Apart from regular RTI activists, citizens fail to make use of the Act. Hence, in order to raise awareness about RTI, Hyderabad activists have started a forum called Educators in RTI Service
The first model of making RTI a part of the education sector is being launched in Hyderabad today. The United Forum (UF) for RTI is an umbrella organisation of 70 civil society organisations that have initiated and launched this new programme.
Through the campaign, many lecturers, teachers working in the districts of AP and vice-chancellors of various universities are coming together to spread awareness amongst the student community.
“Since 2006 we have been working towards creating awareness across the State. We have been conducting seminars, workshops and training classes on a continuous basis. Despite this the low awareness among the student community was alarming. We realised what we were doing was not enough, which is why we started this community to cater specifically to student groups,” said B Ramakrishna Raju, convener (UF-RTI).
The first step of this campaign would be to train the participating lecturers about RTI. These teachers would further train their college staff and they would guide their students.
“There is awareness among citizens but they also have a perception that only activists will file RTI requests. To change this, and help them understand the concept of RTI and kindle the need to know about the country’s governance, we have launched this campaign,” said Sashank K, UF-RTI member.
Students are of the opinion that this move was needed. “In the name of scholarships we get some money in our account, when asked for details there is no answer from the management. About exams, lab and college details in general we do not have a clear picture. In fact, not just my college but in most other colleges students are least informed. At least now a larger group will wake up and ask for more information, which in turn will mean more transparency,” said Kaushik P, a law student. Many lecturers coming from the remote districts of AP will also participate.
“There was information and awareness but no bridge to connect students to RTI. This will help not just students but the society at large. Students are a big part of the society and RTI is the best platform to bring a change in the system,” said Dr Sai Babu, VC, Bapatla College of Arts and Science.
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