I am an RTI activist, YOU can be too.!

An Act to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority, the constitution of a Central Information Commission and State Information Commissions and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

If you are a netizen, or a regular newspaper reader, you have heard about RTI activism (Assuming that you know what RTI is..),  you have also heard about Attack on RTI activists, and most importantly about unearthing of valuable information for the public eye and public good. For the beginners, RTI is “Right to Information Act”, brought in 2005. Again for the beginners, this kind of activism sounds like  a long, clerical/legal procedure to get the information from public authorities. However, surprisingly, it is simple, fast, efficient and wonderful.

So, “What can you ask”? In fact more important question is “What do you want to know?”. Anyway, the young generation is rising and revolting against almost any nonsensical event in our country. So might as well use this tool. So you can ask about the financial spending of you local governing body (Corporation, Municipality  Panchayat), You can ask how many rape cases are registered in your police station. You can ask about the salaries/perks of various government officers. The list is endless. The whole government functioning is under scrutiny. And this is what democracy is all about, right?

So, now the nitty gritty part, There are tons of information on the net already, and many dedicated websites just to help you out guys, even government websites are very helpful.

1) Get the form from the following link, http://rti.kerala.gov.in/forms/form01e.pdf

trust me, its a single page .pdf any literate can fill.

2) Identify and address the form to the concerned department.

3) Fill in the particulars and the questions, you want it to be covered.

4) Sign the copy of application and keep one copy with you.

5) Paste a Rs.10 court fee stamp.

Tada.. That’s it, post it, give it in person… They will give you acknowledgement then and there (if given in person) or will be sent to you in a week, the information will be sent to you within stipulated time, else you can contact the appellate authority in almost similar fashion.

RTI activists are called “activists” because there is a genuine risk involved.  There is a Wikipedia entry about the attacks on RTI activists at HERE.  Incidentally, no attack on RTI activists from Kerala, shows the already high political participation of populace in the state.

 Are you ready?? I have compiled one RTI request and have to submit another one this week. I had submitted my first request back in October and had received the reply back in October itself, never got a chance to blog about it. Will post more about it in the next post..!

So my dear friends, what are you going to do this new year..?? what is your resolution..?

Put a Facebook status about how you are pissed about the system.?

Put a “Black dot of shame” as your profile picture?

Like statuses/photos condemning the rape/attack/barbarism on the 23 year old girl. 

OR

DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT..????

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”
-Henry David Thoreau

-Santhosh K Ramachandran

P.S: Happy new year..!