Spreading Awareness Through Rituals
Dol(l)ing out lessons on RTI
The festival of dolls --Gombe Habba-- for many may be a mere ritual of placing dolls to decorate the house during Navarathri but for Vikram Simha it is a means of spreading awareness about RTI Act.
“Every year we used to pick themes from mythologies for Gombe Habba but this year we decided to educate visitors to our house about the significance of RTI Act and the power this law has conferred on we Indians after sixty years of independence,” said Mr Simha.
This year Simha set two stages separately- one for depicting the mythological stories and the second one, obviously, for promoting RTI Act. In this regard, Simha chose five success stories of RTI from across the country.
The five stories are about Nanhu in Delhi, corruption in a fair price shop at Belgaum, denial of a job on compassionate ground in PWD in MP, Pune Mayor misusing official car for tourist purposes and education department’s purchase of first aid boxes in a school at higher prices in Maharashtra.
“All the themes I had picked are interesting and inspiring but Nanhu’s story is the best among all. This poor labourer from Delhi was not getting his ration card even after applying for more than six months.
He then used RTI seeking about the action taken against the officials, who delayed in giving him the card.
With the application, officials lined up to not only give him his ration card but also to give him a ‘treat’ begging him to withdraw his application,” said Mr Simha.
For this RTI based decoration of dolls, Simha had to spend around Rs 1,500 to buy around 75 dolls of various kinds.
A housewife from Basavanagudi, Manjula, says, “It is nice. I did not know about the RTI Act. Mr Simha used to tell me but I could not understand the Act. After seeing it, I could learn its significance.”
Another woman, Vidya, who too saw the decoration of dolls, based on RTI themes, said, this kind of theme based stories are really helpful for the general masses as they learn something. She said, she came to know about the RTI from these theme based decoration of dolls.
Re: Spreading Awareness Through Rituals
This is a good medium of spreading awareness in rural places.