Bengaluru, 15 March 2022: India’s largest self-implementing childcare NGO, SOS Children’s Villages of India, recently organized a Legal Awareness Session in Bengaluru to empower women and children with the knowledge of their legal rights and duties. Legal literacy and fundamental rights were discussed extensively with children and caregivers of SOS Children’s Villages of India including Right to Education, Right to Information, Juvenile Justice Act, Child Labour Act, Human Trafficking, amongst others.

The audience was addressed by the chief guest Honourable Shri Justice B. Veerappa, Judge, High Court of Karnataka & Executive Chairman, Karnataka State Legal Services Authority, and guest of honor Shri H. Shashidhara Shetty, District Judge & Member Secretary, Karnataka State Legal Services Authority.

Extending his greetings, Honourable Shri Justice B. Veerappa said, “Serving the vulnerable is such a noble gesture. I feel that after my retirement I would like to come to SOS Children’s Village  Bengaluru to teach the children and become one part of the SOS family. It will give me much happiness. I am impressed to see the children being encouraged to pursue careers in various fields, be it science, commerce or arts. I wish for children to study well and excel in their careers, appear for UPSC, IPS, IAS, and KAS, among others. You may dream to become whatever you like, but the realization of the dream is anchored on determination and hard work.”

Stating the importance of legal awareness, Shri H. Shashidhara Shetty, District Judge & Member Secretary Karnataka State Legal Services Authority, appreciated the organisation’s model. He emphasised on the importance of protecting the rights of children and said, “Children are future leaders; it is our responsibility to provide them care, love and protection empowering them to become responsible citizens. I would like to highlight two things which the children in Child Care Institutions struggle to attain: one is getting an ‘Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana scheme’ that aims to provide free access to health insurance coverage for low-income earners in the country.  Another is not being able to procure a Caste or Community certificate.” He urged the government to incorporate a chapter regarding legal rights and duties in school education, along with an interactive session each week to create legal awareness amongst children.

Around 150 children, ranging from 6 to 18 years of age, along with 30 SOS Mothers, participated in the session.

The session shed light on child rights and how use the respective legal provisions as a tool to fight injustice faced.

About SOS Children’s Villages of India

Established in 1964, SOS Children’s Villages of India provides children without parental care or at the risk of losing it, a value chain of quality care services that goes beyond childcare alone, ensuring comprehensive child development. Our customized care interventions such as: Family Like Care, Family Strengthening, Kinship Care, Short Stay Homes, Foster Care, Youth Skilling, Emergency Childcare and Special Needs Childcare are aimed at transforming lives and enabling children under care into self-reliant and contributing members of society. The organization empowers vulnerable families in communities to become financially independent, thereby enabling them to create safe and nurturing spaces for children under their care. Today, over 6,500 children live in more than 440 family homes, inside 32 SOS Children’s Villages of India, in 22 States/UTs, from Srinagar to Kochi, and Bhuj to Shillong. They are lovingly cared for and nurtured by over 600 SOS Mothers and Aunts. As India’s largest self-implementing childcare NGO, SOS Children’s Villages India directly touches the lives of around 30,000 children every year.