West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (WBNUJS) in collaboration with ODRWays organized the first ever Indian Mediation Week (IMW), a pan-India mediation awareness event, from 11-17 September 2017. The event was supported by Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India and Supreme Court Mediation and Conciliation Project Committee (MCPC) and INBA have supported the campaign as a Supporting Partner.
IMW appointed student ambassadors in various law schools across the country. Their primary responsibility entailed conducting awareness drives in their respective cities, as a run-up to the Mediation Week, and promote mediation. In two months, 126 mediation awareness drives were conducted with 200 volunteers working in 10 cities across India and sensitizing over ten thousand people by encouraging them to adopt mediation as a method of dispute resolution.
Creative ways were used to promote the message of mediation amongst the general public such as a dance flashmob, live musical performances and street plays.
Mediation awareness seminars were conducted for the Rotary and Inner wheel clubs as well as the traders’ organizations.
A range of mediation training programmes were conducted for students ranging from CAMP mediation advocacy programmes for law students to PACT mediation boot camps to IMO voting clinics to conflict resolution programmes in schools for teenagers.
There was a strong social media campaign being run for mediation on the theme of “SuljhaoMagarPyaar Se” (translation: Resolve, amicably) on Facebook which saw support from the former Law Minister Mr. Salman Khurshid, the Hon’ble Supreme Court Justice MadanLokur as well as K.N Tripathi, Governor of West Bengal and Sushil Kumar Modi, Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar. The campaign received international recognition from luminaries including Mr. Daniel Erdmann, Founder of World Mediation Organization, Thomas Valenti from Valenti Law, Rahim Shamji from ADR-ODR London to Young Mediators Initiative of International Mediation Institute (IMI) along with Mediators in South Korea, Australia, USA etc. The final social media reach was 1,04,000.
The closing ceremony saw the presence of eminent dignitaries such as Hon’ble Justice Somadder, Hon’ble Justice Sen, Hon’ble Justice Chatterjee, Solicitor General, Judicial Secretary, senior mediators from Bombay, as well as senior advocates from the Calcutta High Court. There was an open forum to discuss various issues of critical importance in the field of mediation: need for quality mediation training, infrastructure support, need for mandatory mediation training programme in law schools, setting up a private mediation centre in Kolkata, role of advocates in increasing the usage of mediation etc. The top 3 students ambassadors, Saranya Mishra, AmanDandotiya and AmraQzai, were felicitated in the closing ceremony. They were chosen on the number of people sensitized and number of cases received.
As a follow up event, IMW has collaborated with Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) under Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, for nominating an independent jury to recognize the contributions of top ten individuals in the field of mediation in India. The mediators’ award ceremony will be held in Delhi in March, 2018.
Team IMW is highly grateful for the mentorship support provided by Hon’ble Justice MadanLokur, Supreme Court of India, Hon’ble Justice B.N. Somadder, Calcutta High Court and Hon’ble Justice ProtikProkash Banerjee, Calcutta High Court. We also thank Mr JishnuSaha, Senior Advocate, Calcutta High Court and Sinha&Co Advocates, a premier law firm in Kolkata, for their generous sponsorships which helped in executing all these awareness events.
Indian Mediation Week Report is available at the link Click Here