This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Ashir gulati. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Know Your Rights: The Right To Information Act


As a citizen of a country, one must be aware of the basic features of the place where they reside, including the rights and duties provided by the constitution-makers. Laws were made by the people for the protection of the people. Ubi Jus, Ibi Remedium (Where there is a law, there is a remedy) is a well-supported legal maxim to the above statement. One remedy is the Right to Information (RTI), which is also known as the backbone of democracy.

Why was there a need for the RTI?

RTI is a right given to the public to be aware of the working of the three wings of the parliament, i.e. the Legislative, executive and judiciary. One of the Indian Constitution’s salient features states that these organs work independently, maintaining checks and balances on each other. 

Under the RTI, people have the right to know about the government’s monetary affairs, whether they have spent on the said things or not. The money used by them in any governmental work is the money of the citizens collected through taxes. 

Do you know the first State to introduce the RTI act was Tamil Nadu in April 1996? Then in 2005, with the assent of president APJ Abdul Kalam, the RTI act was passed and came into force on 12 October, 2005. After its passing, on an average, 4,800 RTIs were filed daily.

How can an RTI be Filed?   

It is easy to file an RTI and anyone can file it against any governmental institution. Now, an RTI can be filed in writing as well as online. An illiterate person can also approach and easily file it. It is the right of an individual. Therefore, a public officer will help people who cannot read or write. 

For sending an RTI offline, a person can write or get the problem typed as there is no specific format. For central government departments, one needs to pay ₹10 for every application. The mode of payment may vary from government to government. While applying in person, some organisations accept cash while some don’t.

Who can file an RTI Application?

An RTI application can be filed by any Indian citizen in search of public information. Overseas Citizens of India and Persons of Indian Origin can also seek information under certain sections.

Answer and Punishment

Mumbai Society And Daily Life
Model of Adarsh Society depicting the infamous land scam displayed as a theme of Christmas 2011 by Gopchar society at Worli in Mumbai. (Photo by Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The next step is answering. Every government organisation is needed to appoint one employee as a public information officer (PIO). Once a department gets an RTI request, it is the PIO’s responsibility to furnish the information to the applicant within 30 days. 

Failing to do so means a monetary fine can be imposed on the PIO. The longer a PIO makes an applicant wait, the more the penalty levied on them. There have been instances where PIOs have been asked to cough up an amount in thousands as fine. The answer to it must be given in 30 days, only in certain cases, it may be allowed for more.

Exceptions of RTI

There are 22 institutions exempted from the RTI. But all these entities are related to the country’s defence and intelligence, such as RAW, BSF, CRPF, CISF, Intelligence Bureau, National Security Guard, etc. There are some other situations when an RTI cannot be filed, like any court decision that comes under the nation’s importance or secrecy. Matters related to some special subjects can’t be disclosed due to national or international concerts.

Two major influential Cases

  1. 2G Scam: selling the 2G spectrum in an uncustomary way, basically to benefit only a few companies. An RTI was filed and the scam was caught. This is the first example which states the power of an RTI, it creates a burden on the people to maintain their records and to work in a decent way or without doing illegal work.
  2. Adarsh Society Scam: A six-storey building was built for Kargil war heroes and the martyr’s families, but this eventually ended up as a 31 storey building. An RTI was filed, which uncovered that the building was illegally conceived and all the maps were passed and projects were approved by bribing the respective authority. This is the second example where the RTI showed its potential and showed an inclination to the defaulters to do their work in a prescribed manner.


In India, the RTI has improved our situation since the act’s commencement, but we can’t say that corruption has gone away from our country. There are some departments where corruption has decreased with time, but it is at a petite rate. 

There are instances of some institutions or leaders where special committees must check their working. India is a country with the most corruption rate. Therefore, some enactment of strict laws is an urgent need in order to save our country. RTI is an example, but we need more similar laws to make our country run towards success.

You must be to comment.

More from Ashir gulati

Similar Posts

By shakeel ahmad

By Nandini priya

By Charkha Features

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below