Publishing for India?s marginalised | india | Hindustan Times
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Publishing for India?s marginalised

The right to be informed and the right to know are basic to every human being. This is especially relevant for the marginalised people. -Pehel

india Updated: Mar 05, 2004 16:59 IST

Nathu Ram from the Bikaner district in Rajasthan tills two acres of his landlord's lands. Nathu Ram and his family dread the summer months, when hunger strikes. What Nathu Ram does not know is that his family and he are eligible for the Government's Targeted Public Distribution System, under which families that fall below the poverty line may buy cereals at prices significantly below the market prices.

For families such as Nathu Ram's, the difference between starvation and a full larder can be met only if they know about their right to food.

The right to be informed and the right to know are basic to every human being. This is especially relevant for the marginalised people. In reality, however, those with little or no literacy skills, and/or limited buying power - in other words - most of rural India, are at the last rung of the ladder as far as access to information is concerned.

The Government of India's newly ratified Act on the Right to Information needs active backing by the civil society - by bringing required information and knowledge to the doorsteps of rural India, in a form and medium that is easily accessible.