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Since 1977, we have taken up hundreds of instances of violations of democratic rights, covering most parts of the country and involving the rights of many sections of society. PUDR conducts investigations, issues statements, distributes leaflets, organizes public meetings, demonstrations and dharnas, initiates campaigns, petitions authorities and fights legal cases to highlight the violation of people's rights and help towards their redressal. Through its investigations, PUDR has raised the issues of custodial rapes, deaths and torture, consistently fought for the rights of marginalized peasants and agricultural workers, upheld working class rights across different sectors, campaigned for gender equality both at home and outside, opposed caste oppression and communal violence, fought against war crimes of Indian armed forces in the conflict areas and articulated the rights and access of people and communities towards equitable resources. PUDR opposes bans and upholds the right to freedom of speech, expression and association. Since its inception, PUDR has consistently demanded the repeal of death penalty and has actively taken up the rights of those who have been condemned to the death row. Along with these, it has actively campaigned against anti-democratic legislations such as TADA, POTA, UAPA, AFSPA and others, and has engaged itself in legal defense of civil liberties and democratic rights. Some of PUDR’s legal interventions have been of critical importance such as the Asiad labour petition, which opened the doors to public interest litigation in India.
PUDR has always worked closely with similar democratic rights organizations located in different states and regions such as the Civil Liberties Committees in Andhra Pradesh (APCLC) and Telangana (TCLC), the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR), West Bengal, the People's Union for Civil Liberties, (PUCL), Committee for the Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR), Mumbai and many others. Several reports and activities have been jointly undertaken and in recent times PUDR has been an active member of Coordination of Democratic Rights Organization (CDRO), a wider body of non-funded, democratic rights organizations.
Membership in PUDR is entirely on a voluntary basis and activists meet on a weekly basis to help organize activities. Activists are not paid for giving their time or for undertaking activities and funds are generated solely from the sale of literature and from small donations of not more than Rs 3000. PUDR does not accept foreign funds, or funds from any institutional funding agencies, foreign or national.