Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Archive for the ‘Antibirbery Campaign’ Category

RTI Campaign – a note from Shailesh Gandhi

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 9, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: shailesh Gandhi <shailesh2@vsnl.com>
Date: 09-Jul-2006 09:12
Subject: RTI Campaign

9 July, 2006 9.15am. Volunteer enthusisam continued, with a lot of
volunteers still available and eager to help Citizens wanting use Right To
We are also discussing with visitors and volunteers the idea of having camps
like this in different locations where there could be a handful
of volunteers and the camp is held for a full day or even half a day. We
could initially provide some help in the training of volunteers and
the new volunteers could themselves train and inspire others. Any group
which caters to a small localities even in the same suburb could inform
Citizens of the sorrounding areas and then hold such camps.
Let us share a dream: The Citizens campaign could lead to say about 200 such
camps in the next twelve months.
If we could get an average of 50 RTI applications per camp, there could be
10000 applications monitoring the Government,
seeking answers and leading towards a better participatory and accountable
governance. Together all of us can make it happen.
By and large the media continues to be very supportive in this effort. On
8th Gerson Da’ Cunha visited the camp and shared our happiness
at the rising response. Today, 9th July, Mr. U.P.S.Madan-Chief Electoral
Officer,- will be visting the campaign between 4 to 5pm.
On 10th Dr. Pradnya Sarvade-Add.CP., ACB,- who heads the ACB for Mumbai will
be coming at about 5.pm.
On 13th July Aruna Roy and Nikhil Dey will be visiting the campaign between
2 to 3pm.
Now an update of the campaign:
On 8th July, we continued to attract more people to file RTI applications.
The RTI applications tally looks like this:
Until 7th-                       483
Toady 8th-                     194
Total RTI applications      677
The total number of vistors who have come to the Campsite would probably be
about double the applications. Another, interesting feature is that there
are quite a few vistors who have extensively used RTI before, and are
seeking to resolve some doubts. We also held two talks on RTI during the
022 32903776; 26001003
All my mails are in Public domain,
and do share them if you wish.


Posted in Antibirbery Campaign | 1 Comment »

Right to Information Act: campaign against bribe gathers momentum

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 9, 2006

Right to Information Act: campaign against bribe gathers momentum

Staff Reporter


On Friday alone, different centres set up under the drive received over 200 applications




NEW DELHI: The campaign against bribery and for creating awareness among the people on how to effectively use the Right to Information Act as a tool to counter corruption has gained momentum with help desks witnessing a tremendous rush of applicants. On Friday alone, different centres set up under the campaign received more than 200 applications. The campaign launched by leading non-government organisations, volunteers and students to take on those seeking bribe for getting things done is ably assisted by residents welfare associations across the national capital.

15 cases solved on the spot

The Nand Nagri centre once again managed to get 42 RTI applications within an hour of setting up the counter and by the end of the day, 50 applications had been filed and 15 cases were sorted out on the spot. “In one case, a couple had been making the rounds of the Sub Divisional Magistrate’s office regarding their ration card renewal for several months. On Friday, they were again told to return after 10 days. They returned armed with an RTI application and were provided their APL ration card on the spot,” remarked Santosh, a volunteer.

The passport help centre saw a huge crowd of observers carefully watch the proceedings as volunteers drafted 37 applications and entertained queries from 117 visitors. In an important case, Smriti Srivastava, a teacher at St. Thomas’ School, Delhi, booked a flat with Hoover Builders Private Limited at Burari.

Soon Ms. Srivastava learnt from the MCD website that her flat was unauthorised. She was shocked as to how so many government agencies including the sub-registrar, the bank and others gave permission for the construction and possession of this flat? This indicated a strong nexus between the builder and the officials in various agencies.

Posted in Antibirbery Campaign | Leave a Comment »

RTI activists campaign at Dharavi

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 8, 2006

RTI activists campaign at Dharavi

NDTV Correspondent



Saturday, July 8, 2006 (Mumbai):

Volunteers of the Right To Information have campaigned at Asia’s largest slum – Dharavai.

Asha, a resident in the area became an RTI volunteer after refusing to pay bribes to get things done.

Like her, several young people in Dharavi have joined the campaign.

They learnt the nuances of the Right To Information Act and are bringing its benefits to their own homes and people.

“We are informing people that if they have filed many complaints and when nothing happens they can follow it up with an RTI application,” said Ganesh of the Drive Against Bribes Campaign.

Another activist Nasheed Sheikh said: “We have public toilets here but they are never cleaned. When we ask the BMC to clean, their workers ask us for money”.

“They are so direct, they tell us our work will only get done if we give the money. I want to see what I can do about this so that I don’t have to pay”.

The volunteers were inundated with questions and complaints and there are no easy answers. Women who are worst hit by the civic issues are open to what is being said.

“On TV I saw the Drive Against Bribes Campaign and felt that it was something of real use to me so I have come to see what these people are saying,” said a woman.

The campaign is no magic wand that will bring instant solutions but it does send out a powerful message.

Posted in Antibirbery Campaign | Leave a Comment »

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


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.

Posted in Antibirbery Campaign, RTI Campgain | 1 Comment »

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.


Posted in Antibirbery Campaign, Gujarat RTI | Leave a Comment »

Denied information? Camp will make many clean up their Act

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 4, 2006

Denied information? Camp will make many clean up their Act



RTI camp has been organised by NGO at Kochrab Ashram, will help residents to cut through official red tape and

Ahmedabad, July 3: A CHARTERED accountant wanting to know why he was overcharged by the BSNL, a textile worker trying to find out why he was fired without being given a reason and a resident wanting to know why a builder built more houses than permitted in the plan. In an era of information explosion, all these and many more have been denied their basic right to know. But a Right to Information camp being organised by Mahiti Adhikar Gujarat Pahel, an initiative started by the NGO Janpat, at the Kochrab Ashram will soon help them cut through the official red tape to get the required information. Sunil Thadani, a chartered accountant who says he was overcharged by BSNL last June, has been asking for a bill statement of his landline phone since then. But authorities at BSNL have turned a deaf ear to his requests even after the RTI Act came into existence, and have denied him the statement on grounds that he did not mention that he wanted the statement under the RTI 2005 Act. “The only reason why BSNL has not given the statement is because Thadani didn’t mention that he was asking it ‘under the RTI Act’,’’ says Pankti Mittal Patel, a volunteer at the camp.

‘‘I have wasted 13 months trying to get the statement,’’ says Thadani, who is now sure that BSNL will produce the bill statement since it is obliged under the Act.

For Hasmukhbhai Ladani, the wait to find out why he was fired from his post of a machine operator in Reliance Textiles in 1991 has been too long. According to him, after he was discharged without being given a reason, the company agreed to pay his due salary but refused to take him back. He filed a petition in the High Court in 2002 which is still pending. He wants to know why his petition has not come up for hearing even even after four years.

‘‘It’s not about money or salary. It’s about my rights. I want to know why the court hasn’t held any hearing till date,’’ says Ladani.

Motibhai Patel, a resident of Ghatlodiya, has similar complaints. The builder of Yashsagar Society, where Patel resides, built 58 houses even though the original plan allowed only 47. The builder, Bhagwanbhai Patel, also built another house on a common plot adjoining Patel’s house and declared his house illegal. Since then, Patel has been running around trying to know why his house was declared illegal even though it featured in the original plan.

‘‘I want to know why the builder got away after constructing illegally. I still carry the original plan with me as a proof,’’ says Motibhai Patel.

Even political leaders are using the act to extract answers. NCP councillor at Umreth Nagarpalika in Anand, Devendra Patel, wants the Nagarpalika to show him the details of its leased plots and ponds. Under the Act, any government official is under obligation to give the information within 30 days. But even after 90 days of application, Patel is waiting for an answer.

‘‘It’s only after I came here that I found out that if there is a delay of more than 30 days, an amount of Rs 250 will be deducted from the respective information officer’s salary until he gives the information,’’ says Patel.

As per an ordinance passed in 2003 by the Gujarat Government, no Nagarpalika can lease more than one plot of land and no ponds can be leased without its permission. Patel claims that he has evidence that officials have leased more than one plot and ponds.

‘‘We have advised him to appeal once again and also told him to remind the officer of his obligation to do the same within 30 days,’’ says Mittal.

Posted in Antibirbery Campaign, RTI Campgain | Leave a Comment »

RTI campaign takes off in UP

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 4, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: asha <ashaashram@yahoo.com>
Date: 04-Jul-2006 00:46
Subject: [antibriberycampaign] RTI campaign takes off in UP
To: antibriberycampaign@yahoogroups.com
Cc: ashakashi@yahoo.com, shailendraksingh1@indiatimes.com,

   dear friends, although we were slow in the preparatory phase but we seem
to be catching up. in addition to the cities announced earlier VARANASI,
CHANDAULI, DEORIA, MAU, SULTANPUR, UNNAO have decided to join the national
campaign. here are brief updates.

LUCKNOW: tremendous response. venue – ambedkar mahasabha, opposite vidhan
bhawan. attendance: 1st july – 52 people. 2nd july – 40 people. 3rd july –
96 people. telephones of s.r. darapuri, arundhati dhuru, shailendra singh,
i.c. dwivedi and naveen tiwari, which were given in the hindi daily
‘hindustan’ keep ringing. people are calling even from other districts like
gonda, bahraich, rae bareli, faizabad, bara banki, sultanpur, unnao,
kushinagar, gorakhpur, deoria, hardoi, sitapur, mau. in all, our rough
estimate is that the five contact people have received more than 500 phone
calls so far.
most of the complaints relate to nagar nigam, passport, pension, insurance,
revenue, education dept., etc.
lucknow contact persons: s.r. darapuri – 9415164845, arundahti dhuru –
9415022772, shailendra singh – 9415006470

HARDOI: venue – outside DDC office in the verandah. furniture has been made
available by the DDC & SDM offices. number of RTI applications prepared: 1st
july – 5, 2nd july – 4, 3rd july – 18.
although the DM had agreed to receive applications in the office of PIO,
city magistrate, no arrangement was made till today. it has been decided
that the activists of asha parivar, janta party and congress party, who are
part of this campaign will stage a dharna at the office of the city
magistrate if he doesn’t make an arrangement to receive applications with a
Rs. 10 fees tomorrow (4th july).
hardoi contact persons: shiv kumar tiwari – 9451209799, radhey shyam kapoor
– 9838646247, vikram pandey – 9839893930

SITAPUR: venue – dharna spot on DM office premises. camp started on 3rd
july. about 20 people visited. applications were prepared and people took
them to submit in respective offices.
sitapur contact persons: ram sagar verma ‘guddu’ – 9451209863, richa singh –

UNNAO: camp started on 3rd july. deatils awaited.
contact person: neel kamal – 9451148061

VARANASI: venue – dharna spot (bargad tree) outside DM office. camp started
on 3rd july. the PIO ADM was not available on the entire first day of the
camp. more details awaited.
contact person: vallabhacharya pandey: 9415256848

CHANDAULI: camp started on 3rd july. details awaited.
contact person: jayashankar – 9839716248

DEORIA: camp started on 3rd july. details awaited.
contact person: keshav chand – 9839883518

SULTANPUR: camp will begin on 8th july.
contact person: sanjay singh – 9838698664

MAU: details awaited.
contact person: arvind kumar – 9839835032

in the following days we’ll feed in more details as we receive them.
love, sandeep

Posted in Antibirbery Campaign, Uttar Pradesh RTI | 3 Comments »

RTI National Campaign

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 2, 2006

 From: “shailesh Gandhi” <shailesh2@vsnl.com

To: “V.K. Phatak” <vphatak@mtnl.net.in>, “Vaijayanti Joshi” <ilslaw@giaspn01.vsnl.net.in>,  “Vaishali Thakkar” <gsnews1@yahoo.com>, “Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar” <cvaishnavi@gmail.com>, “Valson Thampu” <edit1951@vsnl.net>, “Vandana Chavan” <vandanachavan@hotmail.com>, “Vandana Krishna” <vandanakrishna@maharashtra.gov.in>, “Varun Arya” <aryav@sancharnet.in>, “Veeresh Malik” <veeresh@vsnl.com>, “Venkatappa Kumaraswamy” <vmkumaraswamy@yahoo.com>, “Venkatesh Kasturirangan” <venkas11@hotmail.com>, “Venkatesh Nayak” <venkatesh@humanrightsinitiative.org>, “Vidya Rao” <vidyarao@tiss.edu>,  “Vidyadhar Date” <datebandra@yahoo.com>, “Victor Menezes” <victor.menezes@citicorp.com>

Subject: National campaign


Date: Sun, 2 Jul 2006 23:01:05 +0530

shailesh gandhi


B2 Gokul Apartment, Near Asha Parekh Hospital,Poddar Road,

Santacruz (W), Mumbai-400054 ,

Tel: 32903776; 9820027305 Email: shailesh2@vsnl.com

July 2, 2006









    Most of us complain about the all-pervading corruption and the fact that the average Citizen feels helpless and harassed most times when faced with Government departments.



They are harassed with delays arising out of inefficiency or corruption-often a combination of both. Right To Information has been used effectively in a significant number of cases by ordinary Citizens to combat this. If we can spread the usage of this simple tool and empower average Citizens, it would go a long way in reducing bribes and corruption.



   With this simple, but ambitious objective a National Campaign is being held in over 40 Cities where trained volunteers will help Citizens with problems of the following nature:



  1. Inordinate delays in getting PF, Passports, Ration Cards, Factory licences, Income-tax refunds, Salary arrears, pensions and so on from the Government.
  2. Non-attendance to complaints by Citizens on unauthorized constructions, bad roads, faulty meters and so on.
  3. Non-receipt of rations, subsidies, scholarships and so on.

    Citizens who come to these camps, with some documentary evidence of having communicated earlier with the Government Department, will be helped to fill a Right To Information Application to the concerned department. The questions are so designed that if there is any real harassment, the answers would expose this. Experience has shown that in a fairly significant number of cases, the work itself gets done.




         It is organized in each City locally with the help of local organizations. This is truly a National Campaign of Citizens. Various Media,-visual and print,- has actively come forward to back this campaign. Other media are all  coming forward to cover this campaign,-which is truly a National campaign. The CVC has given a recorded interview lending his active support to this campaign.


This is the first time we have a National geographical spread- Bhilai, Chhindwara, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Lumding, Shahdol, Satna, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Vishakhapatnam, Vijaywada, Faizanad, Sangli, Satara, Indore, Guwahati, Patna, Ranchi, Gumla, Jamshedpur, Deogarh, Dhanbad, Gorakhpur, Jaipur, Ajmer, Karauli, Chittorgarh, Bhim, Abu Road, Bhadesar, Bikaner, Nokha, Udaipur, Kota, Bhilwara, Akola, Nagpur, Shillong, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Chitrakoot.


The issue concerns everyone- reduction of bribery for the common man and a Citizen empowerment tool to bring Good Governance-Right To Information.



       In Mumbai 15 organisations have come together and the campaign will be run at the Government Law College, Opposite Churchgate Station,  from 1st July to 15th July.

The timings are from 11.00am to 7.00pm everyday.

We are approaching senior Government Officials, Elected leaders, Business leaders, and other well known Citizens of Mumbai to lend their vocal support to this. The Anti-Corruption Bureau has also stationed a senior officer to lend official support and information at the venue.



      We request all Citizens to participate in this Campaign by spreading the word, coming to the campaign and voicing their support to this. Do talk to everyone-it is everyone’s campaign. The one issue which can bring all honest Citizens of India who desire good governance- Right To Information. Industry leaders, business houses and associations could extend their support by publicizing the event in their Companies, issuing statements supporting it and also coming to the campaign site, during the period.



Please do come and support this Campaign and spread the word.



shailesh gandhi

022 32903776; 26001003
All my mails are in Public domain,
and do share them if you wish.

Posted in Antibirbery Campaign, RTI Campgain | Leave a Comment »

ANTI BRIBERY CAMPAIGN sponsored by NDTV and HELPDESK in Bangalore provided by KRIA

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 2, 2006

 Date: Sun, 2 Jul 2006 09:43:34 -0700 (PDT)
From:  “veeresh bellur” <veeresh_bellur@yahoo.com
To:  “Bhujanga” <rajabhujanga@yahoo.com>,  “DINESH DINESH” <tcdinesh@yahoo.com>, “sisodia kabir” <msisodia@gmail.com>, “Venkat Kumaraswamy” <vmkumaraswamy@yahoo.com>, “leo saldanha saldanha leo” <esg@bgl.vsnl.net.in>,  “venkataram supraja” <srvenkatram@yahoo.com>, “muralidhar y.g.” <creatorg@sify.com> ,

Dear Sir,

As a part of Anti Bribery Campaign sponsored by NDTV a help desk has been operational at the following address in Bangalore:

Office of  the  Borrowers Association of India

9th Cross, Kempegowda Road Cross

Near Bannappa Park


BANGALORE  560 002.

(OPPOSITE TO St. Marthas Hospital K G Road Gate)

Telephone Nos. 9886020774   -9845039699

Posted in Antibirbery Campaign, Karnataka RTI | Leave a Comment »

HT’s Drive Against Bribe, share your views.. July 1st Drive Against Bribe begins today

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 2, 2006

Hindustan Times.com Drive Aginst Bribe, Share your views.. here..


 July 1st Drive Against Bribe begins today


Posted in Antibirbery Campaign | Leave a Comment »