THERE is no age barrier to seek information, especially from the government. Vinit Patel (14) must be one of the youngest persons to file an RTI in the country. The 14-year-old from Visnagar in Navsara district submitted the RTI application to the local municipal office asking about the road and water problems afflicting his society in May, this year. However, the youngster says that the answers, which he received a month later, weren’t up to the par.
Some of the questions that Vinit asked were why there was no proper road in his society (that has around 80 buildings), tenders floated for construction of road, the reason for contaminated and irregular supply of water, the chemical analysis of the drinking water, the time allotted for water supply in his society and why sweepers were not allotted for their area.
For each question, Vinit says that he either got a vague or a dissatisfactory answer. “I had asked for a photocopy of the chemical analysis of the drinking water. But that wasn’t attached with the reply sheet,” he says, adding, “So, I sent an application to the Collector’s office. They told me to make the application properly and send it again.”
Explaining his intention behind filing the RTI, Vinit says, “We constantly have water problem and don’t have proper roads. Everyone is fed up of these two issues. So, maybe my application would bring about some good.”
Vinit got to know about RTI after reading a state sponsored magazine named after the state. He also took the help of a relative, who had filed an RTI two years back.
(Published in Sunday Mid Day on 12th October, 2008)