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Saturday, January 6, 2007

On Day 13, numbers speak of campaign’s popularity

Hindustan Times Correspondent, New Delhi, July 13, 2006: The HT-supported Drive Against Bribe Campaign proved that when it comes to fighting for the commoner's right to information, the supposed curse around number 13 is not a deterrent.
On day-13, the campaign thrived with more turnout across the country with 481 RTI applications filed. The number of queries through phone calls and visitors at RTI camps touched 5,000. That is the highest so far.
The Delhi camp at IG stadium defied the law of average and continued clocking large figures of both visitors and RTI applications.
With 221 RTI applications filed in Delhi on Thursday, the camp saw a sizeable number of visitors who just came over to witness the revolution of people's power that has been unfurling at the camp.
News of the camp's impact kept pouring in. Volunteers found that at the office of the Deputy Commissioner, the need to get work done through RTI was diminishing. "The DC himself attended to 15 cases of caste certificates and election I cards on the spot. This is the same office which had been generating a lot of grievances till sometime back," said a volunteer.
The DC assured that all pending cases will be taken care of and the caste and income certificates that had been prepared would be dispatched to applicants via post.
The sub-camps at the passport offices, too, had their share of success. Syed Abu Haider Zaidi from South Delhi, who had applied for his passport 2 years ago, had taken recourse to RTI through the camp on July 7. He came to the sub-camp at Bikaji Cama Place to inform that he received his passport on Thursday.
Mumbai, where people are fighting the aftermath of a mammoth terror-attack, saw more than 100 RTI applications filed on Day-13.
In the 13 days that the camps have been helping people, there have been success stories all over. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit visited the camp las week and showered words of praise on both the effort and the spirit of the volunteers. She also instructed officials to do all they could to help with RTI applications.
With 2 more days before it officially ends, the campaign looks to be approaching a memorable climax.

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