PEOPLE JUST don’t seem to have the right information about Right To Information (RTI). Or why else would they open their box of woes at a campaign that is meant to educate and create awareness among them on how to exercise this privilege.
“Around 60 people turned up on the very first day of the 15-day awareness drive being organised here at the Ambedkar Mahasabha office opposite the Vidhan Bhawan to explain to them the Act’s purpose and its use,” said S R Darapuri, a retired IAS officer supervising the campaign.
So, even as trained volunteers went about telling people how they were supposed to fill up the form seeking particular information, the applicants had their own story to narrate.
And the complaints were as varied as the complainants. Take for instance Abdul Mujib, a resident of E-1093 Rajajipuram locality in the city. Mujib, who had applied for a passport in 1993, was keen to know how he could pursue his application for procuring the same!
Equally fervent was Vijay Kumar Maurya’s plea seeking action against his employer, who had hired him as a meter reader on a contractual basis and had subsequently fired him from the job seven months ago. “I have come to find out whether any action can be initiated against the retired engineer, who runs the private firm, under this Act,” Maurya told this correspondent.
“These people construe the RTI as some sort of a public grievance redress system,” said a trained volunteer at the camp even as Mohd Usman of Gosaiganj narrated to another volunteer how his daughter was being harassed for dowry by her in-laws. “A case has been registered with the Ghaizpur police station in Indira Nagar but they have not taken any action in the matter,” he informed.
But not all who turned up were uninitiated. Rahul Gupta, a resident of Phool Wala Park in New Hyderabad said that he was getting inflated bills and when he approached the authorities at the LESA in this connection, they (LESA officials) demanded money from him to correct the problem.
Likewise, MP Gupta of Rajajipuram is still awaiting the death certificate of his wife for which he had applied to the Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) over a year ago.
“Most of the issues that were raised by the people related to the LDA, LESA and the LMC,” said Darapuri. He said the volunteers were also apprising them about the follow-up process in case the department concerned did not answer their queries.
Trained volunteers of self-help groups like Aasha, Sanjhi Duniya, Parivartan are participating in the awareness campaign. For more information people can contact SR Darapuri on 9415164845, Arundhati 9415022772 and Shailendra Kumar Singh 9415006470.