At Nyaaya, we aim to provide simple, actionable and reliable legal information to all citizens of the country, so that every citizen can access their rights and be unafraid of the legal system.
For the last Weekly of the year, let’s take a look at some rights that we feel deserve special attention as everyone should be aware of them. An awareness of the rights that our fellow citizens have can help us create an equitable world for all of us.
Maternity Benefits for Women in India
Maternity benefit is the amount an employer pays a woman when she is going to have a child.
You can seek maternity benefits if you are a woman and if you are:
- Pregnant for the first time
- Pregnant with one child or 2 children already
- Adopting a child below the age of 3 months
- Having a child through a surrogate
- Recovering from a miscarriage, abortion or tubectomy operation
The employer must pay you your maternity benefit before your delivery. For this, you have to give your employer a written notice to state your claim to the maternity benefit. Your notice should contain the following:
- You have to state that you will not work for any other employer during the time for which you have claimed the maternity benefit.
- You can also nominate another person who can receive the payment on your behalf.
- In case you are pregnant, the notice should state the date from which you will be absent from work. This cannot be earlier than 6 weeks before the date of your expected delivery.
- You are required to submit proof that you are pregnant.
To know more you can read our explainer on maternity benefits here.
Rights of Transgender Persons in India
In India, transgender persons are legally recognised as the ‘third gender’ or ‘other’ gender. As per the law, a transgender person is a person whose gender does not match with the gender assigned to that person at the time of birth, and includes:
- Person with inter-sex variations
- Gender-queer persons
- Persons with socio-cultural identities such as kinner, hijra, aravani and jogta
The law permits a person to choose their own gender identity. You can officially record your gender identity by following the steps given in our guide here.
If you’re facing discrimination during the course of employment, either in the public or private sector, you can approach the designated complaint officer set up under the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019. To file a grievance with the National Transgender Council, create an account online in the National Transgender portal (https://transgender.dosje.gov.in/). On successful registration, click on the ‘Grievance tab’ on your dashboard. Detailed guidelines for the same can be found here – (https://transgender.dosje.gov.in/docs/Manual.pdf)
To know more about the rights of transgender persons in India, you can read our guide here.
Right to Education
Every child between the age of 6 to 14 years including children belonging to disadvantaged groups, children who are differently-abled, children belonging to scheduled caste or scheduled tribes etc has a right to education under the law. All children have the right to free and compulsory education in the neighbourhood school till the completion of their elementary education which is from Class 1 to Class 8.
If you face a grievance or have a complaint regarding the education of your child, you can approach the following:
- The Gram Panchayat or the Block Education Officer: The Block Education officer is in charge of the education of students within their block and also supervises the functioning of the schools.
- The National and State Commission for Protection of Child Rights works for the protection of all children. To complain to the National Commission, you can file your complaint on their online complaint system or call them on 9868235077.
For more details on the right to education, you can read our explainer here.
Discrimination against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in India
The law criminalises offences or atrocities against SC/ST members, and also provides special courts for the trial of such offences. The law punishes any individual who may be guilty of:
- Hurting or boycotting an SC/ST member
- Making an SC/ST member do bonded labour
- Forcing a SC/ST member to carry or dispose of a human or animal dead body.
- Forcing an SC/ST member to do manual scavenging
- Saying or publishing anything that encourages hatred of SC/ST communities.
The punishment for committing any of the above mentioned offences is jail time for six months to five years, along with a fine.
To report a crime under this act, you can:
- Call 100 or visit a police station to report the incident and file an FIR.
- Reach out to The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) at their toll free number: 1800 1800 345, Website: http://ncsc.nic.in/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To know more, you can read our explainer on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
Rights of Persons with Disabilities
A person with disability is a person with long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment, which restricts their full and effective participation in society equally with others. Someone who has at least 40% of a specified disability is a person with benchmark disability. Specified disabilities include physical, intellectual, mental illness, disabilities caused due to chronic neurological conditions, blood disorders or any other disabilities specified by the central government.
You can apply for a Disability Certificate that gives you the right to apply for facilities, concessions and benefits under schemes put in place by the Government, and Government-funded NGOs for persons with disabilities. It is valid throughout India.
Anyone with a specified disability can apply (using Form-IV) for a certificate of disability to:
- a medical authority or other competent authority in the district where the applicant lives (according to the proof of residence in their application); or
- the concerned medical authority in a government hospital where they are undergoing or have undergone treatment for their disability.
A legal guardian or concerned registered organisation can apply on behalf of a minor or a person unfit or unable to make the application themself.
All of us at Nyaaya wish you a happy and prosperous new year!