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SLIC, Socio-Legal Information Center.

Colin Gonsalves

Colin Gonsalves

Colin Gonsalves is the founder of Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), India’s leading public interest law group. A graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Mr. Gonsalves started his professional life as a civil engineer but was drawn into the field of law through his work with the unions in Bombay. He commenced formal legal study in 1979 and litigated his first case, while still in law school, on behalf of 5,000 workers locked out of their jobs. Gonsalves most significant victories in the courtroom include the 2001 “Right to Food” case, which saw India’s Supreme Court issue far reaching orders enforcing a free midday meal for all schoolchildren and subsidized grain for over 400 million Indians living below the poverty line. His other prominent cases include the reinstatement of a teacher having cerebral palsy, stays on the demolition of slums, reduction in the prices of essential medicines and the enforcement of sexual harassment law throughout the country. The was presented with the “International Human Rights Award” by the American Bar Association in 2005. In 2010, he was conferred a Doctorate of the University, honor is cause, by the University of Middlesex, UK. He was also given the “Mother Teresa Memorial Award” For Social Justice “in recognition of remarkable contribution in legal services addressing human rights” in 2010. Most recently in September 2017, Colin was awarded the prestigious Right Livelihood Award “for his tireless and innovative use of public interest litigation”.

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