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This centre is conceptualised to promote the concept of ageing with dignity. Senior citizens can also avail the facilities of free Legal Aid and Police assistance from the help desk established within the centre.
Jammu and Kashmir High Court Chief Justice and the Patron-in-Chief of the J&K Legal Services Authority, Gita Mittal, e-inaugurated the Ahata-e-Waqar, a government-sponsored and operated Day Care-cum-Recreation Centre for senior citizens in the Samba District on Monday.
Justice Rajesh Bindal, Executive Chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir State Legal Services Authority and Justices Tashi Rabstan, Sanjeev Kumar, Sindhu Sharma, Rajesh Oswal , VC Koul, Puneet Gupta and Javed Iqbal Wani were also present on the occasion.
Principal District and Sessions Judge, Samba, Mohammad Akram Choudhary delivered the welcome address and explained the purpose and objective underlying the creation of these facilities at the Court Complex at Samba.
He explained that the Ahata-e-Waqar shall be a place of pride for the elderly citizens to spend their quality time in the company of their friends and which shall also serve as a place for celebrations of birth and marriage anniversaries and other events.
This place shall be used by elderly citizens for promoting the concept of ageing with dignity, he said. The senior citizens can also avail the facilities of free Legal Aid and Police assistance from the help desk established within the centre.
He enumerated the concept of Vulnerable Victim Witness Deposition Complex, situated on the first floor of the District Court Complex, as an initiative to improve the response of the justice dispensation system and ensuring sensitivity towards vulnerable witnesses to minimize their repeated victimization.
In her Presidential address, Chief Justice Gita Mittal highlighted the importance and necessity of creating such facilities in all districts for their maximum utilization by the persons in need.
She referred to the already existent facilities in the districts of the Union Territory and the beneficial purpose being served by them. She underscored the necessity of the Ahata-e-Waqar facility as being a place of pride for the senior citizens and a place they can call their own.
She referred the senior citizens as being treasures of experience. The importance of maintaining active help desks of Legal Services and Police assistance was also stressed upon, where the senior citizens can seek legal advice.
Chief Justice Mittal also referred to the Vulnerable Witnesses Deposition Complex as being a very important concept of the dispensation of justice where the vulnerable victims can depose in a safe environment without any pressure or fear.
She highlighted the importance of the Creche facility as being the need of the hour in the present times when both parent are working and require a safe and suitable place for their children to cater to their mental and physical health. She lauded the efforts of District Judiciary Samba in creating and developing these facilities.
In the Key note address, Justice Rajesh Bindal threw light on the importance of the facilities and also maintaining them in a qualitative manner through a robust mechanism.
In her inaugural address, Justice Sindhu Sharma discussed the concept of the three facilities in detail and underscored the importance of the facilities for the use of Senior Citizens, working parents and for the convenience of Vulnerable Witnesses.
The online audience were given links of the three newly inaugurated facilities. A virtual tour of the Ahata-e-Waqar, Vulnerable Victim Deposition Complex and the Creche were given separately.
The Complex has been designed for Vulnerable Witnesses including the victims of sexual offences and child witnesses of various heinous crimes who need to be protected from undue influence or intimidation from the accused.
Situated on the ground floor, the Creche has been established for the children of working parents including Advocates, Clerks, Officers and Court staff and is available for children between the age group of 6 months up to 6 years. The Creche has reading materials, play material and other activities suitable for the holistic development of children of working parents.
The programme was witnessed online by various participants including Judicial Officers, senior citizens, Advocates, officers from the administration, para legal volunteers and retainer lawyers of the District Legal Services Authorities besides social activists.