GUWAHATI, Oct 7 - Right to Information can be made an effective tool by ensuring that the voices of the deprived and marginalised sections of the society are heard loud and clear, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said today.
Speaking during the inauguration of the one-day regional workshop on the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005 at the Assam Administrative Staff College at Khanapara, Gogoi said, �Access to Right to Information must be ensured to the deprived and marginalised segments of the society and the muted voices must be heard loud and clear.�
The Chief Minister said that Assam was one of the pioneer States which introduced the Right to Information by a separate State Act in 2002. Gogoi said that protection must be accorded to public servants who work with good intention.
�Public servants who serve the people with good faith and intention must be protected unlike those who have malafide intentions and are in nexus with vested circles. Those who take risks and take hard decisions without fear or favour for the common good must be given protection,� Gogoi said, adding that favouritism, nepotism and corruption must be weeded out by ensuring transparency and accountability in governance which are vital for strengthening the roots of democracy.
Underscoring the need for the involvement of civil societies and NGOs in removing the lacunae in the implementation of the RTI Act, Gogoi said, �The very purpose for which the RTI Act has been enacted must be ensured and for this the inadequacies must be plugged to make it more effective. For this, the involvement of civil societies and NGOs is a must.�
Attributing the assertiveness of the people about their rights as a healthy sign of democracy, the Chief Minister said, �More and more people are coming forward to assert their rights and dues and this is definitely a healthy sign of democracy. The RTI Act can play a pivotal role in making people aware of their rights by creating awareness.�
Delivering the keynote speech on the occasion, Central Chief Information Commissioner Vijai Sharma analysed the issues involved in the effective implementation of the RTI Act in the 10 years since its inception in 2005 and appealed to all concerned to join hands and strengthen the RTI movement.
Earlier, in his welcome address, State Chief Information Commissioner HS Das said the good practices adopted by various States, together with the problems confronting the States in implementing the RTI Act, would be deliberated upon and vital inputs would be placed before the national convention to be held in New Delhi on October 16 and 17.
Today�s regional workshop was organised by the Assam Administrative Staff College in collaboration with the Assam State Information Commission.