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RTI effect: Officials work on a Sunday

india Updated: Jul 03, 2006 03:30 IST

The second day of the Drive Against Bribe campaign based on the Right to Information Act has achieved a “first” of sorts: it saw government officials work on Sunday. 

Officials posted at the various camps worked the whole day, registering hundreds of RTI applications. The campaign, in association with the HT, has caught on.

The helpline on day 2 was choked with calls. Manish Sisodia, an activist, says, “So far we had been receiving calls on general queries. But since Saturday, we have actually helped more than a thousand callers across the country file RTI requisitions over the phone.”

That apart, more than 60 requisitions were filed at counters. As many as 23 of them were related to the Delhi government. All of them will be sent to departments concerned first thing on Monday,” an official said.

“The idea of driving away bribery seems to have caught the fancy of the people,” said activist Arvind Kejriwal as the camp at Nehru Yuva Kendra at the Indira Gandhi stadium saw hundreds of people walk in since it started at 11 am.

“Several visitors came from places in UP and Haryana and other NCR regions,” he added.

Not all came with the intention of filing a requisition though. Many seized the opportunity to learn about the power of RTI.

“We have deputed special volunteers to hold  classes for people who just want to learn about the effectiveness of the Act,” Manish said. Booklets and pamphlets containing general information and distributed free were seen flying off the shelves throughout the day.

Students of Jamia, JNU, DU and some other private institutes joined in to help volunteers from 14 different NGOs.

“After the camp is over, Delhi should know how to evade bribing to get a job done,” said Priya Mahindroo, a student volunteer.

An astonishing 235 RTI applications were officially registered all over the country.

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