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To aim at seamlessly reintegrating undertrial accused persons into society, Delhi State Legal Services Authority launches ‘Project Saksham’

9th May 2024: Delhi: In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) has completed the first phase of ‘Project Saksham, a chance at new beginnings’, aimed at initiating comprehensive rehabilitation and reintegration of undertrial accused persons into society. The project seeks to equip these individuals with the necessary skills for successful reintegration and decrease the likelihood of recidivism. As part of this initiative, DSLSA organised a ‘Job Mela’ at Rouse Avenue Courts Complex to facilitate job placements for these individuals, specifically within the hospitality industry. 83 Letters of Intent were handed over to deserving candidates by companies in the hospitality, food service, and healthcare sectors today.

The issue of undertrial incarceration is multifaceted, with individuals detained awaiting trial facing a myriad of challenges. Recognizing the urgency of an intervention in this regard, DSLSA has conceived “Project Saksham” as a holistic response to the complex needs of undertrial accused persons. Last year, Max Healthcare Foundation initiated a substantial corporate CSR partnership with Tihar Jail, facilitating skill training for over several undertrials to support sustainable livelihoods.

However, with few opportunities for the undertrials to utilize their skills for their rehabilitation after their release on bail, they continue to face poverty and stigma. It is this issue that Project “Saksham” aims to address.

All participants in the Job Mela have completed the skill training for Food and Beverage Service Stewards, conducted in accordance with the Tourism and Hospitality Skill Council (THSC) guidelines. The National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) serves as the certifying agency for this National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) Level 4 course. With DSLSA at the forefront, the benefits of this certification are now percolating to undertrials to enable them to lead productive lives upon release on bail, facilitating their successful reintegration into society.

Speaking on the project, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Manmohan, Acting Chief Justice of the High Court of Delhi Executive Chairperson, DSLSA, said: “Project Saksham emerges as a beacon of hope amidst the darkness, offering a lifeline to those who have lost their way. By focusing on the holistic rehabilitation and reintegration of undertrial accused persons, we aim to break the cycle of recidivism and pave the way for a more just and inclusive society.”

In a significant step, the Para Legal Volunteers of Delhi State Legal Services Authority conducted visits at the residences of the undertrials recently released on bail who were residents of Delhi and whose correct addresses were available. These individuals were informed about the available career opportunities and were motivated to participate in the job mela. The persons residing in other States and Union Territories who had, for some time, been incarcerated in Delhi Prisons were also contacted individually as well as through the respective State Legal Services Authorities. The benefits of the project have also been extended to those family members of the undertrials who are in need of employment, so as to ensure a holistic approach to rehabilitation. Under the able guidance and stewardship of Hon’ble Mr. Justice Manmohan, Acting Chief Justice, High Court of Delhi and Executive Chairperson, Delhi State Legal Services Authority, the project was conceptualized and executed by Sh. Naveen Gupta, Ld. Special Secretary, DSLSA, Sh. Mridul Gupta, Ld. Additional Secretary, DSLSA, Sh. Abhinav Pandey, Ld. Secretary (Litigation), DSLSA, and the Secretaries of District Legal Services Authorities of Delhi. Industry partners, including skill development agencies such as Primero: Skills and Training and THSC: Tourism and Hospitality Skill Council, along with employers like Max Healthcare, Barbeque-Nation Hospitality Limited, Eduvantage Private Limited, Quess Corp Limited, Impresario Entertainment, and AGR Talent Consulting LLP, collaborated to make this initiative successful. Moreover, in the Job Mela, the undertrial accused persons not only had an opportunity to secure employment but also volunteered to become Community Paralegal Volunteers with DSLSA, making a meaningful contribution to society and rewriting the narrative of their lives.


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