More than 54 percent of the people in India haven’t heard of Mediation. Some confuse it with meditation or think it is the same as arbitration. West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (WBNUJS) in collaboration with ODRWays organized the first ever Indian Mediation Week (IMW), a pan-India mediation awareness event, from 11-17 September 2017.
The event was supported by Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India and Supreme Court Mediation and Conciliation Project Committee (MCPC).
Click here to know more about the 2017 mediation drive.
Mediators’ Award Ceremony, Delhi on 7th April, 2018: Felicitation of top 3 Student Ambassadors
As a follow up event to this successful mediation awareness campaign, IMW has collaborated with Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) under Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, for nominating an independent jury to recognize the contributions of top ten individuals in the field of mediation in India.
The mediators’ award ceremony will be held in Delhi on April 7th, 2018. This will be a wonderful networking opportunity for students as lawyers, judges, law firm partners, members of the government, ADR practitioners from across the country will be present here.
The top 3 student ambassadors from across the country will also be felicitated in this event in Delhi. Their travel and stay will be sponsored by team IMW.
But why does this matter?
The state of access to justice in India is appalling. It takes an average of three years to settle a case, with each court hearing costing approximately Rs 518. The litigation cost comes up to 0.4 percent of our GDP.
Even if we were to ignore the cost and time issues, the basic problem with an adjudicative process is that the power to decide your case is given to a third party, usually a judge or an arbitrator. If you are not happy with the decision, you appeal or challenge it. And it goes on.
But does every case need to have a winner and a loser? Don’t you think sometimes both parties are at fault or both parties might be right in their respective positions?
There are always two sides to a story and maybe sometimes you need a solution and not a win. Mediation provides you that.
We are looking for students who are passionate about mediation and improving access to justice in India. The primary responsibility of the student ambassadors is to organize mediation awareness activities in their respective cities.
These mediation awareness activities can range from mediation awareness drives to mediation training programmes to creative activities such flash-mob, street plays etc. You can check-out some of the creative activities which took place during the mediation week here
The purpose of these activities is to generate awareness about mediation amongst the general public.
What is a mediation awareness drive?
In a mediation awareness drive, you directly engage with the public and tell him/her about the process of mediation. For example, students of NUJS, Kolkata in collaboration with the NUJS legal aid society have organized 37 mediation awareness drives till now. We have engaged with around 2853 people and have received around 272 disputes/legal issues.
With the help of ODRways, we collaborated with mediators in Kolkata, who have agreed to provide pro-bono mediation service for the cases we get from these mediation awareness drives.
Also, some people had legal issues such as getting a registered probate will from court, making affidavits, birth certificates or they need some legal guidance. In those situations, the NUJS legal aid society tried to help them.
How to organize a mediation awareness drive?
- You choose a popular area.
- You print around 50-100 pamphlets. The pamphlets contains information about mediation, its benefits and number of mediators/mediation centers they can get in touch with, when they have disputes.
- You go to that area, talk to shopkeepers, traders, people on the road and distribute those pamphlets.
- Some people might share their legal problems with you. You note down the details and their phone numbers. If they have no problems, you leave the pamphlet and give them numbers to call, in case they have any issues in the future.
- You go back to college. You can either refer that problem to your legal aid society, or you can file the case on www.odrways.com, where we will connect them to mediators who can provide them with mediation services. ODRways, recognized by Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India, has 65 mediators in 21 cities across India.
Team Indian Mediation Week in collaboration with ODRways already in touch with some mediation centers/lawyers across India, who will be willing to provide mediation services for the cases they receive from these mediation awareness drives. We will also provide as much logistical assistance as we can, for the mediation awareness drives.
It is a lot of hard work and takes a lot of courage to go to the streets and promote access to justice. But when you directly interact with the people, hear their problems and help them find a solution, it is indeed satisfying.
Your profile will be updated on the social media of Indian mediation week and whatever access to justice work you do will be covered on the Facebook page here.
Interested students can send their resume at [email protected]. Please send us your bio in not more than 250 words with a photograph.
Your bio should also include your tentative plan of action to promote mediation in your city (the areas you plan to conduct a mediation awareness drive in, other mediation related activities). This will be used for your social media introduction.
The deadline is 14th February, 2018.
If there are any queries, feel free to get in touch with
Akshetha Ashok +91-9620606424, Pranjal Sinha +91-8337030883 or Rohit Sharma (+91-9062565741)