Mahiticha Adhikar- Manavadhikar : Mahacharcha

The prestigeious Legal Literacy Programme - the brand identity of our RC Thane North, in its fourth year had a treat for the citizens of Thane City - in the lineup of Resource Persons. The first break through came in the the acceptance of our invitation by Ex RTI Activist and Central Information Commissioner - CIC Mr Shailesh Gandhi to be the Resource Person. Even DG Raju said if Shileash is coming we can adjust all other programmes to suit his dates.T he programme was thus fixed on 25th October, despite limitations on publicity due to Election Achaar Samhita..Due to Diwali Vacations it was difficult to get Sitting SC/ HC judges to speak on Human Rights. Finally Ex Justice turned Human Rights Activist Shri BG Kolse Patil acceted the invitation and Last year's popular State Information Commissioner Shri Vijay Kuvalekar also agreed to share his Experiences on RTI.

Shri Nandakumar Jantre - Commissioner TMC and Mr Sandeep Malavi PRO/ PIO TMC honoured their promise to provide the late Narendra Ballal Hall for Venue. Thane Citizens started arriving from 930 am onwards, submitting their written querries and taking seats 45 minutes ahead of scheduled time.

The inaugural session opened with Melodious Saraswati Vandana and Shanti path by Prez Bhagyasree's douhter Apoorva and Lighting of auspicious lamp by the dignitaries. President Bhagyashree and Co-host Club Thane Lake City's President Vinit welcomed the dignitaries with "Deepbhet"- of Candles from GOD's own children.

Convenor Purushottam in his opening remarks about how the Consumer Protection Act, Right To Information Act, and Human Rights Protection Act are three extremely potent tools in the hands of common man, require no Pleader or advocate. A simple application on plain paper in appropriate format can deliver justice. He presented an overview of previous four years and explained how all three acts could not be dealt in one programme due to limited time.

DG Raju in his inaugural address appreciated the good work being done by the RC Thane North and Thane Lake City in spreading awareness about these three Acts among Common man and how Legal Literacy is one of the important need of the Community at large, which Rotary, due to it's resourcefulness, can address at such Fora. He also presented Scroll of Honour to the Resource Persons.

Commissioner Nandakumar Jantre assured the audience that TMC will ensure strict compliance to the provisions of RTI act , TMC will not only organize training programme for educating it's RTI related staff about their duties but also assure tha TMC on the lines of Pune and Solapur Corporations- will also provide document inspection within half an hour to a common citizens.

The session on Human Rights began with a presentation on a trocities inflicted by Police by brute force on Project affected persons of Bhayander Entertainment SEZ by Justice BG Kolse Patil. Mr Puskar Damle, Ex Rotarian and HR Activist explained to the audience about the Misuse of Funds by the office of Human Rights Commission revealed by his RTI queries and the writ petition filed by him. How his petition resulted into Govt. of Maharashtra designating Sessions Court as HR Courts, thus bringing Human Rights Protectioon easily accessible to common man in every corner of the state.

The Session on RTI began with CIC Shailesh Gandhi explaining the Role of Information Commissioner and care the applicants should take while filking RTI Application. Any misuse, for personal vendetta would force the Govt. to amend the act in such away that it would be rendered tooth less.

In her address at various at for a, Hon'ble President of India hinted at such amendments. However, Mr. Gandhi said that there is no need for any amendments- because if the door is opened no one knows what all can enter. He appealed to all citizens and NGO's to thwart any attempts to amend the act - which is quite effective in it's present form. He advised users to make use of Registered Post to file complaint or for Appeals rather than personally visiting the offices.

SIC Vijay Kuvalekar shared his experiences and the miraulous results of his campaign to rain the officers and PIOs at Sholapur and Pune Corporations. He advised citizens to try and get information in normal course and use RTI skillfully for effective outcome. Asking bulky information, No of years' data ets will only burden the administration and will not yield desired results.

On this occasion a booklet Pardarshaktetun Surajyakade containing useful compilations on use of HR and RTI Act by Convener Purushottam was distributed among the audience.

VoT : President Vinit Shah

Reported by : PP Purushottam Agwan