journey so far

Unprecedented community mediation center : Rajasthan

1st October 2015

LIFE and LIBRA work as an NGO for social causes which should have been primarily done by government but the same is not been looked upon. The Supreme Court has mandated in one of its judgment that petty issues amongst the societal level related to property, matrimony, borrowings etc. shall be first sent to mediation centers for resolution and thereafter if the mediation fails, the same to be referred to next stage of litigation. Considering the mandate, Mediation Centers have been established in the High Courts' as separate tribunal wherein the issues which are likely to get resolved are referred.

Also, the judiciary has tendered its inclination for mediation cells to be set up at district and village levels for disposing the petty issues within the area and to prevent them to go beyond that

It is observed that majority of water related disputes in Hanumangarh go for litigation only because of fight for status in the society which could have been resolved at the ground level through any mediator or the gram panchayat but travels to suits and appeals for no reason. Indulging into litigation would create a win-lose situation for the parties wherein the losing party would engrave it in mind and wait for possible situation to defeat the winning party in the same or any other matter. The whole process is vicious and involves disharmony, wastage of money and time.

The Mediation project would bring happiness to the people of the village since after a long scuffle for want of streamlining the mechanism for resolving disputes, the project caters to maintain the brotherhood amongst the people of village and would lessen the pain of people going to different authorities for resolving disputes. Even the applaud went to the extent that budget for the establishment of mediation cells and location for offices shall be borne by the villagers and shall make all arrangements for such mechanism to make it successful project.

8th July 2016

The Panchayat Hall , was finalized by the persons present during the meeting where the mediation project could be initiated for experimental basis. In the present meeting, the concern was shown by the Sarpanch as well as the Upsarpanch regarding the fixation of rent and other expenditures to be paid which is required to be decided in furtherance of the project.

The proposed mediators showed their concern towards a requirement of a local office assistant who is required to be deputed permanently at the PMC for regulating the official activities.

The awareness material which is required to be circulated in the local area as well the nearby villages to the PMC would be carried out a week prior to the commencement of the activities at the PMC.

12 December 2016

Mrs. Tanu Mehta was the trainer who was called to train the people so selected to do mediation. She talked and explained about the process and duties and rights of mediation and mediator.

There are four things that every mediator should know in a mediation process and should work in consonance with these points.

  1. Rights
  2. Needs
  3. Interest
  4. Position

The mediator should tell the parties about their rights. The right to visit the court and to initiate legal proceedings. At the same time, also to tell the parties that they have taken a right decision to mediate the matter as they can talk and freely give solutions and it is much less formal thing in comparison to courts.

At the second stage, the mediator needs to find out that what are the needs of the parties. What is the mater and what do they desire from each other and at this mediation. What are they asking and what can they get has to be clear in the mediator's mind. Even though time and again it was told by Mrs. Tanu that mediator cannot be a judge and cannot give solutions and judgements. Also, a mediator cannot say that one is right or wrong in availing the solution.

At the third stage, in the chronology, the mediator is required to see that what is the interest of the parties in this matter. How they can be benefited as by asking questions in such a way that they themselves come out with the best solution. Therefore, even if the mediator has the best solution it cannot be imposed on the parties. By way of asking questions, the mediator has to make them come out with the best clause.

At the last we have position as to what position they are in and what position they will attain after this situation.
The three techniques are

  1. BATNA
  2. WATNA
  3. MLATNA

BATNA is the best alternative to a negotiated agreement. It is the best possible outcome a party has in mind. It is the winning scene for a party and the task of the mediator is to make the party think that it is the winning situation for them.

WATNA is the worst alternative to a negotiated agreement. It is the worst possible outcome a party considers. Also that each party thinks that what is the worst scenario if they fail in the given situation.

MLATNA is the most likely alternative to a negotiated agreement. It is the mid-way and the best estimate reality check outcome. This seems easy but is difficult to bring parties to think that it is a common consensus by a neutral decision maker.