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  • India

COVID RIGHTS: A PRO BONO LEGAL PLATFORM FOR CITIZENS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sharon decided to create COVIDRights, a website dedicated to assisting people in finding pro-bono legal counsel on COVID-19-related legal matters and learning about their rights.

COVIDRights India, Sharon’s website, compiles all such orders and instructions issued by central or state organisations and produces concise explanations of their significance.

The one-stop platform for all orders passed in the country, designed expressly to protect citizens during such challenging times, also ensures that those who are most vulnerable currently are informed of their rights whether seeking medical care, immunisation, or other allied relief.

Many women are turning to COVIDRights India for legal help on how to deal with online sexual harassment, according to Sharon.

Though the website is meant to increase awareness among people of their rights, it cannot achieve this goal if people do not know such a website exists. Sharon says the platform’s social media and outreach team has been essential in spreading the word about the website.

Sharon said the team plans to pursue public interest lawsuits (PILs) in the future to secure fair access to COVID-19-related healthcare, particularly for those who have been denied access unlawfully.

“During the pandemic, we must ensure that the right to COVID-19-specific healthcare is protected and provided by the state. We also intend to find better ways to reach communities without well-developed communications devices and infrastructure as time goes on,” Sharon says.

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