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9 November, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Awareness about RTI essential

Awareness about 
RTI essential

The Right to information Act was passed in 2009 though after an initial campaign lasting less than a year, the RTIs usage is almost lost in obscurity. In a recent seminar held in Rajshahi, speakers underlined the need to revive the RTI in order to combat corruption and raise accountability in public service institutes across the country.

As Bangladesh moves towards middle income status with all aspects of life becoming modernised, proper application of the RTI is essential to promote democratic ideals and people power. Unfortunately, after an initial spark, the RTI related drive died out, letting this much needed law slide into oblivion.

The media, civil society and the government need to unite their efforts to revive the RTI and make it a relevant part of society. Since the country will soon go into poll time mood, rejuvenating the RTI will be the target of the government which comes to power in two months.

For making the law truly effective, the complete notion of RTI must reach rural Bangladesh and not be limited within the educated class as an elitist notion of a democratic society. To take RTI to the masses will be the main challenge because the right to get information has to be understood by the farmers, housewives and the common villager.

This is indeed a gargantuan task, since for the people across the nation, the RTI has to be presented in simple language often aided by rural theatre, dance drama or folk music. The government can work in partnership with several development agencies and rope in the ministry of education. Once an RTI related chapter is included in academic books, the message will get across.

From another angle, the RTI has to be explained in view of the currently passed Digital Security Act so that there’s no confusion about two acts colliding or the pursuance of one act resulting in the breach of the other. The RTI should also be applicable for all foreign bodies working in Bangladesh so that any citizen can invoke it to demand information about certain projects or development work.

It stands to reason, unless the RTI is promoted regularly, it will only remain as an effete plus unused tool. In the major towns, vigorous campaigns can be done through the promotion of government services while major newspapers can carry special supplements.

In addition to raising awareness of the people, an RTI commission is essential so that non-compliance to information demand can be swiftly dealt with.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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