"What can RTI do?" This is the most frequently asked question in my workshops. Is it the panacea to all the problems related to bad governance? Not exactly. But it is a very important tool and a trigger to start the process of solving all these problems. I also tell people to experience the power of RTI by using it for very simple things.
I was doing a RTI workshop to a group of people who were studying Social Entrepreneurship. After the session, one woman came to me and asked if RTI can help solve a problem related to her school. The problem is, "GHMC (Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation) – the erstwhile MCH had collected Rs 12,000/- in 2006 from schools that were situated on busy traffic areas and Main Roads. The money was to be used in putting up School Zone Boards and Provide Zebra crossings on the roads in front of the schools. 2 years on, there is no sign of either the School Zone Board or the Zebra crossing. In spite of repeated appeals, there was no progress on the issue."
I promised to help her and filed an RTI with GHMC asking the following questions,
- The name and designation of the official responsible for providing zebra crossing and the school zone board
- Why hasn't a zebra crossing been provided till date?
- Did you initiate any action on the officials who did not start this work? If No, why such action has not been initiated?
- What is the time required for laying a zebra crossing?
- By when will the proposed Zebra crossing be laid (with exact date) and what action will be initiated on the responsible officials if the zebra crossing and the school zone board are not provided by that date?
A problem that was pending for 2 years was solved in a matter of days after the RTI was filed. The women experienced what I tell people in my RTI sessions. Use RTI and you will believe its power.
Need I tell more??