RTI drive | Words of praise from Dikshit | india | Hindustan Times
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RTI drive | Words of praise from Dikshit

Dikshit approached every help-desk to patiently witness volunteers assisting citizens in filing applications at the RTI camp.

india Updated: Jul 10, 2006 01:04 IST

Having generated thousands of Right to Information applications from its premises so far, the ongoing Drive Against Bribe campaign, perhaps, deserved the words of admiration that it got from the leader of the state government.

On Saturday, the visit of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to the camp could have been just another politician appearing at a public function. But the very nature of the camp swarmed with aggrieved citizens did not let the chance to meet the CM go waste.

"People crowded around her with their complaints. She did give them a patient hearing, but her visit was more about experiencing first hand the RTI revolution that has been unfurling at the camp," said activist Arvind Kejriwal.

Accompanied by social activist and actor Nafisa Ali, Dikshit approached every help-desk to patiently witness volunteers assisting citizens in filing applications. "She asked me if we have undergone some special training in RTI. I told her that working at the camp was a great training in itself. She seemed impressed," a student volunteer said.

Volunteers were apt in informing Dikshit that the number of applications pertaining to her government was mounting everyday. "All applications will be honoured on time because this is an excellent, democratic way of people taking stock of the government," she said.

When reminded that her own office does not have a public information officer yet, she said, "I am the PIO of my office. Come to me with all queries."

Perhaps buoyed by praises from the CM, the number of both visitors and applications registered at the camp saw a sharp increase. Over the weekend, more than a hundred applications were filed in Delhi alone.

Meanwhile, stories of success kept pouring in from across the country.

In Mumbai, a little respite from the rains saw the crowd back at the camp. More than 125 applications were registered there.

In Jamshedpur, upon repeated plea from campaign volunteers, the Education and Electricity departments of BSNL finally appointed a PIO each.

However, a few states and cities continued to evade emulating the success elsewhere. In Bihar and Uttar Pradesh there have been cases of officials throwing RTI applications in the face of applicants. "But we still have a week to go before the drive officially ends. We hope that by then better sense will prevail on officials in those parts," said an activist in Delhi.

Nationwide, more than 856 applications were registered over the weekend.