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sidmis posted a topic in RTI in MediaNow, become a certified RTI activist in five sessions Reported by Yogita Rao in D N A Friday, May 30, 2008 02:18 IST KC Law College will start two courses on how to file precise RTI applications from July You no longer need to be bogged down by the tricky loopholes in the Right to Information (RTI) Act or be taken for a ride by officials. A law college in South Mumbai has started a course that will help citizens become certified RTI activists who know the nuances of filing an RTI application the right way. KC Law College, Churchgate, is starting two courses on RTI — a foundation course and an advanced course, which would be the first of their kind in the country. The idea is to teach people the fundamentals of filing RTI applications. "People need to learn how to ask for information. It is a wonderful weapon available to us and we should make full use of it," said Neelima Chandiramani, the college's principal. "People do not even know how to ask to-the-point questions and end up writing long-winded applications." The idea of starting the course was a result of brainstorming between Chandiramani and activist Shailesh Gandhi, who will be conducting the sessions. The course will begin from July and will run into five sessions of three hours each. The classes will be held on Saturdays and Sundays. Most of the course will be based on practical assignments, with candidates filing applications on topics given by the college. While both the courses will be open for all, the college expects people who have already filed applications to enroll for the advanced course. Gandhi said, "Information officers sometimes fool people if the questions are not direct. Though there is no perfect solution to avoid such discrepancies, the course will help people fine tune their skills as RTI activists." Gandhi said 95% of the applications he filed never exceeded 150 words. Mahesh Vaswani, the chairman of legal aid committee of GJ Advani Law College, said, "Filing applications should be made as easy as clicking the mouse on a computer." The committee had conducted RTI workshops for slum dwellers in 20 suburbs in the western region. DNA - Mumbai - Now, become a certified RTI activist in five sessions - Daily News & Analysis
sidmis posted a topic in RTI in MediaThey take trip to educate villagers about their rights as reported by Kartikeya ,TNN, 13 Oct 2008, Times of India MUMBAI: It is not every day that residents of a remote village wake up to find a Bombay high court judge telling them about their rights. Neither is it common for law students to get tips on last minute preparation for their exams from the same judge in the second class compartment of a local train. On Sunday morning, Justice S Radhakrishnan of the Bombay high court hopped on to a local train with 40 students of K C Law College. They were headed for the tiny hamlet of Mulgaon, beyond Badlapur, to educate the villagers about their rights guaranteed under three laws enacted in recent timesthe Right to Information (RTI) Act, National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) and The Domestic Violence Act. In the journey that took over an hour, the future lawyers interacted freely with Radhakrishnan, asking him what law books he read as a student in the 1970s and taking tips on how to be a successful advocate. Radhakrishnan, too, was full of curiosity. When he saw a first year student, Prince Gala, with two rather large diamond studs shining on his ear, he could not help but ask, "Are the studs stuck or have you pierced your ears?'' Prince smiled and replied that he had gone through the pain of piercing. The students were armed with banners and cut-outs meant to spread awareness about the recently enacted legislations . Their programme included not only giving lectures under the watchful eye of Radhakrishnan, but also performing skits which showed the practical feasibility of demanding rights guaranteed by law. In Badlapur, local judicial officers joined the group and got onto a state transport bus that drove them to their destination. The villagers were not perturbed by the presence of policemen and officials and gathered in strength in the courtyard of a temple where the programme was conducted. "Do not get stressed. Just go out there and take legal literacy to the people,'' Radhakrishnan was heard telling a student who suffered stage fright before his performance. The women warmed up to the skits that depicted dowry harassment and mental abuse. "We showed them that their husbands cannot force their daughters to work in the fields at the cost of education or demand dowry,'' said Nilesh, who played the part of an abusive husband in one skit. Another skit demonstrated how to secure a government card to be assured of employment. "I practised dancing in a sari for several days to convey the message that proper implementation NREGS can bring prosperity to the village ,'' said Riddhi Badiyani. The enthusiasm of the villagers could be seen from the fact that both men and women lined up to collect RTI forms, which they will now use to get information about projects promised for their village. Having spent the day at Mulgaon, Radhakrishnan, who chairs the high court's Legal Service Committee that organises such camps, got into a local to head back home. He discussed finer aspects of criminology with students and thanked them for their support to the work his panel is doing. "Our next stop will be Arthur Road jail where undertrials are facing so many problems,'' said Vikas Thakkar, a second year student. As for the justice himself, all he wanted to do after a hard day's work was to take a long shower and catch up on the day's score in the India-Australia test match. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/They_take_trip_to_educate_villagers_about_their_rights_/articleshow/3587981.cms