RTI ends passport woes for Delhi couple
Posted by rtiact2005 on July 3, 2006
Monday, July 3, 2006 (New Delhi):
A nationwide awareness-cum-assistance campaign has been launched where people will be encouraged not to pay bribes.
The Drive Against Bribes campaign began on July 1 and will be on till July 15.
Nearly 1500 trained volunteers are available at centres in 48 cities around the country. Eight media partners and more than 700 civil society groups are a part of this initiative.
Common citizens are using the Right to Information as a powerful tool in order to hold governments accountable.
People have used it in various ways ranging from addressing issues related to their daily interface with government authorities to influencing major government policies.
One person who used the tool to his advantage was Prem Sharma, who approached the RTI authorities for his passport, which was long overdue.
When he got news that one of his daughters in Germany was in the family way and wanted her parents to be present for the delivery, he resolved to visit her as quickly as possible.
Only, he and his wife did not have passports. And so, Prem Sharma first submitted his application for new passports in September 2005.
The passports should have arrived within 45 days, but when over 75 days had lapsed and the passports had still not arrived, his son Rajesh advised him to file a RTI application.
On his advice, Prem Sharma filed the application asking the status of his application, including a demand for day-by-day progress report on where his passport application had gone.
When he reached the passport office at Bikaji Cama place with his RTI application, nobody at the office had any clue about what they should do.
After being made to run from one desk to another Prem Sharma insisted on seeing the Director.
On being handed the RTI application, the Director asked Prem Sharma to take a seat and assured him that the passports would be delivered in the next ten days.
He even gave his residence number as well as his son’s mobile number and asked Prem Sharma to contact him if he had any problems. But Sharma and his wife received their passports soon after.