As you might know, the Suchana Evam Rojgar Adhikar Abhiyaan (SR Abhiyaan) is currently on a hundred day “Jawabdehi Yatra” across the State of Rajasthan. The Yatra has received a strong and positive response from ordinary people – both in terms of support for a strong accountability law, as well as through the filing of individual and collective grievances and complaints.
– The Jawabdehi Yatra started on the 1st of December from Jaipur, and has covered 8 districts so far. Around 70 people are constantly travelling in a big sleeper bus, in a van that has joined us from Jan Path and MAGP in Gujarat called the “RTI on Wheels”; in a vehicle from the Digital Empowerment Foundation helping us with filing and tracking online grievances, a vehicle with a camera and documentation team, and with a street theatre and performing team in another van. The “Yatris”, are joined by local Sangathans in each District.
– The Yatra spends three days in each District. Two days are spent in towns and villages in different Blocks, followed by a daylong Jansunwai cum Shikayat Mela/ Sammelan on the third day at the District headquarters. The Jan Sunwai/ Jawabdehi Mela ends with a rally and a detailed meeting with District Collectors and other District Level Officers.
Grievances are being registered on the Rajasthan Governments “Sampark portal” and a parallel demand is being raised for the passage of a strong “Jawabdehi Kanoon” with a transparent, time bound Accountability Mechanism; an independent commission at the district level, empowered to penalise errant officers and compensate the citizen.
Rations (food security) , Social Security Pensions, MGNREGA, School, and Health are major areas where in hundreds of grievances being registered. Approximately 5000 grievances have so far been registered and uploaded on the state government grievance redress portal. The DEF team is helping track the response to the grievances filed. Colleagues in the RTI on Wheels van are helping explain and popularize RTI, as well as make the connections between transparency and accountability, and RTI and Grievances.
Discussions with the District Administration in the District level meetings has also resulted in some important policy and implementation reforms being suggested and implemented. Some measures are also being recommended and sent to the State Government.
The Yatra is replete with stories and case studies, and strong evidence of the degree of implementation on the ground. Apart from people from different local organizations, young volunteers, and interns from different colleges have also enthusiastically been a part of gathering evidence and encouraging action. Several cases of clear violations of Right to Food Security are seen in “No toilets – no ration”, or “No adhar, no ration”. Denial of rations to Antyodaya card holders, BPL card holders, state BPL etc.
The Yatra will continue till 10th March 2016. Once again, we appeal to all of you to join us for however many days you can, to strengthen the demand for a Jawabdehi Kanoon” in Rajasthan, in India, and for your support in redressing public grievances in the social sector and essential services.