A Research Study
RLEK has been entrusted with the task of conducting a Research Study on “Documenting Traditional Wisdom for Environmental Sustainability: Voices of Tribal Hill Women Living in the Himalayan Zone” in 8 districts of Uttarakhand namely – Tehri, Chamoli, Nainital, Almora, Bageshwar, Pithoragarh, Uttarkashi and Dehradun. The main objectives of the study are :-
- Augmenting the documented base of traditional practices and self-imposed rules of tribal hill communities with special focus on women
- Propagation of exemplary practices/models being followed keeping in view the best interest of the community i.e. the target group – women belonging to Bhotiyas, Jaunsaris, Van Rajjis, Van Gujjars, Tharus (those residing in Uttarakhand). The best interests shall include the issues of relevance to these groups such as community access and control over natural forest produce, making the Gram Sabha a more powerful body ensuring environmental sustainability, women and their rights over water, land and forests etc.
- Documenting case studies of women as to how they are using social, traditional and religious beliefs to preserve and protect the environment
- Providing policy recommendations for inclusion of peoples voices in the environmental sustainability discourse
- Identification of medicinal herbs/forest produce being used by the community for treatment of aliments and providing wellbeing
- Identifying areas of conflict between tribal and forest dwelling communities with authorities in relation to community forest management procedures adopted by them and the formal systems of forest management
- Providing suggestions about how to go about patenting the traditional knowledge gathered through the study
A leadership Training for Minority Women
Nai Roshini –Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra (RLEK) is empanelled with Ministry of Minority Affairs to conduct Leadership trainings for minority women under Nai Roshni scheme. RLEK last year trained nearly 250 women under this schemes and plans to train 1000 women in this financial year in Dehradun district, under this scheme.
Established 15 primary and middle schools for the marginalized communities in remotest corners of the hills of Uttarakhand.
Schools- Children Education Program – The seed of education was sown when RLEK began its work amidst the Van Gujjar community. The success of Adult education created the demand for the children education. Very few children belonging to Van Gujjar community were attending formal education. Therefore, there arose a growing demand from the community for children’s education. RLEK has been running formal and non formal schools for the children of rural marginalized and Van Gujjar communities in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
The lack of access to education in the state of Uttarakhand is impacting the most marginalized communities’ i.e. SCs, STs and traditional forest dwelling communities, children of freed bonded labourers (Slavery), children of women rescued from flesh trade. This is largely impacting girl child education as societal roadblocks are coupled with limited access to schools. Pursuing our philosophy of reaching the unreached and include the excluded, RLEK has started 15 schools in remote hill areas in Uttarakhand, these schools are for the children of underprivileged, marginalized SC/ST, freed bonded labourers (Slaves), children of the nomadic tribes, the van gujjars, and also for the children of the women rescued from the red light area. These schools are located in distant, inaccessible areas of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh so as to cater to the educational needs of tribal, nomadic and rural hill communities in the most backward areas of Tehri, Dehradun and Uttarkashi districts. These schools are based on People Private Partnership mode and are monitored by the women SHGs of the region. Innovative education material has been developed for the children so that they relate it to their own local context.