A day after its inauguration,the RTI library has received around 50,000 documents pertaining to information demanded by various individuals and institutions under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Located at the Lala Lajpat Rai Bhawan,the open library will be functional from July 1. The process of document collection is underway and binding work has also begun. The Citizens Voice and RTI Users Association is spearheading the development of the library in association with Servants of Peoples Society.
It has been prescribed in the Right to Information Act that all the information disclosed by the government has to be catalogued for public consumption. But if the government is not doing so,we will have to do it, said Hemant Goswami,chairperson of Citizens Voice.
According to Goswami,there was a lot of information that had been requested through the RTI Act in the past seven years,but they were lying with individuals and not available in the public domain.
Goswami added that for researchers and journalists,the library would assume special significance as all the information would be easily accessible under one roof. All the documents would be kept on a dedicated floor,but an e-library would also be created.
We have developed a special classification system – Indian Information Documents System – consisting 15 characters. The first nine characters will tell the name of the ministry,the specific subjects,the state and the district of the given information. The last five digits will specify the year and the reliability of the document,depending on whether it is an original document or a photocopy, said Kulwinder Kaur,library assistant at Dwarka Das Library.
Information is a modern tool. With this library,anyone can keep abreast of the latest information. The strength of the initiative will be its replication. If there are people who want to manage a similar library at their own level,we will be happy to provide assistance and share the classification system, said Onkar Chand,Chairperson of Servants of Peoples Society.
RTI queries are not only filed by full-time RTI activists,but also by common people. However,they dont have the means to present it to the public. I have filed a number of RTIs for various reasons,but the information received is very limited. With this library anyone will be able to access such information, said Neeraj Katni,who runs a tuition academy in Panchkula.