Legal Service Day - Awareness on POCSO Act 2012

Report on the celebration of National Legal Services Day

National Legal Services Day is celebrated in India on November 9th every year. This day is observed to commemorate the enactment of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. The objective of celebrating Legal Services Day is to raise awareness about the importance of legal services, promote free legal aid, and emphasize the need to ensure that justice is accessible to all.

Bangalore Institute of Legal Studies observed the National Legal Services Day on 9th and 10th of November 2023 by giving awareness to students about The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012. The objective was to educate students about their rights, empower them with knowledge, and foster a safer environment within the school communities. With the efforts of Prof. Preeti S. Desai, Principal, events on both the days were successful. BILS has initiated the Legal Services Awareness Program for High School students on 9th & 10th on POCSO. On 9th the Principal has organized a program in association with Bangalore High School, Jayanagar. We had invited Dr. A.K Atre, Treasurer, BHS HES as a special invitee. Prof. Preeti S. Desai started the program by addressing the gathering about the significance of the National Legal Services Day followed by Prof. Anwesha Anindita and Prof. Mishal Ann James who gave the information about POCSO. All students from standard 8th to 10th along with their faculty members have witnessed the said program.

On the same day BILS in association with BHS Poornaprajna Vidyanikethana School conducted another session. Dr. K.S Sameera Simha, Joint Secretary, BHS HES was invited as a special invitee. Prof. Preeti S. Desai introduced the students about the importance of the day, Prof. Aysha Fida and Prof. Pushpalata M gave comprehensive information about the POCSO Act, its key provisions. The students from Standard 6th to 10th attended the event along with all the teaching staffs from the school.

On the 10th of November the principal took the initiative of organizing another Legal Awareness Program in association with Bangalore Higher Secondary School, RV Road. The Principal BILS addressed the gathering of Standard 10th students about the role of Legal Services Clinic and the free aid it provides to the citizens along with the value of the National Legal Services Day. This was followed by Prof. Ambika Bhat and Prof. Soumya Srijan who engaged the students through PowerPoint presentation about the key provisions of the POCSO Act and how can one avoid abuse. The primary goal of each program was to provide students with comprehensive information about the POCSO Act, its key provisions, and the legal implications of sexual offenses against children. The programs aimed to equip students with the knowledge and skills to identify signs of abuse, understand the importance of reporting such incidents, and familiarize them with the reporting mechanisms available.

To make the learning among the students more engaging, students were asked hypothetical situations and questions. This increased Awareness and Understanding among the Students and helped them to recognize the importance of their role in preventing and reporting sexual offenses against children. All the programs successfully empowered students with the knowledge and confidence to identify, resist, and report any inappropriate behavior, fostering a sense of personal responsibility. Students became familiar with the reporting mechanisms available and how exactly to respond to such incidents of abuse. The main motive of observing Legal Services Day is to ensure a reminder to each individual about the importance of ensuring justice for all irrespective of socio-economic backgrounds. It encouraged the professors at Bangalore Institute of Legal Studies to contribute proactively to the delivery of legal aid and services and the institution aims to conduct more of such activities in the near future.