Nine Kattunayakka students keen on legal studies given 3-month training in Wayanad

Nine students from the Kattunayakka community, a particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG) in Wayanad, are preparing to crack the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) scheduled on Monday.

The group is confident of cracking the exam, courtesy a three-month training session organised by the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) and the Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP). The trainees include six girls.

“Considering the low representation of tribespeople in the country’s legal system, the DLSA had planned to train 30 students for CLAT,” K. Rajesh, sub judge, Wayanad, told The Hindu. But COVID-19 restrictions hindered the plan.

“We had conducted an orientation programme for Plus Two students of Rajeev Gandhi Model Residential School for Kattunayakka children at Kallur in February this year. Some students were keen on legal studies. They were selected for the programme,” Mr. Rajesh said.

“At the orientation programme, I listened to a session handled by Mr. Rajesh. His words inspired me,” P.K. Dhanusha, a girl from the Ponkuzhy Kattunayakka settlement inside the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary said. “The training was really helpful. It has instilled in me confidence to appear for the examination,” she added.

‘Will continue’

A. Harris, district and sessions judge, Wayanad, said, “We are planning to continue the programme in the coming years to bring the marginalised sections to the mainstream.”

The Scheduled Tribas Development Department provided the fee for the examination and would bear all the expenses for their higher studies, K.C. Cheriyan, ITDP Project officer, Wayanad, said.

The training programme was conducted at the Model Residential School for tribal children at Kaniyampetta by following the COVID-19 protocol.

Online teaching

The faculty of Central University, Kasaragod, Lloyd Law College, Noida, and Yale University in the U.S. trained the children through videoconferencing. K.I. Jayasankar, Assistant Professor, Department of Law, Central University of Kerala, Thiruvalla Campus supervised the programme.

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