14 June, 2021

Crusader J. Stanny brings tribals salvation through legal awareness

Crusader J. Stanny brings tribals salvation through legal awareness
There are distinct rumbles in Gujarat's Surat district. Not a portent of destruction but the bearer of tidings of a new social awakening sweeping through the seven adivasi-dominated talukas of the region. And the man behind it all is Jesuit J. Stanny, or Sannybhai as he is affectionately known in Surat district's tribal areas.

To Stanny goes the credit of organising displaced tribals and helping them work towards a life of dignity and self-reliance. His Legal Aid and Human Rights Centre (lharc) has set up POs or People's Organisations in every village and hamlet of the seven talukas of Nizar, Ucchal, Songadh, Vyara, Mandvi, Mangrol and Umarpara; helped train paralegal workers; and produced the first-ever team of 24 tribal lawyers practising in the district courts, handling their community's cases.

The 49-year-old Stanny first came to Gujarat from Tamil Nadu in 1969. Even while working towards the completion of his religious instruction and undergraduate degree, his leanings were more towards social issues. "In 1982, I was posted in the Bhilora-Sabarkantha district and...

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