Mediation as a method of dispute resolution is not new to India; in fact it is an integral part of Indian culture. It has been in practice from the Mahabharata period to village panchayats resolving issues through mediation. In mediation, two or more people come together to try to work out a resolution to their dispute. A neutral third person, called the mediator, is there to help them along. Therefore, disputes are resolved through mutual settlements rather than approaching the courts.
Unfortunately, the biggest challenge mediation faces in India is that people are unaware of it as a dispute resolution process or they misunderstand the manner in which mediation works. Various awareness campaigns and drives have been conducted over the years in order to promote mediation. Still, the lack of awareness about it is rampant amongst Indians.
In order to create and spread awareness, Indian National Bar Association conducted a mediation drive in two cities of Delhi NCR; Noida & Greater Noida on 31st August’ 2018. More than 50 student volunteers participated in the drive to impart knowledge about mediation in the two cities. The Drive was organised by Puneet Kumar, Executive member of Student Section (INBA) and was led by Sakshi Madan, Ankita Dawra and Neha Bargotra. The drive was supported by Mr. Kaviraj and Mrs. Vinakshi ma’am and encouraged by Ms. Bhawna Gandhi.
The volunteers were asked to meet at a rendezvous point and were explained how to interact with people and what knowledge to impart with them. They were given a survey which required them to take down the name, phone number, address and pending case (if any) of the people they interacted with. They were also given pamphlets to be distributed among the general public. The students interacted with more than 200 people to spread awareness. Students worked in a team of 2-3 people and targeted Sector 18 of Noida and Tugalpur Village near Pari Chowk of Greater Noida. Mr. Pallav Aneja was declared as the best volunteer.
Teams after explaining the meaning and advantage of mediations to the general public asked them if they have any case pending which could be sent for mediation. Public was not so forthcoming with their court problems but still various teams were able to find around 20 pending cases eligible for mediation. Students distributed pamphlets which had information regarding mediation and two phone numbers of the mediation cell of INBA in case any help is required. Mediation in India especially is very important as the courts are already overburdened with cases and mediation is a way to dispute resolution with further burdening the courts of the country.
The drive was in lieu of initiative taken up by Indian Mediation Week to spread awareness of mediation as an alternate dispute resolution – ‘Suljhao, Magar Pyar Se’
By- Neha Bargotra
Chairperson- Reporter’s Committee