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Query proves costly for couple, set to leave Raj


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As reported by Kshitiz Gaur in Times of India, Jaipur, 05 Mar 2011

 

Query proves costly for couple, set to leave Raj

 

 

 

Query proves costly for couple, set to leave Raj

Kshitiz Gaur | TNN

 

Ajmer: Seeking information under the RTI Act from the organisation where she was working on the reason for non-renewal of her job contract had proved costly for Piyusha Tiwari. Her husband Rishu Garg, who is also working with the same organisation, has been demoted after her query. Now, the couple has decided to leave the state and start their careers anew.

 

Tiwari, 26, said she filed an RTI query with the Association for Rural Advancement through Voluntary Action and Local Involvement (ARAVALI), a state government organisation aided by the Unicef, after her two-months salary was blocked after a new management took over the association and it did not renew her contract without assigning any reason. She had also accused her seniors of harassing her.

 

“I was working with an associate NGO of ARAVALI in the health sector since 2008. In 2009, the management of the organisation changed and I started facing harassment from my seniors. When I protested, they blocked two months’ payment without assigning any reason,” she said.

 

Later, the NGO did not renew her job contract, this time too without assigning any reason, she said. “I filed an application under the RTI to seek the reason behind the non-renewal of my contract and also the reason for holding back two months’ pay,” she said.

 

A month after she filed her query, not only her application was rejected but also Garg, her husband was demoted. “A month after her application, I was demoted from the post of regional co-ordinator to project officer without giving any reason. I had been the regional coordinator for four years,” Garg said.

 

ARAVALI turned down the application saying the organisation is an NGO and did not fall under the preview of the RTI Act.

 

Information commissioner M D Korani has, however, directed ARAVALI to give a reply to Tiwari’s query, while hearing her petition before the state information commission.

 

“We have not got the information despite the order by the commission. I have filed another application informing about the commission about it,” Tiwari said.

 

When contacted, executive director of the organisation Sanjeev Kumar said, “The matter is pending with the state information commission. Therefore, it is not right to comment on it.” He, however, added that the organisation has a reason for demoting Garg without going into details. During the last two years, the couple has filed several complaints with many government entities, including rural development minister Bharat Singh who is also chairman of ARAVALI, to seek justice.

 

“We went from door to door but all in vain. We are tired and just want to live peacefully,” cried Tiwari, adding that they have now decided to leave the state.

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