and Delhi.

The legal awareness programmes designed by the Foundation have proved to be a huge success and have been, since their inception, attended by over 1, 00,000 men and women throughout the country. The legal awareness programmes have been designed to not only educate people about their legal rights and also create an awareness of the various shortcomings in our legal system through our legal awareness programmes we have also been effective in rendering free and timely legal aid. The camps are aimed at spreading a movement encompassing educational upliftment, economic self- reliance, social development and legal reforms. They have received a very positive response and have been Successful in communicating the message of equality and equal dignity amongst women and men in our society several advocate, professors of law, district judges, counselors, activists and lectures are supported by posters and video cassettes.

The subjects covered in these camps were:
(i) Marriage with reference to bigamy, child marriage, maintenance, divorce, adoption, guardianship and property.
(ii) Dowry, female infanticide and foeticide, violence against women and rights against the police.
(iii) Muslim personal law, prevention of polygamy and triple talaq, standard nikahnama, containing fair terms for marriage, divorce, guardianship, mehr, mata and allied topics.
(iv) Propagation of small family norms, emphasizing that a small family is not only beautiful but also strong.

The Foundation continued to hold special legal awareness programmes for Muslim women .The participants expressed strong views against the practice of polygamy and triple talaq, which they agreed, should be removed without any delay.


The participants pledged that they would neither give dowries to their daughters nor take dowries on behalf of their sons; that they would educate their children; strive to prevent child marriage; observe small family norms and not suffer any indignity in life and thereby empower themselves.


This year the Foundation collaborated with the Guild of Service, the Sarojani Naidu Center for Women's Studies, Jamia Milia Islamia, HOPE, Sur Nirman Education & Cultural Society, Saint Joseph's Society, PRAYTN and Maharaja Agarsen College, Jhajhr (Haryana) in organizing the camps.

 
Workshop and Seminars

A one day national seminar on gender Parity and Property Rights of Women in association with the India International Center was held on August 23, 2003 at the I.I.C. The seminar was was inaugurated by Mr. Justice Y.K. Sabharwa, Judge, Supreme Court of India while Hon'ble Ms. Justice Leila Seth, former Chief Justice, Himachal Pradesh High Court delivered the presidential address.


Hon'ble Smt. Justice Sujata Manohar, former Judge of the Supreme Court and a member of the National Human Rights Commission delivered the concluding address, Ms. India Jaising and Prof. Poonam Saxena also addressed the participants. As many as nine background papers were presented by lawyers and academicians on subjects such as: Hindu law; women's property rights under Shri'a Parsi law; Christian law; and Matriliny and the Nayars. A paper was also presented on the Portuguese civil code existing in Goa. The seminar concluded with a wide-ranging discussion amongst the lawyers, academicians and NGOs who participated, resulting in the adoption of a Declaration as under: .


(i) that all laws, statutory or personal, or customs, usages or practices which discriminate against women are violative of the Fundamental Rights of equality and equal dignity.
(ii) That no religion prescribed treating women as inferior to men and discriminating against her.
(iii) That there shall be no discrimination against women to inherit, acquire, possess and own property
(iv) That Parliament and state legislatures must secure, through appreciate legislation. To women full equality with men in matters relating to all human rights including property rights.
The seminar sent a strong message of equal dignity and equality both for women and men as a prime need of the hour in our society.


 
Center for Health of Women and Children

The Foundation in association with the Delhi District Bar Association, Tis Hazari organised a blood donation camp and eye donation camp at Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi, Armed Forces Transfusion Center, Delhi Cantt and the National Society for Prevention of Blindness, AIIMS on 29th March, 2004. The camp was inaugurated by Shri S.N. Aggarwal, Addl. District & Sessions Judge, Delhi. The voluntary Blood Donation Camp received an total of enthusiastic and overwhelming response with a total of 106 units of blood collected. 85 women and men pledged to donate their eyes. A similar blood and eye donation camp in association with the Supereme Court Bar Association, Cardio- Thoracic Science Center, All India Institute of Medical Science Delhi and the National Society for Prevention of Blindness AIIMS was organised at Supreme Court on Tuesday, 13th April, 2004. Hon'ble Mr. Justice V.N. Khare, Chief Justice of India inaugurated the camp.

 

Centre for Health of Women and Children
The Foundation organized a hexa-disciplined medical camp in physiotherapy, ophthalmology, diabetes, Ayurveda and homeopathy; In addition, the medical camp also held a blood donation and eye donation drive. The camps were held in collaboration with physiotherapists, Delhi State Branch and other medical speciallists at the Arya Samaj Mandir, Srinivaspuri, New Delhi. Fourteen doctors from the Indian Association of physiotherapists, ten doctors and optometries from the All India Institute of medical Science, a team of specialists from the Indian Red Cross Society ( for prevention of blindness for prorogating eye donation and collection of donation forms) and one doctors each from the disciplines of Ayurveda, diabetes and homeopathy participated in the medical camp. The vision of 251 persons was tested; 241 participants were given physiotherapy; 141 person received ayurvedic treatment and 40 people received homeopathic treatment Diabetes of 42 persons was checked, 26 persons donated blood and another 50 volunteered to donate their eyes. In all, 830 participants benefited from the various treatments made available at this camp. Quite a good number of poor and deserving cases were given free appliances connected with physiotherapy, diabetes check-up, eye drop and various other medicines in Ayurveda and homeopathy.

 

Center for Counseling and Legal Aid
The Foundation's Counseling & Legal Aid Center in Delhi, assisted by 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 provide legal back up after the camps.

The public Interest Litigation filed by the Foundation 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 is making good progress. The Foundation also rendered legal aid to a number of destitute women and physically challenged citizens.