Listed below are some achievements that are expected to help out in this project
Kabir has created a strong network of Right to Information Activists in 82 cities from 23 states across the country. Since August 2005, Kabir has focused primarily on the fits primary activities. Through its work Kabir has constantly fine tuned its efforts based on the lessons from ongoing experiences. Kabir has learned and accomplished the following:-
(1) Being a communications initiative. Kabir has collected and created films of successful uses of the RTI Act by individuals and organizations across the country in order to create mass awareness and foster replication of those success stories through India.
• Working with partner organizations, Kabir has collected over six hundred stories from across the country and produced thirteen films and print materials about RTI. Three of its films have been awarded top prizes in various film festivals. Its films are available on its website: http://kabir.org.in/aboutkabirproduction.htm.
• Kabir has done visual documentation of 160 RTI stories, out of which 82 have appeared on various television channels. Kabir has sold or circulated 10,000 copies of a CDs with its short films and other material.
• Kabir has prepared user friendly RTI manuals in Hindi and English languages. 20,000 copies of these manuals have been published so far. Increased demand of these manuals have resulted into publication of different versions e.g. Rural specific, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh specific and Common for all.
• Kabir has also made available low cost copies of RTI Act in Hindi and English. So far, 8000 copies of these Acts have been distributed on actual cost.
• Kabir has also prepared posters and 10 different kinds of handbills on Right to Information Act, its importance and features etc.
• Kabir has supported Doordarshan news channel to run a weekly show called “Janne Ka Haq” (Right to Know) in another effort to increase public awareness of RTI. This 65 week old show has become much popular amongst rural and suburban masses.
• Kabir has generally been providing RTI related footage and stories to the media.
(2) Supporting Grassroots Campaigns to spread use of the RTI Act.
• Kabir has conducted 120 workshops in places near and far, in cities and villages across India to educate the public about RTI and how to use it effectively. These workshops are mainly organized in collaboration with local organizations. We estimate that approximately 15,000 people have participated directly in its workshops and many have learned about indirectly.
• Kabir has also worked with top Indian media organizations such as the NDTV news channel and newspapers like The Hindustan Times and The Hindu and more than 700 organizations, to run a two week long “Drive against Bribes” Campaign in July 2006 to promote the use of RTI across the country. 1500 volunteers were trained to assist citizens in preparing RTI applications in 55 cities. In collaboration with an advertising agency, Kabir also created print and advertisement material for the campaign. A film based on this campaign is available online.
• Along with Parivartan and other activist organizations Kabir played in instrumental role in supporting the Right to Water Campaign in Delhi by putting together the documents and reports in support of the campaign and by creating a film on the campaign.
• Kabir has also pioneered a campaign in December 2006 called “Questions from my Village” in five remote villages of Uttar Pradesh of various socioeconomic stratums to promote the use of RTI in collaboration with local level organizations.
(3) Facilitating Access to the RTI Act. We believe that the Act must be accessible to all.
• Kabir has been instrumental in implementation and setting up of a unique RTI application Line and helpline in Bihar by the state government. The helpline allows all citizens, who might not be literate or those who simply prefer the convenience, can file an RTI application to the State of Bihar over the phone.
• Kabir has continuously supported Manjunath Shanmugam Trust to setup the National RTI Helpline primarily by training the call center staff how to respond to RTI queries.
(4) Provide a Platform for Stakeholder Interaction. Information Commissioners are a group unique in their influence and ability to impact the RTI environment. As such, we believe it is critical that these adjudicators of the RTI Act be aware of how it is being used and that impact it is having because Kabir has found that informed Commissioners make much better decisions.
• To date, Kabir has organized two tri-party meetings of State Information Commissioners, users and activists in Chitrakoot and Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh in August and September 2007. These conferences provide these sometimes antagonistic parties with a forum to learn from each other and strengthen their cooperation in addressing each others difficulties and frustrations with regard to utilizing the Act, preserving and strengthening it, or adjudicating and implementing as the case may be.
• Kabir convened a RTI Activists Meeting in Pune in May, 2007 which brought together over 170 activists for the first time since the implementation of the RTI Act in 2005.
• Kabir also held a first of its kind national meeting of RTI commissioners in Pune in June, 2007.
• In December, 2007 Kabir held state level meetings of RTI Activists in Haryana and Bihar.