Indian Mediation Week (IMW) is India’s largest student-run campaign that aims to make justice accessible by increasing awareness about ADR/ ODR as an alternate legal dispute resolution mechanism. Our motto for IMW is ‘Access to Justice’. Indian Mediation Week is an initiative by ODRways (rebranded as SAMA). What was started by a group of students from the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS), Kolkata, has now transformed into a national movement with the constant aim towards our motto ‘Access to Justice’. IMW has been supported by the Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India and Supreme Court Mediation and Conciliation Project Committee (MCPC), and Niti Aayog in the past.
The idea behind the IMW event is to bridge the gap between awareness in the general public and statutes. Mediation and other forms of ADR have been provided in our statutes however, considering the mammoth size of our population and the diverse range of cases, the mainstream judiciary cannot fulfil the objective therein unless it is augmented by the other stakeholders. In addition to this, the legal literacy in the country is also inadequate. It would not be wrong to say that many of us are aware of the legal provisions however, when asked about the procedural aspect we are not familiar with the same. This is where the role of legal awareness programmes such as ours becomes pertinent.
We at Indian Mediation Week aim to explain the nitty gritty of ADR/ODR to the general masses. The speciality of this campaign is that the audience of outreach is not defined. We are in conversation with the students, their parents, organizations, public bodies, private bodies, lawyers, lawmakers and many others. Our ambassadors appointed from the long list of zealous students of various prestigious colleges and universities from India and around are the key players in this. They work under the guidance of the Core IMW Team.
This year our special focus is on Mediation. In the legal arena, this has become part and parcel of almost every civil and matrimonial suit. Our Honourable Judges have openly patronized the same and are more than willing to refer the matters for mediation as and when the parties mutually agree. We too believe that nothing is more suitable than the amicable resolution of a dispute. This not only shortens the period of litigation but also ensures the permanent termination of the same. However, mediation has still not found its place in the colloquial. Our objective is to make people aware of mediation processes. The IMW campaign is enacted with the vision of making justice available at large. However, we also believe that the path to achieving justice should be such that the participants are not at a loss. Mediation is one such platform that ensures the same. After all, we go by our apophthegm “Suljhao Magar Pyaar Se”.