A Dehradun based NGO, has been working for nearly 4 decades in Uttarakhand. RLEK has come a long way since its inception in the 1970s when a group of vibrant and enthusiastic youth started development work in the tribal area of Jaunsar-Bhawar. Today RLEK is working in 6 states Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh & Haryana. RLEK well understands how vital human life is to the conservation and sustenance of the environment.This has led RLEK to play a pro-active role in furthering the cause of human rights and environmental protection.
After two decades of work without any external support, RLEK formally registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 as a Non Profit Organisation in 1989 under registration number 1044/ 1988 - 89. It is registered by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India under Section 35AC of Income Tax Act which allows donors 100 percent; income tax deduction on their contributions, and under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 1976. The State Government of Uttarakhand also recognises RLEK as a charitable organisation.
The United Nations has granted Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations on Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra (RLEK) for having competence in empowering indigenous groups, marginalized population, women and children in claiming their entitlements.
As a NGO, RLEK has played a major role in pushing for sustainable development at the national and international level. The main drivers have been campaigning groups, litigation and policy level awareness for generations to build pressure on government for pro people reforms. This has lead to success of the initiatives ranging from protecting the fragile eco-system of Doon valley, abolition of bonded labour (form of slavery) system in Jaunsar-Bavar area of Dehradun and securing the rights (right to education, right to vote and livelihood rights) of marginalized communities.
It was due to RLEKs intervention that the presence of 19000 bonded laborers was officially accepted by the Government and they were released.
Since its inception RLEK has been associated with the cause of human rights but considering the commonalities of the human rights situation in the SAARC region it established the Human Rights Centre which offers a ten months full time post graduate diploma course in human rights. The Center upholds the spirit of SAARC and aims to inculcate and spread a ?human rights culture? to usher in a just and equitable society.
RLEK firmly believes in need based initiatives and it has been able to devote itself to issues which occur across longer time horizons.