Consultation meetings with journalists for massive awareness raising
For improving massive awareness on village courts among rural poor and marginalized people, 27 consultation meetings on “Role of Media” were held with journalists in project’s working districts during April-June 2018 following leadership of district administrations with support from AVCB II Project. Approximately 1,100 representatives from national and local print and electronic media participated in these meetings.
DDLGs chaired these meetings while DCs of respective districts and Divisional Commissioners were present as Chief Guests. As special guests, Additional District Magistrates (ADMs), Police Supers (SPs), presidents of local press clubs, Deputy Director-Information ensured their presence. In these meetings, DCs said, ‘… in villages, people usually come to police stations or district courts for resolving even petty disputes which incurred their notable time and money.’ They also urged the journalists to promote village courts and its services to rural peoples particularly among poor and vulnerable women as well as marginalized people. Speakers as special guests said, disputes over property and family matters are common causes for filing cases which are increasing backlogs in resolving cases. However, these can easily be resolved through VCs which might reduce backlogs of cases (70%-80%). As a result, access to justice for rural people will be ensured along with retaining social peace.
As participants, journalists of these meetings provided several recommendations including ensuring regular updates on village courts from district administration. They also shared their commitments to air/publish positive news, features on VCs along with sharing messages to community people for encouraging them to receive its services.