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Sudha Ramalingam

Sudha Ramalingam is a practising advocate in the Madras High Court. A recipient of Advocacy Fellowship from the Advocacy Institute, Washington DC (1995), she is presently the Managing Trustee of Chennai-based Manonmani Trust. She has also served as Vice-President of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, and was a Legal Cell Member of Tamil Nadu Women’s Commission.

She has worked for Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, and participated in the South Asian Consultation of the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, at Bangkok. Sudha was part of the fact finding teams probing into human rights violations, custodial rape or death, prison conditions, caste clashes, minority rights, dalit issues, aqua farms and other environmental issues. She has filed public interest litigations on several important issues such as prison reforms, and human rights violations in police custody.

Sudha also helped the victims of Swami Premananda, the late fake Godman, get justice – from filing the complaint to securing punishment for the accused and ensuring monetary compensation for the complainants.

She writes about current socio-legal-political issues in English and Tamil dailies and magazines. She has presented several papers in various seminars and conferences, and has been part of talk shows on contemporary issues in radio and on television.

Sudha has been imparting legal training in legal literacy programs conducted by the government and non-governmental organizations in schools, colleges and other fora.

She is actively involved in advocacy initiatives in legal reforms, and has organized a number of events throughout India, raising her voice against violations of human rights, women’s rights, and refugee rights. She has travelled extensively, addressing different strata of society, enlightening them about their rights and empowering them with practical legal knowledge.

Sudha has been part of training programmes for policemen and teachers to sensitize them on human and legal rights.

She has also received many awards. The U.S. Consulate General, Chennai, selected her as one of the 16 anti-GBV champions of the year 2021 for her “incredible service and commitment to prevent gender-based violence”. She is the winner of Audi RITZ Icon Award, 2013 and also the 10th JFW Award, 2018, for best Social Work.

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