RTI can ring in true democracy: Hazare
SEVERAL SPEAKERS, led by eminent social reformer Anna Hazare on Monday strongly pointed out that the Right to Information (RTI) Act was a potent weapon to ring in true democracy if used in an informed way.Updated: Feb 06, 2007, 14:20 IST
SEVERAL SPEAKERS, led by eminent social reformer Anna Hazare on Monday strongly pointed out that the Right to Information (RTI) Act was a potent weapon to ring in true democracy if used in an informed way.
Hazare added that youth with clean character and voluntary organisations with sincere approach were the two main conduits of bringing about the needed awareness amongst people to use the RTI in effective manner.
He was speaking at the two-day workshop on RTI organised by voluntary organisation Samarthan in collaboration with government of Madhya Pradesh and DFID, UK.
Hazare said RTI was a revolutionary act that could truly give common people their due place in democracy. “It can help you to claim your place as the true rulers of the country and make government officials realise that they are truly Government servants,’’ he said.
However, he cautioned against a confrontationist attitude between applicants and the Principal Information Officers (PIOs) and called for coordination.
POOR STATUS IN MADHYA PRADESH: Speakers at the meeting unanimously agreed that the level of awareness regarding the act was far too low in Madhya Pradesh and a lot of work needed to be done in this direction.
Samarthan Director Yogesh Kumar presented a status report for Madhya Pradesh mentioning that only 502 applications under the Right to Information were received in the State till March 2006 and 484 of these were urban-centric.
Hazare strongly condemned addictive habits amongst youth saying that such habits would certainly not help their personal or country’s cause.
He suggested the State Government take more proactive steps to popularise the act by distributing booklets and informing people through gram sabhas.
State Information Commissioner of Chhattisgarh A K Vijayvargiya highlighted need of publicising the act. He suggested inclusion of the Act in the syllabus at high school or higher secondary level and training of the applicants so that they could seek and get proper and useful information.
General Administration Department (GAD) secretary D S Rai stressed the Government’s commitment towards effective implementation of the act. Minister of State for Home Nagendra Singh who was an invitee to inaugural session failed to turn up.
In the technical session, GAD additional secretary Akhilesh Argal gave details of the provisions of the RTI Act and the GoMP’s proactive decisions in this regard. DIG Anuradha Shankar highlighted the fact that the Act was a good way to make the member of executive shed their status quo-ist attitude and work for development of society.
She expressed regret at the very meager number of applications received by the police department under the Act and called upon the people for its better use.