Twenty-five women from four Catholic parishes and a Baptist parish in Patna and five women religious attended a half-day seminar on legal aid that especially impact the recent decriminalization of adultery law by the Supreme Court of India. It was organized by the members of the Indian Christian Women Movement (ICWM) of the eastern region along with the president of the Catholic Association of Patna Archdiocese, Jane Karakunnel, SCN. Sister Dorothy Fernandes, PBVM, is the chairperson of the ICWM in Patna. They took the same theme of the ICWM annual gathering in Pune: ‘Women Take Wings: Legal Information to Move Forward’.

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The renowned law professor, Rev. Peter Ladys of Patna Archdiocese was the resource person. Father Ladys gave some practical tips on how to obtain information from the government sources using helpline numbers in Bihar. He also informed the women how the Christians could get their caste certificates under Schedule II of Backward Caste of Other Backward Caste. They were happy to hear about the fundamental rights enshrined in the Indian Constitutions.

Rita Anthony Sah said that she was happy to have learned that the things that she should ask the police officer when they come to arrest a person. Asha Peter was amazed to know that no woman can be arrested in India after sunset. Kanti Devi is happy to have known that a person can check the personal details of the police who come to arrest a person. Many of these women were attending such an informative meeting for the first time. They were so very enthusiastic that they will have a full-day, follow-up training on Jan. 14, 2019 to improve their legal information to take wings for the future.

Malini Manjoly, SCN

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