Although the Right to Information Act (RTI), has been used extensively by the aam aadmi to expose irregularities in the working of the government, there is still a section of people who do not know how to use it. To address this issue, Ashish G Mhatre, senior project manager at an IT company, along with RTI activists Krishnaraj Rao and GR Vora have come together to create an ‘RTI bank’.
The website provides those who want to file an RTI application with a template. The Mumbai-based trio is working with other RTI activists from across India to create this bank. Rao explains, “Through our interactions with applicants, we realised that people face difficulties in drafting suitable RTI applications. We want to give novices a knowledge-bank so they can receive guidance from those who have already succeeded in getting similar information. This bank also gives the successful RTI applicants a chance to share the secrets of their success with others.”
Mhatre, who came up with this idea says, “The idea struck me a year ago when I joined the RTI union — a group formed by RTI activists from all over India. If somebody wants to file an RTI then he/she has to seek help from an RTI expert. If one files an RTI without seeking any help, then in most cases the application gets rejected. The common man may not be aware of the various departments that exist under the state government or the municipal body. This link will have a list of successful RTI applications and someone can just use those applications as guidelines.”
Mhatre came up with a firm plan a week ago and pitched it to Rao and Vora. “As of now, we have received 18 successful applications, but we are sure we will get many more,” adds Mhatre.
“This will reduce the response time too. We felt that if there is a data bank of issue-wise and public authority-wise successful RTI applications on a single open link, it would be of immense use to citizens who wish to seek info from various government departments as they would simply have to click on the appropriate folder and surf through the various standard RTI applications,” says Vora.
The process to access these RTI applications is fairly simple. “One will simply have to copy-paste this link on the Internet browser to view all the issue-wise folders. Each folder will contain soft copies of all successfully filed RTI applications on a particular issue,” explained Vora.
Successful RTI applicants can send a soft copy of their application on firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Successful RTI Applications’ in the subject line. On request, the identity of the applicant will be withheld
Log on to: http://tinyurl.com/RTIApplications