AS a measure to motivate more citizens to avail of information through the Right to Information Act, the city-based Sajag Nagarik Manch has announced two awards on the occasion of its first anniversary, in the first week of November.
“After the establishment of the Manch, we came across many activists and citizens who are active in the field of RTI,” said the Manch president, Vivek Velankar. “Besides the applicants, the awards will also felicitate those government officials who have contributed to the effective implementation of the Act.”
The ‘Sajag Nagarik Mahiti Adhikar Award’ will be conferred on that candidate who has used the RTI, generated awareness about it as well as brought about some social awakening through the Act. Similarly, the ‘Sajag Nagarik Mahiti Adhikar (Mahiti Adhikari) Award’ will be conferred on a government official who has addressed the RTI petition, legally and satisfactorily within the stipulated time period. The award being given to an ordinary citizen, will comprise a memento, a certificate, a shawl and a cash award of Rs 11,000. “Awarding a cash prize to government officials will be inappropriate and come under scrutiny, hence they will be felicitated without it,” said Velankar.
Abhyankar stressed that rather than the prospective candidates describing their ‘achievements,’ the citizens who know of such people should contact the Manch describing the candidate’s work. An expert committee will also be set up to screen and evaluate the candidates’ accomplishments and emerge with the winners.
“The second anniversary of the RTI Act was recently celebrated and its undisputed that the Act has proven to be a powerful tool of democracy aimed at bringing accountability and transparency in governance. These awards will not just reinforce the performance of the award winners but will also set an example for the others to follow,” said the Manch’s convener, Jugal Rathi.
The award distribution will be held here, in the first week of November to coincide with the Manch’s first anniversary. Veteran RTI activist, Anna Hazare is slated to give out the awards.