The CLAP, the acronym of Committee for Legal Aid to Poor, is a Non-Governmental Voluntary Organisation registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860 (Act XXI of 1860) of India. It is a Legal Service and Juridical Advocacy Organisation, which seeks to accomplish Right to Life, Liberty, Equality, Freedom, Justice and Fair play for every individual in the society.
CLAP got registered as a Society on 18th November, 1982. It traversed a long journey for realisation of Human Rights through the means of law in India. It is based in Cuttack City (the erstwhile capital city of Orissa) in the State of Orissa in India. It works in various states of India with primary focus on Orissa.
CLAP originated at a period of the history of modern India when promotion and protection of Human Rights hardly occupied a conspicuous space on the governance agenda. At that time promotion and protection of Human Rights was primarily largesse of the Government. Access to Justice for the poor in such a state of affair was hard to accomplish. Administration of Justice by the state was mostly confined to adversarial nature of dispute resolution where securing rights of poverty ridden populace was abysmally negligent. In this backdrop, the CLAP was formed as a legal entity to address the deep rooted persisting problems of injustice in the fabric of Indian society. The founders envisioned an organisation, which can substantially fulfil the voids in the system and promote good governance. The genesis of CLAP fulfilled a long required need of the Indian society in matters of Law and Justice for the disadvantaged.
The CLAP manages Legal Service Institute which serves the society especially the marginalised to enable them to accomplish their Right with Dignity. As a Public Interest Law Organisation, it broadly provides legal service to enable people to gain Access to Justice. It also undertakes various programmes like Legal Awareness, Legal Support for Capacity Building, Legal Empowerment of Marginalised Communities, Mediation and Juridical Advocacy.