Children get hands on RTI

When Right to Information (RTI) is considered to be one of the most powerful tool in the hands of the layman, little are the public aware of its effectivenss.

The school children will show the way for others by seeking answers on various problems the community is facing by using RTI.

As many as 14 students between ages 12 to 15 years who had a session in CIL summer programme by Harsha Raj Gatty from Whitewhistle, an organisation working on spreading awareness on RTI, were taught the entire procedure of filing RTI applications to various government and public sector undertakings on Monday.

Speaking to Deccan Herald eighth grade student Pooja L said that there are many small cross roads in Mangalore which has been proposed to be widened but no work is taking place. “I want to file an RTI and ask when will the work begin and what are the plans,” she said.Dileep studying in X standard is upset that his government aided school has a museum which is not accessible to students. “Why have a museum and not have it open for students. I want some answers here,” he asserts.

“It is an important and defensive tool. By filing RTI our society will be corruption free,” says eigth grade student Shree Dhanya who adds that very little information is given about RTI in schools. “With RTI I can question various authorities for answers, she says.“It is very important that children know about RTI at an early age. Already the children feel with RTI they have a space to make their voice heard,” says Gatty and adds that the students have taught the entire procedure of filing an RTI from purchasing a Rs 10 challan to posting the applications to the authorities.

CIL Executive Director Sachitha Nandagopal said that children can think beyond what adults can expect. RTI is a important tool and it should be compulsorily made a part of the school curriculum. “Children are interested but don’t know how it go about. It is up to the adults to guide them to become better future citizens,” she says.

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