Thursday, April 1, 2010

5th Pillar files an appeal RTI petition to Villupuram District Collectorate

A 75 year old person, Mr. Meypogam of Eandhur village in Dindivanam Taluk of Villupuram District, encountered resistance from the Taluk office when he applied for old age pension. This pension is granted to people who have no property and children to take care of them. The schemes main idea is to bestow dignity to old age people, and to help them with their basic necessities when they are handicapped to earn for themselves. In this situation they are forced by some corrupt officials to spare change to certify them as orphans in society in order to receive this pension. As Mr. Meypogam had no change to bribe the officials visiting to inquire his living condition, he was denied pension on grounds that he has no family to support him, which is the contrary of the stipulated regulation of the law. This was proof enough to file an RTI(Right to Information) petition on 10th January 2010, by the RTI coordinator of 5th pillar Mr. Jayaselvan, to the Personal Assistant of the District collector of Villupuram. We received a reply stating that as per RTI Act sect 3, only the Indian citizens can request information as per the Act., and the organization cannot ask for any information. This was absolutely wayward from the issue as the person who filed this petition is an Indian citizen affiliated to an NGO organization. So an appeal was filed to the district collectorate of Villupuram on 16th February 2010. We have received an acknowledgement letter stating that the issue has been directed to the concerned dept for further evaluation into the matter and would receive a response in the imminent future.

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