12th October is a very important day for the Right to Information movement in India. It was exactly on this day 15 years ago that the government notified the act and it came into existence. While RTI was a fundamental right since the constitution was framed, this meant the act is now codified into law with penalties, provisions etc. To commemorate the importance of such a historic day, Moneylife Foundation organised a webinar with retd. Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi, Journalists and senior RTI activists Vinita Deshmukh and Mr Vijay Kumbhar who have been using the act since its inception.
The webinar began with Mr Gandhi speaking about the act in general and sharing an overview of his journey as a commissioner and some key stories he had heard. This was followed up with Ms Vinita Deshmukh sharing some more positive stories of people using RTI to get their rights and how it made an impact in their lives. After they spoke, Mr Kumbhar who was the first RTI activist in Maharashtra to use section 4 of the RTI for inspection spoke about the way forward for the act and how transparency is important for effective function of a democracy. The webinar was followed up by a Q&A session with the audience with more than 100 people attending including some senior RTI activists.
Video recording of the session: