eGovernance in India

Improving eGovernance in INDIA

NGOs organise drive to popularise RTI Act

Posted by egovindia on July 4, 2006

NGOs organise drive to popularise RTI Act
Neha Kaushik | New Delhi

Everyone living in India is aware of the ordeal one needs to go through to get a file moving in a government office. To have a sarkari babu lend his ear to your woes is even tougher one could argue.
Nine non-governmental organisations have come together to curb this menace and help the common man to stand up for his right.
On the third day of the fortnight-long all India drive against the prevalent chai pani system on Monday, hopefuls thronged the IGI Stadium camp with a variety of complaints. Thanks to the media and the purpose of the drive, two representatives of the Delhi Government were available to hear and receive complaints.
For the 89-year-old Hari Chand Vyas, an ex-Delhi Government employee, the fight for receiving his monthly pension continues even after the visits he has made umpteen times to awake the concerned authorities and acknowledge his plight.
Officials claimed that the cheques were being despatched and contended that the same may have been getting lost in transit shirking responsibility from the entire affair.
Tired, Vyas resorted to taking help from the anti-bribery camp on Monday, hoping for a solution to his problem.
The Right to Information Act 2005, is a powerful tool to demand transparency and accountability in the functioning of public authorities. The RTI Act enables common citizens to access information, withheld by Government functionaries previously on the pretext of the Official Secrets Act.
The camp is catering to the need of the people who have been deprived of basic information on problems they have been facing for a long time.
For 75-year-old Radhakrishna Nirankar the past eight years have been more than a nightmare. After he was allotted a small piece of land in 1998, he submitted the requisite money. He was only late by two days in paying back his interest amount that led “corrupt” officials to “ensure” he did not win the possession of his plot. “Every time I went, I was demanded bribe – even for opening the file,” said Nirankar. On Monday, Nirankar’s fading hopes came to life as he heard the power he could wield thanks to the RTI Act.
“Most of the complaints we have received in the past two days have been related to matters pertaining to passport, sewage, income tax, refund and housing. The State Government has offered its services and two Delhi government officials have been on the service for direct submission of application,” said Manish Sisodia, a member of Kabir an NGO working for the cause.

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