Shyam Sundar Das, the Founder and moving spirit of CLAP was an eminent Sarvodaya Leader who dedicated his entire life for public work based on Truth, Non-Violence and People’s Participaton. This non-conformist champion of Human Right focused his work on a Right-Based Approach to Development for Ending Poverty as well as Exploitation of common masses. He had experimented and propounded law as an instrument of social transformation and empowerment of marginalised to address Poverty and Injustice. With this conviction, he made an attempt to leverage law, legal processes and legal systems to advance Human Rights with Dignity of Individuals.
His public work commenced immediately after Indian Independence in 1947. He joined Bhoodan Movement (Land Give Movement) led by Acharya Vinoba Bhabe and also worked extensively for liberation of bonded labour. He realised through his direct experience working with disadvantaged communities that unless underprivileged are empowered by affirmative laws, inequality, discrimination and exploitation of people would write large in the society. This conviction prompted this Icon of Justice to established Committee for Legal Aid to Poor (CLAP) in the year 1982 to demand legal justice from the State.
Shyam Sundar Das has the unique distinction of being a lifelong Gandhian who throughout his lifetime directed his work in an entitlement approach for upliftment of marginalised people in the society for their long term development by giving voice to the voiceless. During his life time he served the society through CLAP and never opted to shift to any other stream.
He was born on 4th Oct, 1926 and left for his heavenly abode on 14th August, 2011 at the age of 85.
To know more about Our Founder kindly read Icon of Justice.