RTI training is conducted every Saturday at our Chennai office, and at the training session conducted this Saturday March 6th 2010, there were 21 participants of which 10 were from Loyola College. Students’ active role and initiative is vital as they can act as messengers for creating awareness among their peers, family and neighbors. 5th Pillar member from Sivagangai Mr. Periyasamy, a social activist, also took part in the training session to get adept in writing petitions. He had an interesting story to share, about his appeal to the concerned government officials to look into the construction of a compound wall at Ullagampatti village, in S.Pudhur block of Sivagangai District, that comes under the Anaithu Grama Anna Marumalarchi Thittam (AGAMT) scheme. Under the AGAMT scheme, Rs.4,80,000 was allocated for the constuction of a wall around the pond that is the primary water source for the village. The wall constructed was dangerously fragile and so Mr. Periyasamy complained to the Block Development Officer (BDO) and the Union Chairman of S.Pudhur, but to no avail. He was in fact threatened twice by the BDO. He mentioned that he is attending this training session to familiarize and expertise in writing an RTI petition, to address the impending problem of fragile compound wall that was constructed recently under the AGAMT scheme. Infact, he has filed an RTI petition through our organization, after attending the session.
Mr.Muthukumar, a social activist concentrating on free education for children, from Paramakudi of Ramanathapuram District, was also a participant in this training session. He is the author of a Tamil book called “Thervu Bayam Neeka”, which encourages the students appearing for provincial exams to have a relaxed and positive attitude. This book is timely as recently we have seen a rise in suicide rate among high school students taking these exams which is highly competitive. The Zero Rupee Note and the address of our organization is featured in this book to spread anti-corruption awareness among the students and parents who buy these books for their kids.
Loyola College students, who attended this training session, were very enthusiastic as they have encountered corruption in various scenarios and would like to affront it by adopting RTI petitions. Situations confronted by their friends and relatives have been a strong motivation for some of the students who attended this session, as they wanted to deal with the situation straightforwardly. Corruption has made life stressful for everyone and young generations zeal and dedication to confront it will eventually weed out this social evil.