Saturday, October 10, 2009

Four years on, RTI a powerful weapon for ordinary Indians

Thanks to Right to Information (RTI) Act 30-year-old daily wager suffering from kidney stones was finally able to get himself operated at a government hospital after doing the rounds of the place for nearly a year. Haroon, who lives in a slum cluster in northeast Delhi, had been going to Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital for one year to get his stones removed, but in vain as doctors would put him off with one excuse or another.

"He was sent back from the hospital four times - once he had to return home from the operation theatre. With our help he filed an RTI application seeking the details of his case," said Rajeev Sharma of the NGO Pardarshita. Exactly four years after it came into force, Haroon is among thousands of people who have used the RTI Act for securing not just information but also getting things done. While Haroon didn't get a reply to his application, it was enough to fix responsibility. "A few days later, when he went to the hospital for a checkup, the doctor didn't allow him to return home and did the operation," said Sharma.

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