At a time when the state government is busy with its Sandesh Yatra apprising voters of the various schemes launched by it,activists across 12 districts of Rajasthan are out on a Jan Sunwai evam Karyavahi Yatra,collecting 4,000 applications under the Right to Hearing Act. Complaints pertaining to pending payments under the Indira Awas Yojana,pension irregularities,power and water supply malfunctions,pilferage in the public distribution scheme and other irregularities have been registered over the last three weeks of this yatra.
Take the case of Jhootha village in Pali district,which has 30 families. The residents here do not have identity cards. Shravan Ram,35,who has applied for a ration card and BPL status,said,Our ancestors were travelling artistes who recited Phad (Rajasthani paintings on sheets). The art form has almost died,and we earn our livelihood by doing manual labour. Our applications for ration card and BPL status have not been processed. We have no identity cards that can include us in welfare schemes.
Co-founder of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan Nikhil Dey said,Around 80 volunteers from different NGOs have formed seven teams to tour 12 districts,including Pali,Sirohi,Udaipur,Rajsamand,Alwar,Ajmer,Baran,Dungarpur and Jodhpur. During the last three weeks,they have got over 4,000 applications under the Act. Sometimes,the single window at the gram panchayat is found shut while at others villagers complain of no proper hearing.
The state government implemented the Right to Hearing Act in August last year under which all grievances are heard by concerned officials and a written reply provided within 21 days. The pilot project was launched in Rajsamand district. On April 9,the Rajasthan government issued a notification for mandatory implementation of the Act in the entire state. Banna Lal,Director of Public Service Department,said,There are problems in the delivery mechanism,but the fact that people now have a voice through this Act is a boon. Bhilwara and Rajsamand districts have witnessed satisfactory implementation of the Act. So far,we have fined more than 10 officials for non-compliance under the Act.