Right to Information

India being the world’s largest democratic country is being hailed world over although the level of participation in governance is minimal. The commoners exercise their right only once in five year to select the governing body for the state as well as country but surprisingly the same has never allowed any disclosure of govt. process, which is for the common public. Masses are totally in dark over the processes of allocation of funds and how the same can be beneficial for them in long run. The role of government is being limited to that of donor and commoners align themselves as the recipient, which has unfortunately created a series of gaps in governance and participatory processes.

After a long battle of Civil society organization the “Right to Information” bill draft was accepted by the Union cabinet passed by Parliament and then after was enacted in entire country with an exception of J&K.

As the issue was under the U.P.A govt. election agenda, the same was passed as an obligatory gesture and commitment made to the commoners. After the enactment of the same it was felt by the administrators that the said Act would erode the rampant corruption as well as disclose the mollified and injudicious decisions taken to benefit and help the few. The law was first of its kind where public have been given the authority to regulate the governance and nothing can be unlawful on their part. A series of discussion and debate started among the authorities and lawmakers to make suitable changes in the Act, which make them free from the ambit of RTI. As the policy makers as well as administrators were not used to provide any such detail, which raises questions against their decision it was thus imperative for them to do a strong lobbying for a pleasing changes. It was only after this that certain amendments were proposed and passed by the union cabinet, which has almost changed the ethos and sanctity of the Act.

It has been a common experience that lack of information on the part of common man has enabled the government in making suitable changes favourable for them and has been evident in many of the past Acts as well as legislations. From time to time CSO’s as well as other VOs has raised awareness among the common masses on different issues which has helped in effective implementation as well pressure building on the various levels of administration. In continuation to the same UPVAN, which is a broad based network of more than 225 partner agencies across 52 districts of U.P has organized a state level workshop on different aspects as well as challenges to RTI in context to Civil Society Organization. Keeping in view the discussions as well as outcome of the workshop UPVAN has proposed to initiate a mass awareness campaign on RTI across all the districts of Uttar Pradesh in a concrete way and which can sustain long so as to help the commoners regarding their problems and solution in context to RTI.

Objective of the Campaign (Janta Jago Jawab Mango)

The campaign envisaged to build a cadre of devoted and dedicated grass root level professionals on RTI, which will be known as Public Information Worker (P.I.W) or “JAN SOOCHNA SAINIK” and will in turn disseminate information to common masses on several issues pertaining to RTI. The campaign will also set up different levels of Camps for duration of 1-2 days to assist the people in drafting the application and making then aware about their rights.

     The process of RTI campaign is depicted through this pictorial presentation

Strategy of the Campaign

As the campaign is essentially community centric it has been planned that adequate training will be imparted to representatives of different member organization, which in turn will act as a torchbearers for the campaign. The campaign will assist the target groups in drafting the application as well as getting the information from the relevant department. A task force will be constituted to prepare the study material on different aspects of RTI and information will be disseminated in form of Boucher, Leaflets, posters as well as booklets.

The campaign envisages Four Phases.

First Phase: - In the first phase all member & non-member organizations were trained as resource persons for creating mass awareness in regard to the RTI Act. These resource persons are available at every district of U.P. as Jan Soochna Sainik. This phase is completed and 165 persons had been trained till date through 5 district level workshops.

Second Phase: - Awareness through Radio Program. The program was divided in 4 episodes & relayed from 4 service stations namely –Jhansi, Rampur, Varanasi & Gorakhpur during the month of Aug 07.

Third Phase: - Creating change agents through awareness generation in Universities & Colleges across 55 districts in U.P. About 1.50 lakh youth were sensitized through sensitization workshops, which are targeted to be completed by Jan 2008. Reorientation workshop were organized on 5 Oct 07 for the resource persons who were asked to organize similar sensitization workshop in their respective districts.

Fourth Phase: - With a view to highlight RTI Act in rural areas night camps, pad yatra, rally are to be organized after the completion of the sensitization workshop in various colleges and universities.


Regional training workshop on RTI in U P for Network Partners

Launched a 4 episode radio program in August which in primarily focused on the ways & methods of utilizing RTI tool

Sensational Workshops on RTI in UNiversities and Colleges.

Right to Information (Report on state and regional workshops)








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