Right2Information

Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Campaign on RTI awareness takes off in Delhi

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 5, 2006

Campaign on RTI awareness takes off in Delhi

Staff Reporter

http://www.hindu.com/2006/07/06/stories/2006070612760400.htm

Assistance centres set up at seven SDM offices and passport office at Bikaji Cama Place

NEW DELHI: Several student volunteers and non-government organisations on Wednesday joined hands to launch the campaign for creating awareness among citizens about how to use the Right to Information Act as a tool to counter corruption. The volunteers set up assistance centres in seven Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) offices and in the Regional Passport Office at Bikaji Cama Place for this purpose.

The volunteers are led by leading NGOs like Parivartan, Kabir, Sangharsh and local residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) to educate the citizens on how to fill in the RTI applications and how to get information in various sectors. The Delhi Government has already passed an order to all its departments that the RTI volunteers should be helped in every possible way to ensure that the relevant RTI applications reach their destinations. Help desks were also set up outside SDM offices in Nandnagri, Geeta Colony, Darya Ganj and Mehrauli. “The Nandnagri camp had such a tremendous impact on the bureaucracy that the officers who had been sitting on several ration cards and income certificates for the past so many years expecting some kind of gratification were compelled to part with those ration cards and income certificates. Interestingly, such was the fear of the campaign that the Food and Supply Department officials called some of the volunteers inside and informed that that they had taken out all the ration cards in their possession and the people could come an collect their cards right away,” Santosh a volunteer remarked.

“The impact was similar at the Darya Ganj camp where several people were given their income certificates and caste cards immediately for which they had running around for several months,” another volunteer Arif said.A similar scene was witnessed with the un-cooperating officials at the Regional Passport Office. As soon as the help desk was set up, a DDA official approached the volunteers and informed that they were encroaching on DDA land and that their desk was illegal. Soon after a police officer came and questioned the volunteers about the help desk. “This clearly indicated the nexus between the RPO officials, the DDA and the Delhi police. The money was being shared among the officials from these agencies. These help desks posed a serious threat to their regular income,” Sangeeta, a volunteer at the Bikaji Cama passport office claimed. Ms. Sangeeta said the volunteers, who were students did not give into the undue pressure from these agencies and were successful in filing 45 RTI applications. In all, 210 RTI applications were filed at the eight different centres. The centres will be operational for the next 10 days to educate and inform ordinary citizens that they have now been empowered with a powerful tool not to pay bribes and combat babudom through the use of RTI.

One Response to “Campaign on RTI awareness takes off in Delhi”

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