Mahiti Adhikar Manch (MAM) completes a DECADE of its Transparency Movement

As we enter into 2016, MAM enters its next decade of the movement towards Transparency & Accountability on the pathway of  the Right to Information.

MAM strongly believes that after the Constitution of  India was enacted, the Right to Information Act enacted in 2005 is the most significant legislation that empowers the ordinary citizen and offers him or her an opportunity for true Swaraj and also contributes to upholding civil liberties and human rights.

MAM has been like leaven in the dough – silently and steadily contributing to  awareness, education, networking, advocacy and  systemic changes for  a regime of  Transparency and Accountability.

MAM has effectively conducted Mass Awareness Camps at Railway Stations, Public places, Premises f Public Authorities, etc to make the Aam Admi aware about the Act and its inherent power. It has collaborated with other activists, like-minded organizations and even Public Authority personnel in getting them to use RTI for improving systems and improving delivery of services. It has used negotiating skills for generating public opinion and effecting changes in policies so that they are more citizen friendly and transparent. A unique “Travellers Awareness Programme” was given by our volunteers to passengers traveling in inter-city trains.

MAM in the true spirit of empowerment has trained volunteers to man the RTI clinics in the city and also outside the city

MAM brought together RTI activists from other parts of the State and formed the RTI Monitoring Council for Maharashtra State to further monitor the implementation of the Act and liaise with the Government for improvements in record keeping, transparency, etc.

MAM has been instrumental in setting up the Technical Advisory Committee for RTI in BMC, the first such initiative in the country and is an active participant in its deliberations.

MAM was also the lead organisation that hosted the largest RTI Convention at Mumbai University in June 2014 and has facilitated the first University Post Graduate Diploma Course on RTI, which is to start this in January 2016.

MAM has occasionally been getting press coverage for some of its activities but by and large has remained an “unsung hero”.

MAM in its 10th year focused on Social Audit of Public Works/Contracts/Schemes and formed SALT (Social Audit Local Team) in some of the BMC Wards. The audit of 4 gardens/open spaces has been done and the reports submitted. This activity is the first such attempt in Urban settings. Besides Gardens/Traffic Islands/Medians/RG/PG we will also take up the audits of Toilets given on contract for maintenance, Municipal Schools and Trench works, during the coming year.

MAM in its 10th year also launched the “RIGHTS EMPOWERMENT CENTRE” on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of RTI on 12 October 2015. The inauguration was done by Mr. Julio Ribeiro, Chairman of PCGT. It is a weekly clinic on every Monday from 6 pm to 7.30 pm at St. Joseph High School, Wadala in collaboration with the DCE (Dolours Centre for Empowerment). This clinic will guide citizens on RTI, RTS (Right to Services) and Social Audits.

MAM in the coming year plans to start a “RTI on Wheels” project for which it has appealed for funds in order to purchase a vehicle and retrofit it for audio-video presentations and campaign material on RTI. With the grace of the Almighty and the support of our well wishers, we hope this dream will become a reality this year. (The Appeal Form giving you more information of MAM is attached)

MAM dedicates its ELEVENTH year to the memory of late NARAYAN VARMA who was its closest collaborator, regular contributor, constant encourager, best friend, caring mentor and great inspirer. May this great soul, who left us just a week ago, be our blessing in this coming year.

MAM thanks all of you – our fellow activists, volunteers, partnering NGOs, well-wishers, benefactors, all the stake holders of the RTI movement for your association with us and your goodwill and support and wish all of you a very fulfilling and happy 2016.