The legal aid project allows those living in tea gardens to have access to legal knowledge and resources relating to land rights, violence, and labour rights. This helps to provide assistance to help achieve justice.
Project Locations: Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling district
Jalpaiguri is a city in the Indian state of West Bengal. The city is located on the banks of the Teesta River which is the second largest river in West Bengal, on the foothills of the Himalayas. The city has become an important trade centre of West Bengal. It is a principal commercial, tourism, transportation, and educational centre of the North Bengal region. It lies 40 kilometers away from Siliguri, which is its twin city.
Jalpaiguri is located at 26.52°N 88.73°E,and it has an average elevation of 75 metres (246 feet). The city lies in the middle of the vast fertile plains (Terai), south of the Himalayas, watered by innumerable rivers and rivulets rising from and flowing down the Himalayas. Other than the Teesta, the Karala River, nicknamed the “Thames of Jalpaiguri”, flows through the city thereby bisecting it into two halves.
DMWSC at Jalpaiguri district started working in 2016, under Mal Block. DMWSC covers the tea plantation of Jogeshchandra, Bakrakote, Leeshriver, Ellenbarie, Manabari, Kumlai and Washabari. DMWSC project allows those living in tea gardens to have access to legal knowledge and resources relating to land rights, violence, and labour rights. This helps to provide assistance to help achieve justice.
Darjeeling District is the northernmost district of the state of West Bengal in Eastern India, and is in the foothills of the Himalayas. The district is famous for its hill stations (often referred to as the Queen of the Hills) and Darjeeling tea. The town of Darjeeling is the district headquarters.
Kurseong, Siliguri and Mirik, the three other major towns in the district, are the sub-divisional headquarters of the district. Kalimpong was one of the subdivisions but on 14 February 2017, it officially became a separate Kalimpong District.
Geographically, the district can be divided into two broad divisions: the hills and the plains. The entire hill region of the district comes under the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, a semi-autonomous administrative body under the state government of West Bengal. This body covers the three hill subdivisions of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Mirik and the district of Kalimpong. The foothills of Darjeeling Himalayas, which comes under the Siliguri subdivision, is known as the Terai. The district is bounded on the north by Sikkim, on the south by Kishanganj district of Bihar state, on the east by Kalimpong district and on the west by Nepal. Darjeeling district has a length from north to south of 18 miles (29 km) and a breadth from east to west of 16 miles (26 km). As of 2011, it was the second least populous district of West Bengal (out of 19), after Dakshin Dinajpur.
DMWSC focus was to initiate the legal cell and to create awareness in the community about the various social injustices of human trafficking, child labour, domestic violence, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual assault and land problems.
To combat occurrences of trafficking, domestic violence, child labour, physical and emotional abuse, sexual assaults, among other violations of human rights in the Dooars region of Jalpaiguri district and in the Tarai region of Darjeeling district
To network with local NGOs who currently work on similar issues and strengthen their existing protection services to achieve our project goal
To initiate community-based monitoring cells in tea gardens, communities, villages and slums near the transit points of Siliguri and Jalpaiguri
To provide rescue and restoration services through linkage and networking with local NGOs, government and non-government shelter homes, police personnel and community people
To provide training programmes for the community vigilance group, project staff, police and railway staff.
To initiate awareness campaigns to stop trafficking, domestic violence, rape, physical abuse, child labour and inform land owners about their rights.
To help communities and government stakeholders develop a sense of ownership of this programme.