When it comes to understanding the legal system of a country, many would call it a complex and difficult task.
In the backdrop of this, Nishant Gambhir and his friend Eklavya Dahiya started ‘Lex Do It’, a social and educational non-profit enterprise which aims to educate and empower citizens by providing free legal assistance.
The organisation was started in April, 2015.
Gambhir was constantly approached by friends and family members with legal questions asking about Right To Information (RTI) and Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filing.
Talking about what made him take up this cause, Nishant said:
“As a law student, I frequently visit places during internships and pro-bono activities, where I came across people, who desperately need legal assistance, seeing these people as well as my friends and colleagues around, I realized, how vast the information gap amongst all sections in the society, Rich-Poor, Educated-Uneducated, when it came to legal rights.”
Based out of Delhi, the enterprise also provides Mental Health Assistance and works on some key projects such as, Know your Guardians, Know your Rights, Lex Guardians and Lex Insiders to help people at the ground level.
The Know Your Guardians campaign is focused towards bridging the gap between the common man and the guardians of the legal system, namely the policemen and the lawyers, which many believe are corrupt.
Talking about this project Gambhir once said that people don’t realise how much work they do and said:
“Most people believe that the whole system is corrupt. But we rarely realise the amount of work they do and the mental and physical stress they are under. We have created a series of documentaries on agencies, which are out there taking care of people and making a difference. These documentaries follow their lives without being judgmental and let the viewers decide the side of lawyers and policemen, which is usually not shown in cinema or media.”
On the Mental Health Assistance programme, he said:
“Legal process is tedious. It comes with a lot of stress for everyone involved. If you have a court case against a family member, it will probably spoil your mental health. This is the reason we have a mental health arm as part of which we have industry experts training volunteers to counsel those in need of assistance. This team also provides medical help to policemen, who are always under a lot of stress.”
Even though the enterprise is less than a year old, it already has a team of more than 200 interns and volunteers working with them on these projects for free.
They regularly conduct camps and campaigns to spread the awareness about law and policies in India. But like any new project, ‘Lex Do It’ too has been facing challenges.
These kinds of projects require a lot of funding and resources, which at present are lacking. The initiative also needs to take permissions from the government for many of its projects, which at times are problematic and can take up a lot of time.
Though on the positive side, the response for these projects have been good, with Gambhir having helped thousands of people in the last year and a half.
Apart from getting help from friends, ‘Lex Do It’ has received support from people belonging to police, government and judiciary backgrounds.
While the project is still in its initial stages, Gambhir has huge plans for it and is about to publish a journal for young legal professionals, which he hopes would be out by in April, 2016.
He, along with this his team, is also working on three social documentaries that are under production and would help people understand the legal system better.
He is also in the final stages of conducting an all India conference soon.