Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Hundreds participate in ‘Say no to bribery ‘ campaign in Guj

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 4, 2006

Hundreds participate in ‘Say no to bribery ‘ campaign in Guj
Ahmedabad | July 04, 2006 4:39:52 PM IST


For Dholabhai from Kalol, the Right to Information (RTI) Act has come as a boon, enabling him to get the right to his ancestral house, that had been encroached upon, without paying a pie to the mamlatdar.

Sharing his experiences at an ”Anti-Bribery” camp being held at the Kochrab Ashram here, Dholabhai, who is disabled, said he ran pillar-to-post to get the ownership documents of his house, but the mamlatdar demanded a bribe to give him the papers.

”I then filed an application under the RTI Act. After the Information Commission cracked the whip, he changed all colours. Not only did he hand me all the papers, he invited me for a cup of tea! The RTI is nothing but power to the common man like me,” he added.

The campaign to motivate people to use the RTI Act judiciously, instead of paying bribes to get their legitimate work done, is being held in 45 cities across the country till July 15.

Mr Harnesh Pandya, an activist of Janpath, who is the coordinator of the campaign in Ahmedabad, said the response has been overwhelming. People from all over Gujarat, especially senior citizens, are flocking the camp to find out what the Act was all about. ”At least 500 cases have been filed in the past three days.

These mainly relate to Provident Fund matters, government schemes’ benefits, and post office savings schemes,” he said.

Giving details of some cases, Pankti, a Janpath volunteer spoke about the case of a son, whose dead father had left behind Rs 4.6 lakh in various post office schemes, but was told that he would get rs sixty thousand only. Upon enquiries, he was informed that somebody had withdrawn all the money but no further details were forthcoming.

”So he has filed an application under the RTI, asking the authorities to come out with all details,” she said.

Some of the PF claimants also included migrant labourers who had come all the way from Surendranagar to find out how to get their temporary PF money.


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