Case Study:

Experience: -02

Choitnno Kumar Das, Field Organizer of Shatkhira District is from the Rishi Community. The financial condition of that community is very poor. Some Hindu community thinks that they are an outcaste community. Even local barbers doesn’t want to shave them or cut their hair. Many of the other marginalized communities get the opportunity from many government programs except their Rishi community.

Choitnno Kumar Das had a friend who worked in the local Union Council Chairman’s office. Through him he got the news that the Chairman’s office and the local Department of Social Services jointly arranged a list of peoples name for a government project name “One House One Farm Project”.

The next day Choitnno Kumar Das went to the local Chairman’s office and asked the chairman, `I heard a news about a government project named “One House One Farm Project”, sir is there any name in the list from our community`. Chairman replied `who told you about the program, there is no such program running and about earlier program, there was no name in that list from your community`. Choitnno Kumar Das requested the chairman `sir is there anything you can do for any of our community, at least include a few names of our community in the list of beneficiaries ?`. Chairman replied again `we have already selected & fixed the names, nothing can be changed and don’t waste my time on this issue.”

After this altercation, Chaitanya instantly went to his group and had a meeting with all members. Most of those members were agreed to submit 05 RTI applications to the local Department of Social Services office by registered post. The subject of that RTI application was “we want to know if there is any plan for the project “One House One Farm Project” for the year 2014 and we want to have the beneficiaries list along with the address.” After having the beneficiaries list they could see there is no name of their community.

Afterward they had another meeting regarding the same and submitted another RTI application to the same authority. The subject of that RTI application was “I want to have the list of names who are involved in taking decision for the list of beneficiaries groups and those names are fixed based on which rules and regulations.’

After that local Chairman called them and had a meeting with them. The Chairman and other members then included 10 names of Rishi community in that beneficiaries list. Te Rishi group said now we can see and feel the power of RT Act 2009. That was their first success story.