Empowering 1.2 billion Indians through information, the Right to Information Act, introduced in 2005, gave new meaning to the motto “seek and you shall find.” but some RTI activists could only find an answer in the form of death. Attacks on information seekers have become commonplace with transparency groups estimating that 28 activists have been killed since the RTI Act was passed in 2005. It is really sad and unfortunate that RTI activists and information seekers using this rightful transparency tool have been victimized and many have even lost their lives. So I think it is always better to file RTI anonymously, to be on safer side. Now the big question is that is there any way to file RTI anonymously? Is it legal ? Getup4Change.org is a website where Indian citizens can file RTI queries anonymously, under the banner of RTI Anonymous (RTIA). Let’s see how it works!
How it works?
- RTI applicants can log on to www.getup4change.org
- Click on the ‘Submit RTI’ link to file a Right To Information application
- Users can also send an email with a dummy email ID, if they wish
- The team files the RTI through their network of volunteers at no cost to the applicants
- Applicants can choose to be appraised on the progress of their application via email
- The information or document is put up on the site once obtained
- The group has no details of applicants. So, identity of information seekers is protected
What is RTI? 🙂
The Right to Information Act 2005 (RTI) is an Act of the Parliament of India “to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens. Under the provisions of this Act, any citizen may request information from a “public authority” (a body of Government or “instrumentality of State”) which is required to reply expeditiously or within thirty days. The Act also requires every public authority to computerize their records for wide dissemination and to pro-actively publish certain categories of information so that the citizens need minimum recourse to request for information formally.
“There is no protection for the common man who files an RTI application. There are so many school teachers who have been killed across the country for seeking information via RTI, reducing RTI to a complete sham since there is no protection offered. An RTI activist was killed earlier this month in Hyderabad itself and almost 350 people have been killed so far in barbaric manner to discourage others from using RTI. It is only a law on paper because the law does not work to offer protection barring the Whistleblower’s Act. There is no serious move to protect those who use RTI. RTI deaths is one of the worst sagas in history of India. True freedom is the ability of a common man to bring a sea change in system.” – Filmmaker Mani Shankar