RTI helpline receives over 3,700 calls in a year

April 1st, 2009 - 9:53 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) A Right To Information (RTI) helpline, aimed at helping people use the act to its maximum effect, has received over 3,700 calls in the last one year, a participant in the initiative said Wednesday.
The helpline - 09718100180 - was started a year ago jointly by Kabir, an NGO, and Manjunath Shanmugam Trust.

“We received 3,757 calls in one year. Of those, more than 2,500 calls were about people asking how to file an RTI application, first appeal and complaint,” said Neeraj Kumar, who helps and assist people through the helpline.

“A number of calls came from foreign countries also. On average 300 calls were received every month. A lot of people sought help for problems regarding ration cards, passports, voter id cards and others,” Kumar added.

“A lot of queries were regarding the government’s public services and problems with it. Interestingly, government officers also called on the helpline to ask for help to solve their departmental problems,” Kumar said.

Kumar revealed that more than 500 calls were by those who were not happy with the Central Information Commission and state information commissions and wanted to know the way forward.

“Maximum calls were from states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi and Haryana. The increasing number of calls highlights that people are increasingly becoming aware of their rights,” he said.

He said a lot of people called and said that their long-standing grievances were solved within days of filing an RTI applications.

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