In a bid to sensitize the stakeholders and masses of East Kameng district about RTI and national food security scheme, the State Information Commission has organized an awareness programme on RTI Act, 2005 and National Food Security Act, 2013 as part of its decennial celebration of the RTI Act here at Seppa on Monday.
Addressing the programme, Chief Information Commissioner Dr Joram Begi informed about the aims and objectives of the RTI and NFS Acts. Elaborating about the objectives of RTI Act, he explained that the historical RTI Act 2005 was enacted with the aim to empower citizen, enable participation of common people in governance, promote transparency and accountability in governance, and contain corruption.
Explaining about the RTI, he called RTI a “game changer” and stated that it plays a vital role in building trust between the citizen and the government. It helps citizen to be well-informed about the working of the public authorities for improvement of public delivery services and simultaneously, contributes extensively in strengthening the democratic setup of the country.
Dr. Begi exhorted the PIOs not to shy away from the responsibility and requested them to extend all possible cooperation to the information seekers. Suggesting measures to reduce stresses associated with implementation of RTI Act, he asked all departments to digitize, update and keep all possible information in public domain such as website, notice boards and others. Citing Section 4 of the Act, he further suggested the govt. officials to follow all laid down procedures and rules in order to minimize pendency and work load.
He urged the people to utilize this great weapon exhaustively and judiciously, and at the same time, cautioned against the misuse of this opportunity. As a way to make RTI application more productive and less ambiguous, he suggested the RTI applicants to ask to-the-point, specific and effective questions relevant to the scope of query but less. He urged the activists to use the tool in the better development of the society. He acknowledged the work and achievement of some renowned RTI activists which include Payi Gyadi, Dr. A. Reddy and others.
Informing that the State government has allocated the additional charge of National Food Security Act (NFSA) to the Information Commission, he appealed for efficient implementation of NFSA in the district. He stressed upon giving equal impetus to nutritional aspect of food items apart from seamless delivery of entitled food grains to people.
He emphasized the need of extending proper care to pregnant and lactating mother and generating more awareness regarding breast feeding. Appreciating the DDSE for devising a noble concept of centralized kitchen under MDM, he stated that the idea is very innovative and worth replicating in other schools. He requested the DC and DF&CSO to exercise impartiality and transparency and adapt best methodology while selecting beneficiary and allocating FPS licences. He further directed the DD (ICDS) to activate all defunct ICDS projects, if any and requested to make all AWWs and Gram Sevikas to work sincerely. He urged the DA, DD (ICDS) and PR members to ensure selection and appointment of dedicated person to the post of AWW. He appealed the DMO to promote and sensitise the women about the importance of breast feeding, and nutritional need of children and pregnant and lactating women.
Delivering on the RTI Act, Information Commissioner Abraham K Techi briefed about the Official Secrecy Act, 1923 and events that led to the evolution of RTI Act. He informed about institutions which are kept outside the scope of RTI. He explained about the role, power and composition of Information Commission as prescribed under Section 18 of the Act. Calling the Act as “powerful gift” or “poor men’s power,” he urged everyone to use the opportunity in productive way.
In her key note address during the daylong technical session, Information Commissioner Nanom Jamoh highlighted on the aims and objectives of the NFS Act, 2013. She briefed about the power and function of State Food Commission and its composition, and role of DA and DF&CSO. She explained about the power and function and composition of District Grievance Redressal Officer as enshrined under the Act. Explaining about the role of other stakeholder, she urged all stakeholders, particularly the panchayat and NGOs to play a pro-active role in streamlining and proper implementation of the Act. She also appreciated the innovative concept of centralized kitchen being implemented in some schools at Seppa under MDM.
DC in-charge Tamune Messar exhorted the participants to extract maximum benefit of the sensitization programme. He urged all, particularly the PIOs and RTI activists to note the valuable information and try to adopt the best practices as taught by the learned team.