Hut Bay, Dec. 24: A half daylong seminar on Power to the People at Grass roots was held at R K Pur community hall on Saturday last.  The RTI activist and the Deputy Chief Engineer of Andaman Lakshadweep Harbour works (ALHW), T N Krishna Murthy delivered key note address in the seminar.

In his address the DCE elaborated on the important provisions of the land mark RTI act to ensure power to the people at grass roots by making the public administration more responsive to their genuine needs and demands.

A youngest RTI activist from Andamans, a 7th class student of Kamaraj school at Port Blair also addressed the gathering on how he used the RTI as a powerful tool to redress his grievance in a record period.  He narrated his experiences with the government departments dealing with construction and maintenance of roads after having filed an application under RTI to seek information on the damaged condition of the road in his locality.  Following the receipt of his application, the departments swung in to action and called the boy for personal hearing to ascertain the exact location of the damaged road.

Srijith identified the location with the help of google map on website and then everything turned on very fast.  Within a month’s period, even before the expiry of the 30 days deadline for RTI reply, the damaged road got repaired and opened for traffic. Thus, the young RTI applicant succeeded in making the administration responsive to his basic need and proved that every Indian citizen has a right to have all the basic amenities.

After his brief presentation, the young RTI applicant asked the participants why can’t they use RTI to ensure their rights, when even a young boy like him achieved his goal through RTI.

The Nodal officer of PIC, Dhanasekaran, the R K Pur Panchayat Pradhan, Asamanjan Haldar among others also spoke on the occasion.

A number of rural people including considerable number of women attended the seminar and actively participated in the quiz contest held as part of the seminar.  The Directorate of Field Publicity, a media unit of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting awarded five prizes to the winners of the contest.