Right To Information, a Powerful Tool to Empower Youth

Nagaland is relatively an underdeveloped State where youths depend on the State as the main job provider. The failure to properly implement the programs and policies due to rampant corruption reduces avenues and opportunities, ultimately affecting the youths and aggravating the issue of unemployment.

With the passing of Right To Information (RTI) Act 2005 in India, YouthNet has been spearheading the Right to Information Campaign in the State of Nagaland, with the main goal of eradicating corruption which is the root cause of poverty, underdevelopment and unemployment. With its focus on sensitization and awareness programmes on checking corruption, YouthNet has been conducting social auditing and public hearing.

The proposed project seeks to empower youth in different areas which will ultimately lead to reduction and eradicating corruption. Towards this end, YouthNet has conducted seminars and workshops on RTI in almost all the major district headquarters of Nagaland, and is the only organization that has conducted social auditing and public hearing.

It is also the first organization to hold an RTI workshop with the Government. Unlike other NGOs in the country, YouthNet works with the Government as well, even seeking government fund if necessary.

YouthNet’s RTI division is led by an efficient team of Advocates namely Lydia Yeptho, Sentila Longkumer and Joshua Sheqi. It also comprises of professional social workers and young ambassadors, who have been trained extensively. All the RTI activities are conceptualised, framed and implemented, and reported by the team. YouthNet has a wide volunteer network all over the state, whose services have been used for many social initiative programmes.

With a futuristic vision, YouthNet also ventured into an area beyond RTI Act 2005. The Act does not say anything beyond the stage of getting information. However, by involving the youths, YouthNet has successfully conducted the Campaign and undone social auditing/public hearing by understating threats and intimidations. Needless to say, the process of social auditing/public hearing has empowered people to understand the issue and how to use the RTI as a tool to check corruption practically.

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