KELSA initiative: Kerala to take care of convicts' kin

Adalats to resolve dependants' socio-economic issues.

Kochi: In a first, the state has decided to extend legal aid, compensation and other benefits to dependants of convicts by launching Legal Aid for Socio- Economically Challenged Dependants of Convicts Scheme 2017. The plan is to support dependants of convicts through social security measures including child protection, parents’ management, education, housing, employment and health. The law now does not address these issues. Kerala State Legal Services Authority (KELSA), which announced the scheme, is planning to conduct adalats to resolve dependants’ socio-economic issues.

KELSA member secretary K. Sathyan said “the scheme’s main objective is to provide legal aid for financial sustenance, education and other welfare issues of convicts’ families, who have to fend for themselves once their breadwinners are locked up for years.” Such hapless lot would now get protection and social and economic backing available to any other citizen. “It is necessary to protect women and children from exploitation as well. Dependants of convicts are equally entitled to education, work, living wages and a decent standard of life. Legal services institutions have to play a major role against administrative inaction to support the cause of dependants of convicts” the scheme said.

District-level legal service authorities (DLSAs) will collect information about convicts serving out the sentence of imprisonment and details of their families and other dependants. DLSAs will identify socio-economic issues faced by convicts’ kin. The scheme stipulates effective coordination of Government departments and creation of a platform where rights of dependents of convicts are respected.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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