New Delhi: It's been two years since the Right to Information Act came into effect and Kusum Devi is one among those who benefited from it, using the powerful Act to ensure her children got admission to a public school.

A slum dweller in East Delhi, Kusum is a satisfied woman today, having succeeded in her mission. But it was not like this a year ago.

“When I came here in 2006, they told me it would require a hefty sum of money. I had heard that poor children could study for free,” she says.

And that's when she exercised her Right To Information. “I filed an application under the RTI and my children secured admission,” she says.

According to the Delhi High Court order all public schools built on government subsidised land are required to reserve 15 per cent seats for poor kids under a freeship program.

“People keep asking me if there’s any use of RTI. I tell them it’s helped me a lot and a lot of other kids too secured admission to the school,” she says.

Kusum’s sons take their studies seriously. But there is a twist in the tale. “I am glad that my children go to a good school like other children. Now they can achieve whatever they wantto in life,” she says and signs off with an emphatic statement, “Khabar jannna hamara haq hai aur hum sab ko is haq ka istemaal karna chahiye “(It’s our right to know and we must exercise it)

Saryu Mahajan / CNN-IBN
Published on Monday , October 15, 2007 in Citizen Journalist section
Right to Information to fight for education