Asim Sarode is a name that has become synonymous to scrupulous justice. He has represented every tender and impaired class as a lawyer/activist throughout Maharashtra. He believes in upholding the democratic values and has stood up for it fearlessly. He has initiated cases on untouched topics like social boycott by caste Panchayat which has been instrumental in bringing about the law. He actively participated in the drafting ‘The Maharashtra Protection of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2016’and the draft suggested by him got approved by the State Government. Asim’s law practice is beyond any description as it involves lot of constructive activism and a creative socio-legal work. He has also drafted ‘National Agricultural Produce Price Confirmation Tribunal Act 2018’ and it has been presented in the Parliament by MP Rajiv Satav.
He completed his education from the reputed ILS Law College in 1999. He has also completed Diploma in Journalism and Communication. Later he completed LL.M from Bharati Vidyapeeth. He is a practicing lawyer, writer, an orator and commentator on Constitution. He is known for handling very sensitive issues. Some of his cases have brought about policy level change.
He is extensively working at the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on environmental cases. He has filed some Environment Interest Litigation (EIL) to bring about policy changes and the decisions in some of these cases are landmark. He is handling variety of issues from Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat in the environmental court for which he is referred as ‘Captain Planet’. He also appears in criminal and family matters. He has represented marginalized people in Public Interest Cases. He has brought larger issues for discussions, representing clients in their cases. He used innovative strategies in dealing with cases which has been useful for effective implementation of the laws.
As a lawyer he is sharp enough to use his unusual ways of connecting with people. He toured various districts of Maharashtra to understand how implementation and non-implementation of laws affects the lives of people. His main aim is to increase access to justice for people whose rights are violated and are unable to approach either because they are not aware of for the violations or do not have the means to approach.
He was instrumental in training lawyers from various districts of Maharashtra to do pro-bono work as part of social engineering. He started a legal aid movement with this work and has been mentoring young lawyers in the area of human rights.
Asim has written a book in Marathi on Domestic Violence and the Law in very user-friendly manner. He has an experience of handling difficult situations in such cases with an out of the box thinking and thus has been able to demonstrate results in his cases. He has drafted a book by the name ‘Point of View’ which is a compilation of articles that he wrote on various issues of human rights.
He has published more than 1000 articles in various newspapers and magazines on current issues. He is regularly invited on various electronic medium as a subject expert in their talk shows.
He is the recipient of the prestigious Ashoka Fellowship from Washington that recognized him as social entrepreneur for his work in the socio legal field. He is the only male advocate to receive the Majlis Fellowship that is given to women advocates to work on women rights.
Asim’s work on HIV is documented by BBC. Among the 17 young people chosen from India, Asim is the only lawyer selected as the Yuva Star by BBC for their program ‘Haath Se Haath Mila’ in which actress Urmila Martondkar interviewed him. Asim was selected by the Times of India Group for their ‘India Poised’ Campaign in the year 2007. Asim was one of the first 3 in ‘Lead India’ Campaign by the Times of India group from Pune. He was selected amongst 160 Young Leaders from the world and represented India at the ‘Young Leaders Summit’ in Japan. He has visited the courts in Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia and had meetings with the lawyers and judicial officers in these countries.
He spent time at the Asian Human Rights Commission AHRC in Hong Kong to understand the work there. He is the recipient of many other awards and recognition too. He is invited to speak on various current issues across Maharashtra. He is the rare kind of lawyer who has travelled Maharashtra to understand socio-legal issues and done human rights auditing of various districts in Maharashtra.
On World Stage-
Asim was invited to the Superior Court of Orange County in USA as an expert witness in Indian laws. Recently Asim attended the United Nations 40th Human Rights Council meeting at Geneva, Switzerland and raised range of issues from police beating, persons living with disability, Farmers suicide and Purity test tradition of Caste Panchayats, need of setting up functional human rights courts in India.
Dr. Smita Singalkar
Dr. Smita Singalkar
Adv. Smita Singalkar is a practicing Lawyer at Bombay High Court (Bench at Nagpur). She is an Executive Member of National Green Tribunal Bar Council, Member of District Criminal Injuries & Rehabilitation Board (Govt of Maharashtra), Ex. Member Worked with National Commission for Women (Fact-Finding Committee for Rape Case at Murmadi), Socio-Legal Consultant & Trainer & Socio-Legal Writer. Smita provides free legal aid to the prisoners of the Central Prison in Nagpur and is empaneled with the District Legal Aid Services Authority. She conducts legal awareness classes for marginalized groups. Her interventions in domestic violence cases created a lot of awareness amongst the lawyers and judiciary. She is working proactively on the human rights issues to increase the ‘Access to Justice’ for vulnerable classes.
She is participating in conducting programs against Global Warming with children and initiating the participation of school going children in the campaign against using firecrackers. She brought the issues of child labor and child exploitation into a discussion on public agenda through her articles in the newspapers.
Mrs. Rama Sarode
Mrs. Rama Sarode
Rama Sarode has 18+ years of experience as a trainer on socio-legal issues. She is the member of Local Committee for Pune District to handle cases related to sexual harassment of women at workplace. She works as external member with 15+ Corporates, NGOs and educational institutions. She is associated with MyGrowthZone, a digital learning organization and has created online training modules in Prevention of Sexual Harassment.
She has worked with several NGOs in various capacities on issues related to women, children, advocacy, HIV, rights of sex workers and Men having Sex with Mem (MSM) and Prisoners.
She is a member of the core group that is working on issues related to End of Life.
She trains students from International and National Institutes on applications of law.
She is also working as a guest faculty with various education institutes and colleges.
She has completed her LL.M from Pune University and M.A (Sociology) from SNDT. She is a certified trainer under International NLP Trainer’s Association (INLPTA).
She is a recipient of award of Maharashtra State Gandhi Forum, Sarathi Award and Sundersji Institute’s Achiever’s Award recognizing her work in the field of human rights.
Mr. Sanjay Jadhav
Mr. Sanjay Jadhav
Sanjay Jadhav belongs to a tribal community and used to work as a street vendor in Yavatmal. He was passionate about learning and building his skills and capacity so he joined Human Rights and Law Defender in Pune. He now works as Office manager and takes care of administration of Sahyog as well as Adv. Asim Sarode and Associates.