In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the North Goa District Legal Service Authority (NGDLSA) and Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (GSCPCR) engaged in a joint effort in the late birth registration of 63 children and adults belonging to the Wanarmare nomadic tribals at Virnoda, Pernem.
The late birth registration applications were taken up for hearing by the Civil Judge Senior Division at Pernem and the same were disposed of on the same day after hearing both parties on merit. The NGDLSA made the effort and took the initiative to see that all the applicants were given free legal aid by engaging the services of the empanelled lawyers on the roll of the Taluka Legal Service Committee, Pernem, and the respective lawyers had consented and agreed to give quick services as regards drafting and registration of these applications before the court.
The Civil Judge Senior Division at Pernem has assured that all will be given cooperation by fixing these matters on her daily board and that she will take them on priority without causing any inconvenience to the other litigants.
The request for late birth registration was raised by Peter F Borges, Chairperson, GSCPCR and NGDLSA, who, having obtained permission from the Executive Chairman of the Goa State Legal Service Authority, took up this drive for the underprivileged and unreached section of society.
‘Birth registration is a fundamental human right that opens the door to other rights, including education and healthcare, participation and protection,’ said Peter F Borges. They were at particular risk of statelessness because their situation makes it difficult for them to register births or obtain related documents. They are vulnerable because of their nomadic lifestyle and lack of documents establishing their identity, he further said.
Meanwhile, Childline North Goa conducted an awareness programme on the rights of children. The Commission would further ensure access to other social and legal protection schemes, including access to voting and food security for all tribal people. The next step now would be to ensure 100 per cent birth registrations at Nirankhal, Ponda, where the other settlement of the Wanarmare tribals resides.