Tuesday, June 05, 2018

‘RTI Act with proper implementation, can prove to be a powerful tool’

Times of India: Nagpur: Tuesday, June 05, 2018.
To create awareness among people about Right To Information (RTI) Act, 2005, Janmanch had organized a programme at Baburao Dhanwate Sabhagruh, Shankar Nagar, on Saturday.
The RTI act gives the citizens the right to access information and services they need from the public offices and Janmanch’s initiative aimed to create awareness about RTI and discuss its implementation at various levels.
Sharad Patil, president of Janmanch said, “Knowledge is empowering and RTI has come as a boon at a time when corruption is on a rise. The concept of RTI is good but its implementation is still questionable.”
Patil said that the government officials often wrongly classify the documents as “confidential” to make them inaccessible to the public and try to cover their tracks. He cited instances when the members of Janmanch were given wrong or irrelevant information which made it difficult for them to scoop out some important data.
He urged the audience to involve themselves in awareness programmes and said, “RTI can bring openness and transparency among the people and the authorities and thereby create a change. People should come forward in large numbers and urge the government to properly implement this empowering tool.”
Ram Akhre, an RTI activist, said, “People don’t know the constitution and are unaware of their rights hence cannot utilize them optimally. Earlier when RTI was passed, it was celebrated but people lost their zeal after they witnessed its poor implementation.” Akhre has been working on RTI awareness campaigns since long and has interacted with more than 20 lakh citizens from all walks of life and has also presented at programmes held in cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai.
Abhay Kolarkar, a renowned RTI activist, has filed over a thousand queries under RTI and shared with the audience some of the success stories. Informing about the situations in which RTI can be used he said, “All public forums can be questioned under RTI. Petrol pumps, colleges, schools, LPG dealers are only some of them. RTI has immense potential to bring a positive change and if everybody uses it properly then we’re looking at a brighter future.”