We learn from Nupur Sinha, the Executive Director of the Centre for Social Justice (“CSJ”), about the work that goes into using the justice system to fight for the rights of marginalised people, through a network of grassroots lawyers and paralegals. Nupur and the team at CSJ have nurtured this network to provide legal support in several communities, through riots, natural disasters, and even the current pandemic, and also to make systemic interventions through the justice system in relation many problems such as securing the rights and entitlements of adivasis and stopping violence against women.
Who are these grassroots lawyers? How does CSJ train and mentor them? What do they do every day? What work went into their response to the Gujarat riots? How did CSJ refine their methods over time? These are some of the subjects covered in the course of her conversation with Nagrik Learning's Aju John.
Photograph of Nupur Sinha, at a discussion on traditional knowledge and biodiversity at Dhanpur in Gujarat.
Photograph of Shobhini Vohra, a paralegal and law student who went on to become a lawyer and remains a part of CSJ's network.
Photograph of Renuka Khumbani, a lawyer with CSJ's centre in Amreli, Gujarat, guiding a session on women's rights.
Photograph of Arvind Khuman and his colleagues Jagruti Joshi Katira and Renuka Khumbai, leading a legal awareness camp.
Photograph from a monthly review meeting known as "Access to Justice", in 2017.
Prita Jha, "How Hindu Mobs Used Rape As a Weapon Against Women Such as Bilkis Bano During the Gujarat Riots", The Caravan
J.S. Bandukwala, "Finding Small Rays of Sunshine 16 Years After the Darkness of the 2002 Gujarat Riots", The Wire
"Gujarat riots: Despite challenges, human rights lawyers worked to hold perpetrators accountable", excerpt from “Breathing Life into the Constitution: Human Rights Lawyering in India”, by Arvind Narrain and Saumya Uma