The laymen in India are unfamiliar with the statutory provisions of the country.
Accordingly legal consciousness assists with building public abilities relating
with law and equity framework consequently enabling an individual in regards to
issues including the law, participation in legal development, admittance to
equity so forward.
Anna-Marie Marshall explains in her words:
People need to take the initiative
to realize their rights and this initiative, in turn, depends upon the
availability and relevance of legal scheme to people confronting problems.
motto behind the article is to channelize the legal awareness programme in India
by providing an effective strategy to spread awareness from the grass-root
level, including the aid of youths, modern technology and governmental agencies.
The Latin phrase ignorantia juris non-excusat
which provides ignorance of the
law is no excuse. This principle is applied to laymen as well. Knowledge of
laws/ remedies of one's country enables a person to stand for herself/ himself
and fight against injustice in society.
Legal awareness, also known as legal consciousness, is the empowerment of
individuals regarding issues involving the law.
Legal awareness helps to promote consciousness of legal culture, participation
in the formation of laws and the rule of law.
Lack of public legal awareness
About 70% of the people living in rural areas are illiterate and even more than
that percentage of the people are not aware of the right conferred upon them by
law. It has been discovered that even literate people on occasion lack
Non-awareness among the marginalized sections not only resulted in
denial of their fundamental rights but also due to the legal incomprehensiveness
on their part they were not able to avail the benefits of the government welfare
schemes and plans.
Importance of Legal Awareness
Legal Awareness is a powerful instrument for the following purposes:
Through the activism of the citizens they can challenge the
injustice, also the rights furnished under the Constitution can be made real.
Access to Justice:
Is impartial, transparent and nondiscriminatory to all
citizens and it can be facilitated at the maximum outreach through legal
Remedies guaranteed by the law
: People at large can be motivated to protest
against injustice with the aid of practical knowledge about the various
machinery/organs of the Justice delivery system available for redressal of their
Knowing the law of the company is also important to protect oneself from being
subjected to unfair treatments and to avoid legal punishments in different
Obstacles in Legal Awareness
In a note to the UN General Assembly 67th session, the UN Secretary-General
states that the deprivations that persons living in poverty encounter throughout
their lives lack access to quality education and reduced access to information.
limited political voice and social capital translate into lower levels of legal
literacy and awareness of their rights, creating social obstacles to seeking
According to Hanna Hasl-Kelchner:
At times lack of zeal among lawyers make them
prone to saying no and killing a deal rather than working through the issues and
finding solutions that are both practical and legally sound.
Strategy to spread Legal Awareness:
Role of Legal Journalism
- Children and young people can be instrumental as a target group to raise
awareness and education are one of the powerful weapons to unfold legal
consciousness in our society. Elementary knowledge of the law is crucial as
it is turning into a compulsory prerequisite for our society due to a rapid
surge in crimes, frauds, misrepresentation, illegal activities, infringement
or suppression of civil human rights thus eventually settling for injustice.
Educating the senior secondary students via conducting summer-winter interactive
lectures can be advantageous since they can at least have fundamental knowledge
about the law in India.
At the university level, irrespective of the course pursued by the students,
there is a need to arrange seminars, workshops, exhibitions etc dealing with
fundamental rights, protection laws for women, environmental laws and various
schemes and programmes furnished by the government for the marginalized section
of our population. Under the guidance of the nearby NGOs, volunteer groups the
students can assist with elevating the awareness campaigns at maximum outreach
thereby reducing the pressing factor upon the government organisations, law
students, attorneys and others.
- Legal Aid Committee can carry out awareness programmes more efficiently as
legal expertise and law students can help enforce the basic rights of the
Legal Volunteer Committees organized at the university level need to
prepare a strategy:
- Firstly, they need to visit rural areas to have a clear insight of the problems
encountered by the people at the grass-roots level one requires to have direct
communication with the people therein.
- Secondly, the people who have shallow knowledge of reading can be furnished with
pamphlets in their local language containing information including addresses,
contact list of the pro-bono volunteers this can help an individual who gets
entangled in situations wherein his/her rights are being suppressed or in case
of need of legal assistance.
- Thirdly, monthly surveys are an important part of any awareness programme to
monitor the plan and work upon the loopholes and make necessary adjustments to
- The students can organise a monthly street play or storytelling focusing on
the rural audience in various regions as the traditional folk media is not only
deeply rooted in our way of life yet additionally it's more close to the hearts
of people, especially in vast rural areas. Street plays for ages have been the
most popular medium of communication and amusement in India can be used as a
medium to sensitize the crowd about their rights and motivate them to take
- Art as a medium for promoting social change:
The art including the paintings and posters truly portray the sentiments of
the people and they feel connected with it. Even an illiterate man can
understand the language of art so the volunteer groups, local NGOs should
focus on creating posters and charts that reflect the fight against racism,
torture and custodial violence, over-exploitation of natural resources and
so forth thus representing consumers' rights, women and child rights,
equality of genders thereby driving people towards the change. An
eye-catching image with a concise and simple key message is always
- Weekly free medical camps particularly for women need to be encouraged
as they can be sensitized about the laws about female foeticide, sex-selective abortion,
medical negligence and more.
- Strategically located play boards in public places (railway stations,
bus stations, market places, in front of major government offices and police
stations) are also used to help government officials, police, and the public
to understand the spirit of the law.
Law undergraduates must work on writing a legal blog, article and extensive
research paper on legal issues for this they can enrol themselves in a
continuing education programme, certificate course, internships, blogging so
We live in an era where the majority of the population is connected through
social platforms so it's pivotal to impart transparent, reliable and unbiased
information through reports, studies and infographics to the public at large to
present the real stage of society. Content with evidence-based data and
arguments would assist the public at large to comprehend complex legal subjects
easily thus consequently disseminating awareness worldwide.
Legal Literacy Campaigns
Media as the most popular tool to spread awareness
- Generally the people are reluctant to approach the courtroom due to
prolonged and time-consuming proceedings. Delays often force potential
litigants to forfeit litigation. The panel needs to stress resolving legal
confrontations by explaining to them the positive attributes of dispute
settlement by way of ADR
(Alternative Dispute Resolution) and Mediation.
- Legal-based mobile apps, pro-bono aid applications on the smartphone need to
be emphasized for expeditious and convenient means of communication between an
attorney and his client.
- For the visually, hearing and speaking impaired section they can be
educated about Mono Voix, Ear Hear android applications that can help them communicate
conveniently with others. The panel must necessarily comprise members who can
communicate in sign language, make liberal use of hand gestures to sensitize
such classes of people.
- Information regarding sensitive topics can be shared with the aid of
animated images, examples in comics that are helpful to draw the attention
of children and people.
- Networking (online and offline) including creating and maintaining a
network of contacts to share and disseminate information to build
The Indian mass media comprises over 300 TV channels that reach over 112
households, 50,000 newspapers and magazines having a readership of over 250
million, around 300 radio stations, over a thousand feature films in 18
languages made yearly and a plethora of electronic, print, digital and
The 21st century has witnessed the necessity of cell phones on an equal
footing with food and clothing in our lives. Nowadays cell phones are even
common in rural areas.
Social media platforms are the best and effective ways to operate a campaign
worldwide. Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp are some of the trending platforms for
every user as they are fast, convenient and conceivably just empowering
Webinars, documentary films can be frequently conducted on social platforms.
Viral marketing is a kind of marketing wherein messages are circulated rapidly
from one individual to another. An audio-video, presentation or any sort of
content can be created and simply one can put it on the internet.
Debates, information programmes, news, documentaries and advertisements on
television contribute to our education and knowledge.
Seeking the aid of Government
Unlike Uk where both print and broadcast media are self-regulated. In India, the
press and media are regulated by government guidelines and to some extent
influenced by political authority.
The panel working in the direction of legal campaigning can arrange for joint
meetings with the government officials where emphasis can be put to sponsor
display of advertisements and slogans related to legal consciousness on the
television as it is easily accessible to all.
Written or oral submissions along with draft bills can be proposed to the
Engaging the media by conducting media campaigns.
The campaign should cover these two dialects as well as Hindi and some even in
We have witnessed the Independence movements, prohibition on sati and child
marriage, women's right to remarry were accomplished due to constant endeavours
and support of individuals.
Thus the revolution can only be bought if everyone took the responsibility
to educate themselves and others about the law, many futile legal cases can be
avoided and the judicial system can focus more efficiently on more pressing
cases. Last but not least, citizens will develop a deeper sense of patriotism
and kinship towards one another.
- Guidelines for implementation of legal awareness programmes by National
Commission for Women, September 2019.
- Available at https://blog.ipleaders.in/legal-awareness/ last visited 5 August,
- Available at https://legalserviceindia.com/article/l361-Legal-Aid-Movement.html last
visited 5 August, 2021.
- Report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights page 6
from Note by the Secretary General on Extreme poverty and human rights for UNGA
67th session A67/278 Distri:General 9 Aug 2012.
- Pulikuthi Il, George. Legal Literacy for Social Empowerment jananeethi.org/.
- Available at https://www.sdgaccountability.org/working-with-informal-processes/raising-awareness-through-public-outreach-campaigns last
visited 6 August, 2021.
- Available at https://blog.ipleaders.in/regulation-of-broadcasting-of-media-in-india/amp/ last
visited 6 August, 2021.
- Available at https://blog.ipleaders.in/legal-awareness/ last visited 7 August,
- Available at:
visited 7 August, 2021.
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Shweta Pathania
Authentication No: AU35569078653-28-0821