Taking RTI Act to the young generation!
The Article 19(1) of J&K RTI Act gives every citizen right to freedom of speech and expression. The law is embedded with this theme that the citizens are real masters as they posses right to make Government and other allied agencies accountable. This Act has been declared, by the Hon'ble Apex Court, as a fundamental right.
Near about 65 RTI activists have already lost their lives while disclosing the embezzlement and frauds and those responsible for them before the public and bringing them under the scanner of RTI. Besides that, many have faced torture, humiliation etc by the designated officials. My endeavour is to make the masses aware, especially the student community, regarding the act.
Nowadays a large number of students from different institute's are up in arms against several concerned officials of their institutions for what they call ‘arrogant behaviour’ meted out with them over any and every genuine issue that needed redressal. These young students fear for being singled out and often hesitate to go a step ahead and keep all the complaints under their teeth.
The J&K RTI Act gives every student the right for posing different kinds of questions, with regard to their academics as well as management etc, to concerned the authorities and have the right to know about information regarding delaying of results, examination, ban on student Union, misbehaviour of officials etc. They also have a right to known about the academic qualification of tutorial staff as well as their nature of engagement. Despite that they can question the authorities regarding funds and scholarship schemes granted by the University Grants Commission and Hon'ble Ministry for Minority Affairs.
As of now, the student community is caught in this antiquated maze of an exclusivist administrative mindset, the onus lies completely on Government as well as other private RTI organizations to conduct awareness programmes at School, College, and University levels in order to create awareness regarding RTI Act and to empower young students.
(Shah Khalid is a freelance writer & a member of J&K RTI Foundation)