Right To Information – Awareness for Youth: The Kohima Campaign

With the view to bring about positive changes through RTI, a five month long youth movement-‘The Right to Information (RTI) Awareness for Youth: The Kohima Campaign’ was launched on October 14, 2011. An initiative of the Government of India, the campaign was jointly organized by Administrative Training Institute (ATI), Kohima, Government of Nagaland in partnership with YouthNet under the direction of the Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India.

The campaign which culminated in April 2012 was organised under the theme “Youth for transparency and good governance.” The main purpose of the RTI campaign was to empower youths and students to become active members in the society towards checking corruption and also to assist the government in bringing transparency, accountability and good governance.

During this campaign, all colleges within Kohima district were visited by a team of RTI experts from YouthNet, where workshops on RTI were held. Two Student leaders from each college were selected as facilitators for this campaign.

A major highlight of the campaign was drafting of RTI applications, where youths were given the opportunity to file RTI on any government department. Drop boxes to collect RTI applications were placed across Kohima town wherein YouthNet took the initiative to submit the applications to the concerned departments.

Throughout the campaign, some of the best questions were published in the local dailies for public awareness and also to remind government departments to be more proactive in disclosing information. Other activities undertaken during this campaign included practical trainings, workshops and seminars on RTI.

Trainings, seminars and workshops

· Training of master trainers under Youth for Transparency Campaign was held from March 30 –April 1, 2011. Altogether 7 participants attended the training program.

· A one day RTI workshop was also conducted in partnership with Sumi Students’ Union, Zunheboto district on April 18, 2011 at Zunheboto. Attendees of the workshop included youth leaders, village elders, community people and students.

· Taking it forward, a one day RTI workshop was conducted for university students at Lumami, Nagaland University campus on April 19, 2011 in partnership with Nagaland University.

· At Tseminyu, the one day RTI workshop was conducted on May 28, 2011 wherein youth leaders, village elders, community people and students attended. The program was conducted in partnership with Rengma Students Union, Tseminyu district.

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