A Right to Information (RTI) workshop was conducted on March 11, 2010 for the differently abled - mainly visually challenged and a few physically challenged to make them become informed citizens, thereby empowering them to become a part of the mainstream and contribute their mite to the growth of community and society.
The programme was conducted for about 40 participants who are residents of an Nethrodaya, an NGO located at 47/1, Nolambur,Mogappair West, Chennai-600037. Ph: +91-44-2653 3680 / 2653 0712. (www.netrodaya.org) that provides free lodging and boarding to poor differently abled - mainly visually challenged youth - girls and boys to get proper education and professional employment, mainly using Job Access With Speech (JAWS) Software in computer applications and simultaneously graduate education. One of them was doing his Ph.D. course.
The RTI workshop was inaugurated by Mr. S.Ve. Shekher, M.L.A., Tamil Nadu, a citizen welfare activist and one of the most popular Tamil playwright and film actors. The workshop was launched by Mr. Govinda Krishnan, Founder and Trustee, Nethrodaya.
The RTI workshop was conducted by Kris Dev, RTI Activist, Life Line to Community and e-Gov Consultant, Life Line to Business (LL2B). The co-ordination was done by Abilash, a student of Madras School of Social Work.
The participants expressed concern that due to their disabilities, they were denied jobs despite their ability to operate computers independently and they were denied their due rights to actively participate in the mainstream of society.
One example given by them was that they were denied acknowledgment for submitting employment applications, despite repeated requests. Hence they had to run from pillar to post to get information, thereby denying them the right to get employment. They complained of lack of systems of working in government organizations and lack of transparency and accountability. It was felt that e-Administration tool for tracking of all activities using Biometric Smart Card could be one of the solutions to their problems.
In the workshop, they learnt the provisions of the RTI Act 2005, how to file an application and how to get information without having to run from office to office and desk to desk. Support required to file RTI applications in future was assured to them, thereby making them more at ease.
The pictures taken at the workshop can be seen here. Due to a technical glitch, the date is shown as Sep 1. It is actually Mar 11, 2010.
Kris Dev, RTI Activist
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