Given on this 23rd day of January 2009 at New Delhi, by the hands of Mr Wajahat Habibullah, Hon’ble Chief Information Commissioner of India
Van Gujjars are an ethnic minority, deriving their livelihood solely from the sale of buffalo milk. Their nomadic lifestyle serves as a breather to the forests, making them the true conservationists and protectors of the forest. However, illiteracy made the community vulnerable to manipulation, extortion and harassment. Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra with the support of the Ministry of Human Resource Development started the Adult Education Programme for the community in October 1993. The model became self-sustainable within three years through the continuous support of individuals and the community. Initially, about 350-trained volunteer teachers of RLEK travelled with the community during their transmigratory cycle from the foothills of the Himalayas to the higher alpines in order to ensure continuity of the education programme. Uniqueness of the programme lies in community participation and holding of classes under the canopy of trees by barefoot teachers.