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  1. First time RTI applicant (have not submitted yet). So, please bear with my long post. I've also added a little background so that if someone knows how exactly to proceed in this scenario it will be helpful for me. Background info: My mother was a Bihar Govt health department employee working in rural PHC (primary health centre). She passed away while still in service (6 months remaining). I am her only child. I enquired with the concerned PHC regarding how to claim her service benefits (I hope that's what it is called) e.g. GPF, Insurance etc (I don't even know what are the items). The PHC then asked me to submit an application along with some documents which I did and then they asked for another set of documents after 6 months and it went on for 3 times more. Finally 6 months ago (my mother passed away 3 years ago) they asked me to submit the succession certificate. Now, when I went to a court (as I came to know it's issued by district civil court) I came to know I need to hire a lawyer for that and when I did that the lawyer asked me the amount and he told me that there will be court fee for that amount so the amount and particulars are very much required. I went back to PHC where they said they won't be able to tell me the amount or particulars and sent me to PHC. I even went to the district treasury office and they told me that PHC will give me this info (a clerk suggested that I should rather pay a % and get it cleared because there's no guarantee I'll get the amount even after getting succession certificate). So now what are my options? (kindly help me draft it properly with proper language and terms). What do I ask for in the RTI application? How do I draft it? I am planning this in following manner (is it al right?) - [i will ask for these informations]: Q1. Please provide all the service benefits (total against each particular/category/item and also a grand total) that I shall receive as the sole successor of my deceased mother. (note: I am listing some particulars. Please mention total amount against each particular one by one and mention any other particular that I have not mentioned here - as I am not aware of it - and then also mention amount against that particular: GPF Gratuity Insurance (and/or LIC or any kind(s) of insurance) Leave encashment (for 300 days - as per my knowledge) (all kinds of) Arrears (of all kind - e.g. for promotion etc. - each kind/category/particular listed as separate item with total amount amount along with details and period for which it is supposed to be paid) As mentioned above please also provide any other item/particular/category of service benefit that I have not been able to mention here but is payable to me and/or she had earned it. [*]Q2. Please also list all the documents that I need to provide to receive all the service benefits mentioned above (and the ones that I have not been able to mention but you shall add to the list). As of now I've submitted all the required documents, asked by you over the time. The only one that is pending, according to you, is succession certificate which I will submit after getting it issued with the help of the above mentioned mandatory information received from you. [*]What information do I need to provide in that RTI application along with my questions? As far as I know there was no employee ID given to my mother. Even PHC letter referred to her by her name and her post at the TOD. [*]Where do I send that application to - PHC in-charge medical officer (because I didn't see any information officer there or any officer at all - the peon said he is "cum Information officer), or district civil surgeon office or treasury, or some other office, or to somewhere in state capital Patna? [Note: After I submitted application I have been receiving registered letters from PHC health officer for certificates). [*]Can I send the letter in English instead of Hindi? I am using an on-line portal for application which restricts the application to English language. Can they reject the application because of language? [*]Can I CC a RTI application to a higher office? Or can I submit the same application to more than one office? [*]I do not have email address of that PHC? Is there any Bihar Govt portal where I can find it? [*]What if they simply say they didn't receive the application? Can I attach sth with my letter for confirmation that the postman will be forced to get signed by someone at the time of receipt? Or it's not required? [*]What if someone contacts me from that office directly regarding my application as they have my phone number and I've theirs? Should I simply say that I would rather accept their response to my application officially in proper manner as per mandated by RTI Act? [*]Is there anything else that I am missing (especially for such cases)? PS. I've tried emailing many officials from those Bihar government website directories regarding these issues. Didn't receive a response regarding these questions. Most of the emails just bounced. Thanks, amar.
  2. Dear Sir/Mam I have asked for composition analysis of an Ayurvedic Drug Called Smritisagar Ras by Baidyanath Jhansi in the last 4 years by Government Drug Analyser from Department Of AYUSH, But even after 3 months they are saying to ask for the same from UP GOVT, but UP Govt. Employee is saying that since last 4 years they do not have any drug analyser, but they are not providing the same in written, and Companies LIKE Baidyanath are not using technology to check the purity of raw material they are not even checking the impurities, they are also not checking the final composition of Drug. I have attached the first appealate reply as a PDF file rti First appealate.pdf
  3. Please see attached RTI and RTI response from PIO. Hindu Rao CCU has a serios rat problem for at least over a year and yet no comprehensive pest control operations have been carried out. I once had a chance to film a few small videos and have placed them on YouTube: I have seen these rats and they are big, scarry and flithy and sometimes bite patients and patient attendants. My wife was once bitten by one these rats when she was taking care of her mom. She visited anti-rabies section of the hospital for vaccination and Hospital admistration is not aware of any such incident. CCU is for critically ill heart patients where several costly equipments are kept with lots of wires and the rats could cause a lot of damage. They won't let you enter the facility with your shoes on but rats rule the nights with possibly several types of bacteria/virus etc. Please review and suggest what should be my next action. RTI Application and Response.pdf
  4. An article by Vinita Deshmukh at moneylife.in on May 11, 2011 If you can’t resist indulging at wayside eateries, or may be even swanky restaurants, you might not know it, but you could be paying for a bout of indigestion or something more serious like hepatitis-B. It’s because we don’t take food safety and hygiene seriously. Section 4 of the RTI Act can help you find out critical details about your favourite food places, so you can be more careful Last weekend, I was invited to a birthday lunch at a Gujarati thali restaurant where 'aamras' was being served unlimited! While the guests savoured the delicious feast, I was wondering about the hands that must have squeezed out the pulp! Ever since an inspection of files at the health department of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) revealed that even posh restaurants, some of them in five-star hotels, did not adhere to necessary food safety and kitchen and staff hygiene norms, I am cautious when eating out, and I try to spread the word about why one should avoid throwing so much money for poor service that could likely affect one's health, and probably threaten one's life also. It all began last year, when we published a report on the increasing cases of gastroenteritis and stomach-related cases in Pune, and a couple of prominent doctors pointed to unhygienic eateries as the culprit. I asked Partha Sarathi Biswas, a young journalist and the bureau chief of Intelligent Pune, the news weekly that I was managing then, to inspect documents pertaining to food inspection reports by food inspectors of the health department who monitor food quality and staff hygiene at restaurants, twice a year. Partha invoked Section 4 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act five times, and collected inspection reports of nearly 300 restaurants located in different localities of Pune. Food inspectors of the health department, whose sole purpose is to check whether restaurants adhere to food safety and health standards, carry with them a form that is filled during an inspection. It contains a list of 29 items that the restaurant is expected to adhere to strictly under the BPMC (Bombay Provisional Municipal Corporation) Act. To our surprise, such big names like Hotel Blue Diamond, Mainland China, Madhouse Grill, Green Plaza (in upper crust Koregaon Park) and Wadeshwar (an extremely popular udipi place on Fergusson College Road that is patronised by youngsters), were among the restaurants which were sent notices for the "area of the kitchen where food was prepared/cooked or sold and the area where utensils were washed-(found to be) not clean.'' (Note: These are inspection reports for various months in 2010. If any of these restaurants have improved their cleanliness, after receiving notices from the PMC, we welcome it.) Most shockingly, none of the restaurants (which were inspected) had conducted medical examination of their staff even once, let alone on a regular basis. When asked, most of the restaurant managers had the audacity to say that they could not afford to do it. This means that we could be eating food served by, or even prepared by someone who is suffering from skin disease-let your imagination run if you care to understand the vulnerability of a customer paying good money for probable illnesses. Parameters used for inspection When the food inspector goes on inspection, he checks on all the 29 parameters. After the inspection, the food inspector also jots down his own observations on the form. Then the establishment is sent a notice, to rectify the shortcomings that could be hazardous for customers who consume the food. If it is found on a second inspection that the eatery is continuing to defy norms, the municipal commissioner can suspend the licence for a specific period, or even order the closure of the restaurant in serious cases of food safety violations. Here are some jottings that Partha found on the inspector's forms: > "Cobwebs noticed on the walls of the kitchen." - This observation was made by the food inspectors who checked the Green Plaza hotel on Baner Road. > "Prepared food not covered properly before serving." - Taj Blue Diamond, Mainland China on DP Road and Shingri at Koregaon Park were ticked off for this by food inspectors. > "Proper care is not taken to prevent the contamination of food by dust, insects, etc, where food is prepared." - Taj Blue Diamond, Shingri on Boat Club Road, Green Plaza in Koregaon Park and Mainland China on DP Road. > "The kitchen and storeroom used for storing raw materials is not located at a safe distance from bathrooms, gutter or urinals, to avoid contamination of food." - Not through inspector's documents, but through word of mouth, Partha stumbled upon two big restaurants, Khyber and Mayur Thali on Jangli Maharaj Road, where the exhaust fans of the toilets opened out into the kitchen. Notices were served to these establishments and they promised to rectify this. (Note that this observation was made in the last quarter of 2010. If they have amended the placement of the exhaust fans, we welcome it.) What did we do? While surfing the Internet, I stumbled upon an online form (image of the page is reproduced below) called the 'Food Illness Report Page' of the Los Angeles Public Health Department which citizens can fill online, if they believe that they have become sick from eating or drinking something, somewhere, and the department will inquire into the matter. http://moneylife.in/site/userimage/image/food1.jpg We approached the Municipal Commissioner of Pune, Mahesh Zhagde, and requested him to adopt a similar online process on the PMC's website. Mr Zhagde told us that "this is the best form of social audit" and he included it in the PMC's budget for 2010-2011. The online facility has not yet seen the light of day. Mr Zhagde was unceremoniously transferred, recently, for his stern action against illegal encroachments. We must pursue this matter with the new municipal commissioner, Mahesh Pathak. You too can replicate this in your city, so that the local government is pressurised to check such practices and take corrective action.
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