The currents of social activism of last decade have witnessed a steady rise of right based approach that integrally linked with protection and promotion of basic necessities of human being to lead a descent life with dignity. Constitutional amendments, promulgation of new laws, judicial activism have become the hallmark of modern society.
India had introduced and subsequently passed Right to Information Act (RTI) in 2005 in the Parliament that received with much aplomb from both the intellectuals and social activists across the Indian sub-continent. But such a historic phenomenon of Indian politics still remains unknown to most of the people and thus a need was felt to generate awareness at mass levels so that people can understand the technical aspects of the law for their well-being. On the basis of such understanding, we have launched awareness programmes both on various clauses of the laws and link them with several poverty alleviation programmes of the Government of India and the Government of West Bengal so that the deserving people can easily avail different facilities without any unethical practice of corruption by respective personnel or public authorities who are in charge of implementing of those programmes.
Our major activities include: community based awareness camp for peoples participation, generate awareness on different clauses of RTI , counselling, advise and requisite support to individuals, families and institutions, organize rally, demonstration, public campaign through IEC, sensitization of government officials at different echelons of administration and follow-up applications or complaints case by case through different procedural modalities.
Due to our systematic campaign for people's awareness and participation we visualise several positive results. During last financial year, we have recorded that hundreds of applications or complaints letters were submitted by individuals as well as community based organisations to the respective designated public authority on different issues. People are gradually showing abiding interests about the law and its effectiveness to force the duty bearers to discharge their responsibilities on time, maintaining reasonable transparency in the process of the job. Respective officials both at district and state levels have become active and swung into action at the call of public grievances without any unnecessary delay.
The governing systems are now cooperating with public in regard to the facilities available under RTI. The major activities of such programme basically focus on National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGES); Public Distribution Systems (PDS)- a system introduced by the government to extend supply of basic food grains e.g. rice, wheat, pulse, sugar along with spice, match box, palm oil, kerosene oil to the people- living below poverty line -through a chain of supply systems management-of government; financial support for the brilliant students coming from poor families.
Press conference followed by press news on such issues virtually lead to cumulative impact on entire population in terms of awareness and rational judgment to negotiate with those hurdles effectively. Display boards are now placed in different locations followed by our strategic intervention and follow up mechanisms. District Information Officers and State Information Officers are now active and duty bound to act with responsibility because of gradual empowerment of grass root people through our organised and systematic intervention.