Shri JR Lal is an active member of Citizens Alliance for Promotion of Responsive Governance. This is his personal experience.

“I needed to get a small modification made in our family Ration Card.

The prescribed application form duly completed was submitted to Food & Supplies department’s Circle Office along with Ration Card and a fee of Rs. 25/-. For having received those documents and the fee, an acknowledgement was given. The concerned official then directed to return after one month to collect the modified Ration Card.”

What choice or voice does a citizen have in the kingdom of mighty Babus?

“After a month, the Circle Office was visited once again by my son to collect the modified Ration Card. The man in the ration office demanded the return of the acknowledgement for Rs 25/-and refused to hand over the amended ration card. Since the cash receipt was not readily available my son was shooed away with instructions to bring the receipt or a parchi from the police.”

 What choice or voice does a citizen have in the kingdom of Mighty Babus?Proper use of RTI. 

It may be of interest for all of us to know that it is absolutely against the rules to ask for the return of any receipt, acknowledgement, etc. issued against a payment made to the Govt. department. Therefore an application under RTI Act was sent by courier to the concerned Public Information Officer viz the Asst. Commissioner of the zone on 01.08.2007 asking information on the following points :-

i)                    Whether it is compulsory to return the said acknowledgement to get the corrected Ration Card;

 ii)                   If original acknowledgement is returned, will the department issue a separate receipt to show that amount of Rs. 25/- was paid to the department; and

 iii)                 In the event of failure to return the original acknowledgement, what formality will have to be complied with to get the corrected Ration Card.? 

 Believe it or not 

“Can you imagine what happened next?”

“Within two hours of the delivery of the courier to the Asst. Commissioner of the zone, Food Inspector from Circle Office landed at my residence to hand over the modified Ration Card without any fuss and without asking return of the acknowledgment in question”.     



      Shri JR Lal, a proactive member of CAPRG  has carried out a study of Department of Food & Supplies, Govt of NCT Delhi.
      The Department had made announcements in papers that any individual who had an APL ration card and wanted to have amendments made in it can produce the same with supporting documents and the get the work done the same day.
     A wonderful Promise indeed.
      Information was procured from the Department under the RTI, and analysed.
      The report is ready. CAPRG has requested for a meeting with the Lieut Governor to discuss Transport Issues inDelhi. It is proposed to present the report to the LG during the meeting.
      CAPRG has been waiting for an appintment since over a week.
      We shall be putting up the report on Monday.
02 Nov 07


02 Nov 07     

     We are receiving news since three days of young boys being ‘rescued ‘ from Embroidery and Zari workshops in Shapur Jat, all are below 18 years of age.

     Police and NGO ‘action’ came in the wake of news paper reports that a famous  foreign marketing chain had discontinued procuring garments from India on account of involvement of child labour in the manufacture of garments.

     Shapur Jat is a village in the capital city of New Delhi, just 10 km from the Parliament house, Presidents’ Estate, 7 Km from PM’s residence, 7 Km from the residence of Mr Yechury a vocal communist  in Vasant Kunj, in New Delhi.

    The children are from W Bengal, Orissa and Jharkand. What about UP , Bihar and Haryana? They are employed in sweat shops in Moradabad, Agra, (Varanasi)Benaras, Hissar, Panipat, Sonipat etc.

     It is the same story, whether it be Andhra, Tamil Nadu or Maharashtra.

    We see children every where, in every tea shop and dhaba, all over the country, working, getting a paltry amount as ‘pay’, a meal or two a day.  Kicks, blows and bad words they get in plenty from owners and customers.

     Parents in the villages send them to work, with full knowledge of their working conditions. Such is the poverty that Parents feel their children are better off even in these adverse work surroundings.

     Sending them back to villages? Then what? To what life? Poverty and squalor and an  extra mouth to feed?

     Are they supposed to beg on the streets?

        ( It is illegal for minors to beg, but you see them on street corners, every where and in front of  temples and mosques and churches)

     What do you think should be done?  By whom?

     What can you do?   What would you like to do?