Right to Information (RTI) is an act meant to empower and inform the public about the choices and decisions the government makes. But the major question is, is it successful?
As the second round of the RTI awards draw close and the nominations are filed, NDTV takes a look at the individuals who have used the act as it was meant to be used. The tragedy though is that very often RTI campaigners win battles not wars.
Last year NDTV-ONGC National RTI Awards acknowledged those who have been working for transparency within the system. Now, it’s the second year of the RTI Awards, and nominations for this year’s awards are now open.
S P Gupta, the runner up in the Best RTI citizen category in 2009 used the Act to expose wrong-doing in construction of roads in Rajinder Nagar, New Delhi, where he lives.
The roads in the area are still dilapidated with debris stuffed alongside. Even the basic norms, like using prescribed material in road construction have not been followed. "I don’t think that they are following the rules at all," Gupta added.
However, Mr Gupta has still not stopped his fight against corruption and filed his queries. In the last one year he has also filed an RTI query about discrepancies in making voter I-cards.
"I filed an RTI seeking the reply in the discrepancies caused while making the electoral cards, to get the answers I had to approach the CIC, the procedure should be made simpler to file an RTI. Post offices should be made to accept the RTI application. It’s sad that people are not using RTI to fight corruption," Said S P Gupta.
The RTI tool considered revolutionary in itself, has seldom been used proficiently. It’s regretful that even after the availability of a powerful tool like RTI, the attitude of government officials has still not changed.