Empower the People of West Bengal for Ethnic Rights (EmPOWER) Using RTI Act 2005

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Despite its progress in agricultural sector and decentralization of power through PRI system, the human development indicators of a few districts of West Bengal are far from satisfactory. Both central and state government spend corers of rupees to eradicate poverty, still a large sections of the population women, the poor, ethnic or religious minorities, the rural population are disadvantaged in terms of their participation in the political process, and in the benefits of development.

On this background, it should be clear that good governance is an ideal which is difficult to achieve in its totality. The proper implementation of RTI Act and awareness on law and common pro people schemes of government of India will provide much needed tools to curb corruption, promote accountable grassroots democracy.

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The Right to Information (RTI) Empowerment Programme aims at facilitating the effective engagement of civil society organizations in the field of the right to information. Through awareness raising and capacity building activities the following objectives are envisaged:
## To set up RTI help centre at Mathurapur-II block level.
## Awareness on general law using law awareness sessions.
## Awareness on pro people government schemes to utilize maximum opertunity.
## Promote rights to villages.
## Mukti Organizational capacity building for future right base work.
## Creating a pool of RTI Friends at grassroots levels.
## To make existing RTI helpline effective and solving real cases.

Problems encountered typically in the rural are also poor framework conditions for the, centralistic, inefficient administrative structures, and the spread of corruption. As per latest West Bengal Human Development Index South 24 Parganas Stands in 8th position (0.6). In the context of West Bengal it is around middle position.

We have identified 24 Pargs (South) district as proposed area of our intervention. The backwardness of both is clearly reflected in district human development report and other research findings.

The Right to Information (RTI) Empowerment Programme aims at facilitating the effective engagement of civil society organizations in the field of the right to information.

Since in South 24 Pargs of WB, SC/STs and religious minority constitutes the predominate population. The benefits of development programme hardly reaches to them. Even in the recent past the considerable failure of MGNREGA in providing 100 days work to rural people pointer to the fact. Our main focuses will be on those people who are denied of their basic right to livelihood, education and health and sanitation.

A large part of the 24 pargs South is under Sunderban, and we know the Cyclone Aila washed out of the people of their belongings and after 10 months of it still people are living under open sky and they do not have even sufficient food for their family. Benefit of government projects is hardly reaching to them. This is very important time to use RTI tools to get people settle in the deltas.

The main activities under this project are as follows:
## Setting up RTI help centre at block level
## Capacity Building programme for RTI help center
## Capacity Building programme for RTI Friend
## Awareness Camps on RTI
## Publish IEC (poster /leaflet / hand book/T-shirt/Documentary/Walling) materials
## Block level Consultation
## Public hearings
## Media advocacy

Village Level Awareness Meetings conducted by RTI

We all pay taxes. One will be surprised to know that the poorest of the poor including a beggar also…

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Swarna Naskar’s Successful Journey through RTI Act

Sri. Swarna Naskar, S/o Sri. Amal Naskar and a resident of village Purba Sridharpur, near Raidighi of South 24 Parganas,…

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Mukti’s RTI Campaign in Rural Bengal

Even after 70 years of India’s independence, people living in the rural areas here have little or no knowledge about…

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Swarna Naskar’s Successful Journey through RTI Act

Sri. Swarna Naskar, S/o Sri. Amal Naskar and a resident…

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