Aajeevika Bureau (AB) is a public service initiative, which provides services and solutions seasonal migrant labour and informal workers who are often outside the grid o of the state’s services and institutions. This includes, registration and ID card services, healthcare, finance, skills training, and legal aid and education
The Legal Education, Aid and Advocacy (LEAD) cell is an important and pioneering unit within AB, and its work is central to achieving the organisation’s goals.
LEAD works for enhancing access to justice and legal protection available to the most marginalised sections of the workforce. It demonstrates an institutional response for grievance redressal, and activates state, employers and workers to address legal disputes facing informal and migrant workers. On the one hand, it works on ensuring legal empowerment and literacy among informal and migrant workers, such that they are able to access legal protection at their workplace, as well as social security for leading a basic dignified life. At the same time, it also provides free legal aid services including mediation and litigation for resolving workplace disputes, as well as support for approaching and activating the police. It runs a toll free national helpline for workers in distress.
LEAD provides an important model that can be replicated or scaled across contexts, in the absence of platforms for ensuring access to justice for the informal and migrant worker communities.
Santosh is a Programme Manager, leading Aajeevika Bureau’s legal aid work which operates across western India. He guides and supervises legal aid and education for informal and migrant workers and their families. He also mentors collectives of migrant workers and liaises with government departments, corporates and other NGOs. Previously, Santosh worked at the Indian Institute of Health Management and Research, Jaipur. He holds a Master’s degree in Sociology and Political Science from University of Rajasthan, Jaipur. As member of this network, I seek to share learnings and experiences on legal empowerment of, and enabling access to justice for vulnerable socio-economic groups, and receive inputs and knowledge from similar attempts across contexts and locations.
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