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Campaign ends, movement begins

india Updated: Jul 16, 2006 01:18 IST
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160 register on concluding day

THE DRIVE may have come to an end but the movement has just begun. And, an indication of this growing public awareness was manifest in the turnout of over 160 registrations that were received on the concluding day of the Hindustan Times’ ‘Drive Against Bribe’ campaign under the Right To Information (RTI) training-cum-assistance camp here on Saturday.

“We would be holding a similar camp here again on August 27 to help file the appeal of those who could not get the desired information,” said Arundhati Dhuru, one of the camp supervisors.

Applications of 80 people were moved under the RTI by the trained volunteers of self-help groups. But crooked ‘babus’ some departments like the LDA, the district administration and the medical health refuse to mend their ways.

“For instance, a couple of applicants told us that they were turned away by the LDA officials on the pretext that they had run out of application forms,” said Navin Tiwari, a volunteer. The truth is that no application form is required in such cases and the grievance can be conveyed even on a plain paper.

In for a rude shock was Kaneez Jahan, a resident of house number 512/335, 4th lane Nishatganj, whose application was torn and returned by the officials of District Urban Development Agency (DUDA). The woman had gone there to inquire about the status of her application for a house under a scheme of the agency. She is still in possession of that torn application and has now moved the Chief Information Commissioner’s office on the issue.

Shailendra Srivastava, a resident of Indira Nagar, asserted his right to information to know why he had been denied a regular post in the Rajkiye Nirman Nigam (RNN) where he had undergone a year’s apprenticeship in 1991. “I later moved the High Court when people with much less or no experience were given job by the RNN. And though the court subsequently upheld my contention, its order has not been implemented till date by the RNN authorities,” said Srivastava waving a sheaf of recommendation letters from ministers and powers that be.