Annual Report 2006-2007
Every year, since its inception, the Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation invites an eminent person to deliver a lecture on the theme of human rights and gender justice.
For 2006, the twelfth annual memorial lecture was delivered by Hon'ble Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam, then President of India Habital Center. Hon'ble Shri Justice Y.K. Sabharwal, the then Chief guest.
Paying rich tribute to Sunanda Bhandare as a person sensitive to discrimination against women, Dr. Kalam recounted that Justice Bhandare often told her friends, "A women has to excel before she can be regarded as equal to man. "He said she fervently believed the famous edict that a women's place in society marks the level of its civilization." Dr. Kalam also referred to Sunanda Bhandare's paper titled, Judges as Instrument of Social Change presented at the Conference of National Association of Women Judges in Washington. He said it contained important messages for members of the judiciary and legal community.
Justice Bhandare's approach to the dispensation of justice was characterized by conscientious feel for the total welfare of each individual and was completely devoid of any malice or even the slightest tinge of retribution, he said Dr. Kalam covered the vast canvas of the multi-dimensions of the judiciary. He referred to the challenges before the country in uplifting 220 million of its people who live below the poverty line. Dr. Kalam also urged civil society to combat the evil of terrorism and ensure the growth of a nation with a human face.
He said the judiciary had a significant role to play as the provider of justice and the conscience- keeper of citizen in enabling equity, justice and order. He spoke of the need to reduce conflicts by providing fast and cost effective resolutions; providing legal literacy and awareness to citizens; extending all help to the needy sections of society; and setting ethical standards for the rest of society. He said the nation cherished and looked up to the judiciary with its reputation for excellence and impeccable integrity.
In the course of his address, Dr. Kalam was outlined some positive developments in our society and said these developments would help in the justice delivery system. These included, the Right to Information Act mobile legal aid and Look Adalats, the potential of e-judiciary, laws driven by national priorities and landmark judgments on the environment.
Concluding his address, Dr. Kalam was optimistic by saying India will become an economical ly developed nation. But an economically developed status alone has not brought happy societal life in a real sense in many countries. Thus it was important for India to also build values based on our civilizational heritage In the evolution of society. "It is said that a nation fails not because of economic progress but because of an increase in decision maker with small minds, "he said.
In his address, Y.K Sabharwal, Chief Justice of India recalled his long association with Justice Bhandare, who he described as a judge with a robust common sense and champion of gender equality.
The legal awareness programmes designed by the Foundation have provided to be a huge success since their inception and have to data been attended by over one lakh women and men throughout the country.
The legal awareness programmes designed to educate people about their legal rights and also create an awareness of the various shortcomings in our legal system. They are aimed at spreading a movement that encompasses educational upliftment, economic self- reliance, social development, family planning, social and legal reforms to secure to women a life of equal dignity. Through these programmes, the Foundation has also been effective in rendering free and timely; legal aid and health care to the participants and mainly to women.
For 2006-7, the Foundation organized the following programmes, seminars and workshops:
Legal Awareness Camp with a focus on violence against women at village Roshanpura, Najafgarh: This two-day camp on January 12 and 13, 2007 was held in association with the Guild of Service and the Delhi Commission for Women.
Legal Awareness Camp at RCA Degree College, Mathura: this one-day camp on January 29, 2007 was held in association with the Guild of Service. The camp saw a large turn-out of participants including students, professors, political representatives and bureaucrats from the police and Judicial departments.
Legal Awareness Camp at Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan: This two-day camp on March 17 and 18, 2007 was held in association with the Guild of Services. All participate were awarded certificates.
Legal Awareness Camp at Wazirpur Industrial Area: This village awareness camp on the rights of Muslim women was held on May 5, 2007 in association with Sur Nirman at the Wazipur Industrial Area, New Delhi.
Legal Awareness Camp at Tirlok Puri: this camp on August 4, 2007 focused on domestic violence and was held in association with Sur Nirman at Tirlok Puri. The camp included a performance by students that was followed by panel discussion on the effects and ramifications of domestic violence.
The Foundation in association with the Guild of Service, the All India Democratic Women's Association and the Muslim Women's Forum organized a national consultation on the Social, Economic and Educational Status of the Muslim Community in India, otherwise known as the Sachar Commission Report. The Consultation deliberated on the report's finding with relvance to Muslim women and was held at the Gandhi Smriti Darshan Samiti, New Delhi on February 10, 2007.
Several eminent speakers including the Vice President of India, Hon'able Shri Mohammad Hamid Ansari spoke during the consultation. A resolution was adopted and forwarded to the Union government for the speedy and effective implementation of the recommendation of the Sachar Report. The consultation also urged that the report's recommendations percolate down to the grass root level and that the central and state governments draw up a strategic action plan for its speedy and effective implementation.
The Foundation organized jointly with the National Commission for Women, a three ?day workshop on Women and the Law. The workshop was organized for the Complaints and Investigation Cell of the National Commission for Women and was held from August 10-12, 2007. Faculty members for the workshop included senior advocates, advocates from the Supreme Court, professors and additional district judges who spoke on the present working of Family Courts, Lok Adalats, Mediation and Condiliation. The faculty members presented updated papers and their report is now under compilation by the National Commisssion for Women.
Workshop on the legal rights of women with HIV/AIDS: A three-day workshop on the legal rights of women with HIV/AIDS was organized at Daryaganj, Delhi from May 10 to 12, 2007 in association with Sur Nirman.
The Foundation participated in the second National Women's Conference was organized by Action India and the National Secretariat of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 on February 19 and 20, 2007.
Workshop to commemorate the birth centenary of Humayun Kabir: On February 21, 2007 on the occasion of the celebration of the birth centenary of Humayun Kabir, former Union Minister and a great educationist and scholar, a two-day workshop was organized at Jama Masjid, Delhi in association with Sur Nirman.
Participants in the various legal awareness programmes along with their children were provided free medical treatment and also made aware of health care with special emphasis on nutrition for pregnant women, prevention and care of people with HIV/AIDS, the special needs for physically and visually handicapped women, health care of working women at their workplace and health care of old women and children.