Thursday, September 14, 2006

Spreading awareness about the act

Apart from my own attempts at asking questions through RTI, I am planning to spread awareness about this act among the slums of Chennai. The success of this act lies not in just one person asking questions, but in a large number of people asking questions. So, I was planning to visit a slum and try to find out the problems that they have with the government and probably help a couple of people file their applications. In that process I will make sure that all the people in the slum know that such a thing is happening. If they see that this is working, everybody who has a problem with the government might want to sort it out through RTI. At that point I might conduct an awareness camp in the whole of the slum.

As a part of this I visited a slum near my office, the day before (13-Sep-2006). Just when I was wondering whom to approach in the slum, I saw a lady throwing garbage at a corner and she was complaining to herself abt something, that I couldnt properly hear. So I immediately went up to her and asked her what the problem was. She told me that since there was no garbage bin, the garbage just keeps flying away here and there thereby causing a lot of convenience to their slum. She also told me that there used to be a garbage bin here but was removed when the road was being laid last year. So I thought this might be a nice place to start off the RTI campaign in this slum. I explained to her that I am from an NGO and can help solve problems with the government. I told her that there is a new act through which you can get info from the government. I am not sure if she understood the part about Information, but I told her that in effect she needs to file an application with a government official and asked her if she was ready. She said yes, I told her that I will come back in two days with the applicaiton.

The next day I went and took a snap of the place which is being used as a garbage dump. There is also a water pump very close to it. Somebody kept a cycle rickshaw (See picture below) near the dumping place to make sure that garbage doesnt fly in that particular direction. I am planning to file an application asking them the rules abt Garbage bins in the city, why this garbage bin was removed and how they are going to solve the problem.

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