Sichrem staff and volunteers attended a protest against the murder of RTI activist Amit Jethava. He was shot dead outside the Gujarati High Court on Tuesday 20th July. Amit was an environmental activist and was inestigating corruption in Gujarat. The right to information is a human right and we fight to protect those who seek greater transparency and fight corruption.
The Right to Information clinic was conducted on Saturday 30th May. These clinics give an opportunity for people to ask any questions about how they can use the Act to extract information from Companies or State bodies. The clinic is facilitated by SICHREM’s Head of Programmes R.Manohar. The clinic is held on the last Saturday of every month between 2-4pm in Cubbon Park.
This monthly press conference, organised by the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations* in Bangalore, has been held on the last Thursday of each month since May 2009, at the Press Club, Cubbon Park, Bangalore.
The press conferences inform the press about successful cases using the Right to Information Act and to highlight other human rights news around the Bangalore community.
Yesterday, the press conference focused on these RTI cases:
- insistence of a transparent appointment process of commissioners to the Information Commission;
- successful efforts to renovate the community centre at Laxmi Devi Nagar by the Women’s Forum of Bangalore Slum’s use of the RTI Act; and
- Compliance with the Karnataka Parks, Play Fields & Openspaces (Preservation and Regulation) Act 1985.
The press conference also discussed the Gram Panchayat (GP) election campaign strategy 2010 and the importance of ensuring that GPs do not become puppet governments and an invitation to the Indian Social Institute and SICHREM’s 6th monthly human rights discourse next Friday (30 April) on women’s rights.
* Anti-Corruption Forum (ACF), Ananya-GCI, Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR), Mahiti Hakku Adhiyan Kendra (MHAK), Open Space, SICHREM, Student Christian Movement of India (SCMI), Urban Research Centre (URC), IQUEST, Sanchya Nele and Support. The public may approach any of these organisations regarding information about the RTI Act.
Tuesday: 20th April 2010
- WHAT: Meeting of the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations. We will be discussing and sharing:
1. Information on each of our programmes in the past month.
2. Coordinating our actions (and updating our calendars!).
3. Monthly Press Conference
4. Monthly RTI Clinic, to get more citizens into active participation in governance.
Other programmes that will be shared include:
1.The Development Calender
2.The Social Watch Consultation and report.
3.Monitoring of The Sc,St Act implementation.
4.The BBMP Election Survey
- LOCATION: Vallabh Niketan, near Gandhi Bhawan, Bangalore.
- TIME: 10:00 AM.
Thursday 22nd April 2010
- WHAT: Press Conference to share success stories in the usage of the RTI Act and to share events on human rights and develoment.
- LOCATION: at the Press Club, Cubbon Park.
- TIME: to be fixed on booking a slot at the Press Club – we’ll let you know ASAP. UPDATED: 1.30pm.
Saturday 24th April 2010
- WHAT: RTI Clinic and Meeting – a chance for individuals to come and ask experienced RTI activists specific questions about the RTI Act or process.
- LOCATION: opposite side of Press Club Gate in the Cubbon Park.
- TIME: 2:00 – 4:00pm
This was Saturday’s RTI clinic in Cubbon Park (directly opposite the Press Club entrance). It’s an informal opportunity for anyone with any specific questions about the RTI Act to come by and ask individuals experienced with dealing with the Act for advice.
The RTI clinic meets on the last Saturday of each month, from 2pm – 4pm. The next clinic is on Saturday 24 April. Please contact Manohar if you have any questions about these clinics.
MANOHAR.R, Head of Programs
South India Cell for Human Rights Education(SICHREM)
35,1st Floor,Anjanappa Complex, Hennur Main Road,Lingarajapuram,
St.Thomas Town Post,
Bangalore – 560084, Karnataka
Ph: 080-25473922 / 25804072-73
Mr Ossie Fernandes.
Eager participants – a mix of individual activists and NGO staff from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
The RTI workshop, held yesterday from 11am – 3pm at the Indian Social Institute, was a timely opportunity for those working with the RTI Act in both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, to come together and discuss their experiences, both positive and negative with the group.
It was a good chance to open dialogue on this important piece of legislation and discover the differences between the states and finding out how these differences affect how the Act is approached for maximum effectiveness. For example, while Karnataka has several rules relating to the Act, Tamil Nadu has none or that hearings in Karnataka are open, while hearings in Tamil Nadu are completely closed.
Many thanks to Mr Ossie Fernandes for speaking at this key workshop.
ISI and SICHREM hold monthly human rights discourses on the last Friday of each month – yesterday, the topic was Human Rights and the RTI Act, guest speaker Mr Ossie Fernandes, director of the Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation in Chennai.
Mr Ossie Fernandes and Father Francis Xavier, ISI, and Manohar R, SICHREM.
Mr Fernandes spoke to an attentive crowd of approximately 40 individuals about why the RTI Act 1995 is such a radical piece of law – unlike other pieces of legislation which empower the State, the RTI Act disempowers the Government and empowers Indian citizens. He also went on to explain how the Act is a lifeline for the poor and downtrodden and is an important tool for human rights defenders in India.
R.Manohar, Head of Programs at SICHREM, organises and participates in the Monthly RTI Clinic & Meeting at Cubbon Park, Bangalore held on the last Saturday of each month.
The clinic is from 2pm – 4 pm in Cubbon Park (opposite side of Press Club gate). These monthly clinics are a chance for anyone to come and learn about the RTI Act, how to make an application and to share their experiences with the RTI Act.
Please do join us this afternoon.
Tomorrow, Friday 26 March, the Tamil Nadu Right to Information Campaign is hosting a workshop to understand the implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005 in Karnataka at the Indian Social Institute (ISI), Benson Town at 10:00AM.
The Tamil Nadu Right to Information Campaign (the Campaign) is working for the efficient and effective implementation of the RTI Act 2005 in Tamil Nadu. The Campaign has conducted several seminars, round table conferences, trainings, RTI clinics and camps across the state regarding the RTI Act. Every year the Campaign organises a 10 day awareness programme across Tamil Nadu together with more than 40+ organisations. So as to reach the marginalised and the workers, a wide range of resource materials including pamphlets, RTI Act Book, posters have been published by the Campaign which have been received as very useful material by various sections, including the Tamil Nadu Commission.
During the Launch of a Nation wide survey and Ranking of Information Commissioners on 21st October 2009 by the National RTI Award Secretariat (Press Release), it was stated that the Karnataka Information Commission is at the top with 55% Overall Public Satisfaction (OPS). Further it states that the example set by the Karnataka and Punjab Information Commissions in keeping a case alive and conducting repeat hearings until the appellant is satisfied is noteworthy. Several other indicators in this survey also indicate that the Karnataka Commission has been doing well. For example, in the assessment of the top 5 Commissions, the Karnataka Commission ranks No.1. and its level of Overall Public Satisfaction is ranked at 55% as compared to West Bengal 6%, Andhra Pradesh 10% and Maharashtra 15%. Among the top 5 Commissioners, Karnataka is ranked as No.3.
A team of eight (8) members of the Tamil Nadu Campaign have decided to meet and learn about the functioning and experience of the other State’s Information Commission’s regarding the implementation of RTI Act and are visiting Bangalore to meet individuals, organisations and the commission members involved in using and working with Karnataka RTI Act.
If you are interested, please send an mail confirming your participation for the discussion with details of your:
2.Individual / Organisation
to MANOHAR.R, Head of Programs, SICHREM – email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.