Bhubaneswar, 23th March 2021: Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Judge, Supreme Court of India on March 23, 2021 (Tuesday) inaugurated the SAHYOG Web Portal (https://www.sahyogprobono.org/) which is a step towards enhancing access to justice in the country. SAHYOG- A Pro Bono Research Project is a first-of-its-kind idea in an Indian law school, which aims to further the constitutional goal of access to justice, by providing a platform that connects student research assistants to lawyers and organizations who have taken up pro bono cases. Mr. Manan Kumar Mishra, Chairman, Bar Council of India, Prof. (Dr.) NK Chakrabarti, Vice-Chancellor, West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences along with Mr. Ashok Parija, Advocate General, Government of Odisha were the Guests of Honour for the event. The Guest Speakers included two of SAHYOG’s collaborators, Mr. Gopal Sankaranarayanan, Senior Advocate and Ms. Kriti Awasthi, National Director, Justice Ventures International (India) Project.
While addressing the gathering, Justice Kaul said, “I congratulate the team of students at NUJS and the legal aid clinic for this initiative meant at helping law practitioners and the underprivileged citizens by facilitating pro bono legal services through the Sahayog portal. This initiative is of great significance in there trying times of COVID. I wish this initiative and the team behind it great success”.
SAHYOG was founded by Adya Jha and Dakshita Chopra, alumni of the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, who started this project with the hope of aiding those who are not able to bear the expenses that the dispensation of justice unfortunately demands.
Since its inception in September 2019, SAHYOG has contributed over 2500 pro bono hours while collaborating with several lawyers such as Arvind Datar, Yug Chaudhry, Gopal Sankaranarayan, Simon Benjamin, Aditya Wadhwa and organizations such as International Justice Mission, Centre for Social Justice and Justice Ventures International. Their work has encompassed issues of labour law, slum dwellers, tribal communities, and human trafficking victims among others.
In furtherance of their objective, the SAHYOG web portal has been launched to scale up the initiative and widen its reach to a larger cross section of legal professionals and students. This event was conducted in association with the Legal Aid Society, West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences.