March to spread awareness on RTI Act

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Bangalore, Sep 29 (UNI) A group of professionals in Karnataka have set out on a 400-km walk, a unique mission to create awareness on the Right to Information (RTI) Act in rural parts of the state.

Talking to UNI, Dr R Balasubramanium, a doctor serving thousands of tribals in remote Sargur in Mysore district, who was leading the march, said the legislation could be used as a powerful instrument to control corruption and bring immense benefits to the poor.

The march began from Sargur in September and is now on its final lap, entering the state capital. The activists had, so far, visited 38 gram panchayats in five districts.

''We do not touch upon big issues. We tell the people why the road leading to the village centre was not built properly or why they had not been provided with BPL cards despite they being very poor and urge them to use the RTI Act to their benefit,'' he said.

The group consisting of 40 people had met nearly two lakh people.

''We are satisfied with our endeavour and believe that it had the effect on the poor. We interact with villagers, hold street plays and tell the people about the benefits of the Act,'' Dr Balasubramanium, who along with his wife runs a 320-bed hospital for tribals, said.

''We have not spent a single rupee so far. We eat whatever the villagers offer and sleep at government schools. There are so many people who invite us to their homes for dinner. This speaks volumes about their positive sense. People want change, but are not sure about the change they want,'' he says.

The group, which also comprises doctors and IT professionals, explain the people about the importance of RTI, which promotes 'participatory democracy.' ''If the Act is successfully implemented, it will restore self-confidence and self-esteem in the people,'' he felt.

The march would conclude at the Mahatma Gandhi statue here on October 4.

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