The highest court of the country had this to say about RLEK in its order on the famous Mussoorie Limestone Quarries case, which paved the way for Environment Protection Act in India:
“We must place on record our appreciation of the steps taken by the ‘Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra’. But, for this move, all that has happened perhaps may not have come. Preservation of the forest and keeping the ecological balance unaffected is a task which not only governments but also every citizen must undertake. It is a social obligation and let us remind every Indian citizen that it is his fundamental duty as enshrined in Article 51 A (G) of the Constitution”.
Supreme Court of India
December 16, 1986
SCC, 1986. pp 523 sd/-
New Delhi. (RANGANATH MISHRA)
Justice P.N. Bhagwati, former Chief Justice of India and former Chairperson UNHRC in his latest book “My Tryst with Justice” has kept one fill chapter on Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra (RLEK). In this he has mentioned very clearly that-
- Due to Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra’s efforts and lobbying, Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976 come into existence in India.
- He has also written that because of the case filed by RLEK, The Environment Protection Act, 1986 came into existence.
- Further, he has said that RLEK started the legal literacy programme much before the Govt. of India even thought of.
Other important awards/recognition bestowed on RLEK include –
- Sat Paul Mittal National Award 2016 conferred on Mr. Avdhash Kaushal for outstanding service to Humanity.
- Enviro Care Responsible Organisation Award 2016 given to RLEK for recognising devotion, dedication and commitment towards Environment Protection & Sustainable development initiatives.
- Enviro Care Ambassador Award 2016 conferred to Mr. Avdhash Kaushal, for recognising devotion, dedication and commitment towards Environment Protection & Sustainable development initiatives.
- Finalist under the small category of the India NGO Awards 2014-2015.– eNGO Challenge Award 2014, first runner-up in the Communication and Outreach Category, for using wireless technology to fight poaching and illegal tree felling.
- Avdhash Kaushal, Chairperson RLEK has been nominated as a member of the International Committee to probe into war crimes and disappearances in Sri Lanka.
- Eleventh Nani A. Palkhivala Award for the Protection and Preservation of Civil Liberties, 2014was conferred on Mr. Avdhash Kaushal, Chairperson, Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra (RLEK) on 16th January 2014 by Ms. Justice Sujata Manohar.
- Invertis Green Award on 27th April 2013 for Exemplary work in the field of Environment Preservation; presented by Invertis University Bareilly and Invertis Sewa Sansthan.
- Imaan India Samman Award- 2012, for the untiring efforts to bring a positive Social Change in India by, Dr. S.Y Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner of India.
- Sujana Excellence Award – 2012, in the field of Poverty Alleviation & Rural Development by Dr. M.S. Swaminathan.
- SKOCH Challengers Award for Education in 2009 for its innovative and excellence work for teaching the nomads in the wild and to the marginalized hill communities by Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, former Deputy Chairman of the Indian Planning Commission, .
- D. Birla International Award for Rural Upliftment in 2005by the Vice-President of India.
- SKOCH award for the Grassroots Man of the Year, 2005by the Deputy Chairman of the Indian Planning Commission, Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
- The Panna Dhai Award by the Maharana Mewar Foundation in 2004.
- In 2003, Mr. Avdhash Kaushal, Chairperson, RLEK was specially invited by the United Nations to the World Summit in Geneva, to chair the panel on a discussion on the importance of local content within the Information and Communication Technology.
- The renowned magazine The Week bestowed on Mr. Avdhash Kaushal, Chairperson, RLEK the honour of being The Man of the Year 2003, eloquently describing him as the‘rejuvenator of the Doon Valley, terminator of bonded labour and saviour of nomads’.
- The UNESCO-NLM Award, 1999 “in recognition of their Outstanding Contribution to the Adult Education Programme” for the tribal Van Gujjar community by Mr. Murli Manohar Joshi, Minister, Human Resource Development, Govt of India.
- The Rotary International Awards for Service to Humanity (India) Trust award for RLEK’s innovative education programme for the Van Gujjars in 1998.