Sunday, September 28, 2008

RIGHT TO KNOW

International Day for Your "Right to Know"
Ever wondered why the next-door new school building is falling down?
Whyevery year you bump on same repaired road?
Why you never get your rationcard or the passport on time?
Why it is impossible to get a patta from theTaluk office for your land?
Why did you fail in the examination, which youwere confident of passing?
Where is that elusive Income Tax refund?
Why doyou have to literally drive around in circles to get your driving licence?
What happens to the promises made every five years ?
You will be surprised to hear that now you can not only have the answers toall these nagging questions but also speed up pending issues with thegovernment and other civic bodies, without greasing palms or paying speedmoney.
September 28th is the International day for your "Right to Know".We Indians can exercise this Right, by seeking information under the Rightto Information Act 2005 (RTI Act 2005). In other countries, similar laws arecalled "Freedom of Information Act". The Indian law is the strongest in theworld and covers the widest possible range of "information" which you canseek from the Government. Indians staying abroad, PIO Card holders and OCI'scan also exercise this Right, through Indian Embassies and Consulateslocated abroad.The RTI Act 2005, also known as the Common Man's Law or the Sunshine Act isbeing used by Citizens with great effect and immediate positive results, forresolution of day to day issues, that we face with our government and othercivic bodies. From getting all the missing manholes replaced in the city ofMumbai within 12 days to revealing what really is genetically modifiedBrinjal - it is a panacea to all your inquisitiveness.Applications made under the Right to Information Act 2005, have uncoveredwasteful expenditure and exposed important frauds/scams like:-
IIM admission criteria (CAT does not count)
- Fraud (called "Computer error") in IIT/JEE entrance exam
- Maharashtra CM's Relief Fund used for Carrom/Kabadi tournamentsand Weddings
- Use of Kargil Relief funds for buying Nappies, A/c's and HomeTheatres
- Electricity Bills of Rashtrapati Bhawan (Rs. 4 Crores a year)-
Rs. 7 Crores missing from donations to PM Relief Fund
- Supreme Court Judges expenditure on Foreign Travel (one trip of 7days costs Rs. 10.6 lakhs !)-
Law Minister Bharadwaj "lost" his passport, to protect details ofhis London visit to release Bofors funds
Shares worth Rs 25,000 Crores lying in dormant DMat accounts-
10 Lakh bogus ration cards discovered in Delhi-
Income tax returns of all political parties
All kinds of citizens have used the RTI Act - from industrialists like AnilAmbani and Nusli Wadia to politicians like Arun Jaitley and Jaswant Singh,from a 9 year old boy who was refused the right to file a FIR for a missingbicycle to the 82 year old Hyderabad lady who could not get her passportrenewed even after 2 years, from Anuj Dhar who wanted to find out whatreally happened to Netaji to Commodore Batra who exposed that the NationalCouncil for Women was sleeping during the Nithari killings. Journalists inthe media have used the RTI Act that have led to regular cover stories inmagazines like India Today, Outlook and The Week as well as TV Channels likeNDTV and CNN-IBN, besides articles everyday in mainline newspapers.If any of you are interested in knowing more about this sunshine Act,learning how to draft and file an RTI application or are interested inorganising a complete RTI presentation for your friends, colleagues and clubmembers, please contact me on my email id: karira@eth.net or visit thepopular online RTI community portal at www.rtiindia. org<http://www.rtiindia .org/> .Take a few minutes to listen to this nice video about your "Right to Know"(Janene Ka Haq) and you will know the importance of this right:http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=iZ1yvrMDUMU Remember, if you don't know, you can never exercise your right to "freespeech" or ultimately, your right to "life and liberty".
It is your "Right to Know" !
This i got in my BITSAA mail:)

9 comments:

Raghu said...

Cool ! .. i had heard abt the ACT .. but that was it .. guess i wld store the link .. u never knw when one wld require it :) .. Guess , if its allowed to work .. then there cld b so much of transparency .. Am surprised how our netas ever let such a law to come into force !! .. hehe ..

By the way , pleasure is mine :)

Anjuli said...

this was very interesting. I had no idea there was a particular day which one could find out all the answers.

p.s.
Thnx for your comment in my blog! (fellow world traveler) :)

Cess said...

Hi Renu,

I m glad to know today, well in 2h30 min for me , that it is the Right To Know international day.
I m waiting for an answer and hopefully i will know it by monday and hopefully it will be a positive one... I hope.
tc
C.

Renu said...

Raghu: Now the situation is such that we have to be proactive if we want us and our country to survive:)yes it works, I have read many cases in the newapaper about it:)
Here only, our democracy shows its claws and leaders have to agree:), the same as with Lokpal Bill:)

Anjuli: This day is only a symbolic celebration, u can find all ur answers any day:). Its ur right, that is this act is all about.
I love to know about different cultures,places and people,and thats the reason I reached ur blog and enjoyed it.

Cess: Even I dont know abt it, tell me is it?

Swats said...

wow..very relevant n sensible questns Renu

wht a hard-hitting and thought provoking post!

Raghu said...

I agree ! .. ppl got b more pro-active fer the things to move .. i somehow dont like these NGO's , they r just attention mongers ..

And ,may b i need to read the paper more thoroughly .. hehe ..

Oh yes , our democracy does have long nd sharp claws .. just that i hope claws does open more often !! .. :)

Renu said...

Swats: Isnt it surprising that in a poor country how much money is spent on useless things?

raghu: NGOs are good and bad both, i always think like this....even if they do little, but atleast a little is done:)

There are many news which shock me and I feel like putting here--like 3 orphan boys who dont have money to pay for their MBA course and TOI not printing there contact details--I want to ask..where is that reservation brigade now? why not support them NOW ? and many more like this, but then my blkog will become a newspaper...:):)

Our democracy is like a sleeping lion, we need someone to wake it up:)

HOBO said...

Claps for this post.
Too good. Thankyou !
:)

Renu said...

Hobo: Pleasure is mine completely:)