RTI works where other means fail: Gandhi

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Mumbai, Jan 13 (UNI) Noted Right to Information (RTI) activist Shailesh Gandhi today urged the people to take the RTI route to make the system more transparent.

Mr Gandhi was speaking after receiving the 'Social Activist of the Year Award', instituted by the city-based Non-Government Organisation (NGO) Catholic Secular Forum, at the hands of Bollywood director Pooja Bhatt.

Mr Gandhi, who initiated the Right to Information recourse for seeking information on public issues from the government in 2003, received the award for his use of the RTI Act. So far, he has managed to reach out to more than 6,000 people enabling them to seek information under the central legislation.

He called upon the gathering to spend a few rupees and about an hour in a month on issues that each felt strongly about, and file an application from the comfort of one's home.

''The greater the number of applications filed, the better will be the accountability and responsibility of the authorities,'' he added.

Mr Gandhi also described how RTI evolved from Rajasthan and finally became legislation for the country.

''The importance of the RTI Act lies in the fact that it is cost-effective, time-bound, convenient and has borne results where other means have failed,'' he said.

Mr Gandhi also gave a few tips on how to frame questions under the RTI, and illustrated with examples how the Act was highlighting the issue.

In addition to Mr Gandhi, Ms Bhatt also received the award for her support to various human rights causes along with Maharashtra Minorities Commission Vice Chairman Dr Abraham Mathai for his campaign against communalism in Orissa.

UNI IAS NM AE RS1943

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