Thursday, November 19, 2009

Invitation Letter: RTI Convention in Hyderabad 30th-2nd of Dec

Dear friends,

On behalf of the National Campaign for the Peoples Right to Information (NCPRI), University of Hyderabad, United Forum for RTI we would like to invite you to participate in two RTI Conventions to be held over three days in Hyderabad from November 30-December 2, 2009. 

The first day of the convention (November 30th) will be a “National Youth Convention on RTI and Democracy”.  In the following two days, 1st and 2nd December there will be a Southern Regional convention on the RTI. The Hyderabad Central University has kindly offered its premises for the occasion. 

The Conventions will be a great opportunity for all of us to share our experiences on the Right to Information. Since representatives of various campaigns and groups working on the RTI from across the country will participate in this Convention, it will also work as a platform for all of us to network with like-minded groups and individuals and take our work forward. In the past year, the issue of amendments to the RTI Act has cropped up time and again. Lately, the 'rumours' have taken more definite shape with both the President, the Prime Minister, and the Minister DOPT declaring their intent to bring in amendments. We also look upon this meet as an opportunity to develop concrete strategies to oppose any change to the RTI legislation. We hope you and representatives from your campaign, group and or organisation can join us for the Convention.

The Conventions will have plenaries and thematic workshops conducted by experts to discuss more closely the utility and relevance of RTI with regard to issues and movements like human rights, employment, politics, environment etc; as well as share experiences and challenges faced in our own efforts to use the RTI.

The NCPRI runs on individual donations by supporters of the Campaign. This Convention is also being organised with the help of contributions in cash and kind from various people and organisations. We will request all participants of the Convention to bear their own costs for travel to Hyderabad. A registration fee of Rs 100 per day will also be charged from each participant to cover basic food costs. Youth participants will be charged half that amount. Accommodation arrangements will be made in the various hostels of the University.

This letter is to invite RTI activists from Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Lakshwadeep, Orissa, Goa, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh to participate in the Southern region convention on the 1st and 2nd of December 2009. We would also like to invite young RTI activists and enthusiasts from all over India for the National Youth Convention on RTI and Democracy on the 30th of November. They are off course welcome to stay on for all three days.

We hope you will block these dates. A letter with programme details will follow soon, but we are enclosing a tentative schedule of the conventions. As there is limited space available, we would appreciate an email from you with a confirmation of the numbers, dates of arrival and departure, and if possible names and details of participants from your organisation/ network at This will allow us to do logistical and other planning for the convention. We will reply with a confirmation by email as soon as we receive your letter.

In solidarity,

Aruna Roy, Bharat Dogra, Harsh Mander, Nikhil Dey, Prashant Bhushan, Shekhar Singh, Suman Sahai (Working Committee Members)

For more information please contact:

Ankita Anand on 09810382973 or Suchi Pande on 09811333041 or 

via email at


Rakesh Reddy on 09885419012 or Umesh  on 09849493009 in Hyderabad.

Tentative programme

Day 1 – National Convention on Youth, RTI & Democracy

10 A.M. to 1.00 p.m.- Opening plenary:

1.0              p.m. to 2.00 p.m. – Lunch

2.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. parallel workshops on

RTI and    Youth and Education

               Youth and Employment

                 Youth and activism

6.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. Closing plenary on Youth, RTI, and the way forward

Day 2

Parallel workshops on

RTI and Urban Issues

RTI and Rural Issues

RTI and Human Rights

RTI and state level issues

RTI and Commissions

Day 3

Activity workshops

Resource persons for the workshops are being invited and the list will be circulated shortly.

Reaching University of Hyderabad:

1. From Mehdipatnam:
2. From Kachiguda:
3. From Nampally:
4. From Secunderabad Railway Station:
5. From MGBS Bus stand:

Joint Operation for Social Help (JOSH)
C-7/E, DDA Flats, Munirka,
New Delhi. Pin Code: 110067
Phone: +91 11 26181427,

Monday, November 16, 2009

Updates- AID Aashayein



(Updates for September & October)


“And now when things seem dark and hard and difficult to face


The memory of that little boy helps me in my race


For all of life is like that race with ups and downs and all


And all you have to do to win, Is rise each time you fall


“Quit! Give up! You’re beaten!” they all shout in my face


But another voice within me says; “GET UP AND WIN THE RACE”




That's exactly what we did at Aashayein.Each time we fell, we re-affirmed ourselves to our aims and rose again.



Month of September and October had been really eventful and full of bustling activities. Some of the major developments were:



1. Initiation of regular academic classes for kids. A qualified teacher has been appointed  who takes classes from Monday to Friday.


2.  A Core Team of Aashayein has been set up responsible for taking major decisions in the project. Volunteers to be recruited in this team were selected based on their availability and commitment.


 The core team comprises of:

I)   Project coordinator & account manager:          Prachi Aggarwal

II) Volunteer coordinator:                                     Prachi&Swastik

III) Event coordinator:                                             Anandita

IV) Publication coordinator:                                        Zulaikha

V)  Skill building session coordinator:                  Deboshree & Vipra



3. Three volunteers have been appointed to keep a track of the kid's progress as well as of the teacher.


4. Skill building classes have been going on with great fervor and would be continued in a similar manner. Another step is the introduction of Music and Art classes.


5. English classes have been started every Sunday to improve the reading and writing skills of children. Along with that a session of GK is being done regularly.


6. Volunteer meet has been happening regularly at second Sunday of every month along with the collection of Meal a Month.


7.  Self evaluation and Introspection of the volunteers through the means of a questionnaire with the intentions to improve the quality of work and to increase their contribution to the project.



Some major events that happened in last 2 months were:


University Awareness Drive:

-Light to lighten-


Our aim was to create awareness among the students about the kind of work we at AID Aashayein are involved in and various other pertinent social issues.


The Awareness drive was initiated in Kirori Mal College where the screening of AID Aashayein movie was followed by a brief talk about the project. To spread awareness about AID and Aashayein, raise funds for the children, a stall was put up to sell hand painted shirts worth 200/- each. Along with that we also distributed pamphlets of AID and Aashayein among the interested students.


This was followed by an awareness drive in Indraprastha College for Women which took place on 5th of September. While the movie Poison on the Platter based on Genetically Modified Foods was screened in the Seminar Room of the college by the Women's Development Centre, the Aashayein stall was put up alongside. Mr.Selva Ganapathy gave a talk on GM foods and its potential threats to us and why it should be avoided. This was followed by the screening of the Aashayein video after which Anandita and Deboshree gave a brief introduction of Aashayein, its present activities and its future aims to all the students present.


As a part of fund raising, T-shirts with the AID logo and the slogan of BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD were sold in various colours (blue,red and white) along with hand made bags. Fortunately, our initiative was met with a lot of enthusiasm by the college students who poured in with names to volunteer.



Diwali stall in Corporates

-Another successful venture of Aashayein-


To create awareness and raise funds for Aashayein, a novel idea of putting up Diwali stalls was initiated. This was done in collaboration with Jagriti. The hard work put in by the volunteers to make beautiful diyas and candles along with chocolates and envelopes was met by an enthusiastic response.


The employees at ST Microelectronics and Evalueserve were astonished by the plethora of multi-coloured items on display at our Diwali stalls. The Diwali stall catering to the employees of the company was set up by Prachi, Deboshree, Zulaikha, Swastik, and Anchit. It was a grand success for the team, which was overwhelmed by the response for their products. With a theme of Diwali essentials, the Aashayein stall was crowded with impressed buyers who bought things in bulk.


Whilst the employees of the corporate left with exciting artefacts to flaunt this Diwali, the team of Aashayein and Jaagriti walked back with smiles and a sense of satisfaction for bringing the cause closer to its vision



Diwali celebrations at Aashayein

-Fun and frolic all the way-


The Diwali celebrations at Aashayein encompassed two days.The main theme of the programme was having a great time with the kids.

On Saturday,10th August,2009:The children sang the song-"Itni shakti hume dena" followed by various dance performances. They performed various dance styles which ranged from GIDDA to JAZZ to BOLLYWOOD and it was plain to see that they were having a wonderful time. After a little more of dancing with the children, snacks were distributed amongst them after which we called it a day.


Volunteers Present:

Prachi, Vipra, Harpreet, Srishti, Nikita, Deboshree, Renuka, Niharika, Zulaikha, Anandita


Diwali festivities are never complete without a few colors. Thus the celebrations continued on Sunday 11th August,2009  and the kids were in joyous mood to compete for the Rangoli competition.

Kids grouped themselves in pairs and started making the drawings with chalks and filling beautiful colors in them. With the rangoli designs so vibrant and volunteers decided to declare all of them as winners. Thus Aashayein team celebrated Diwali in a style!!! Volunteers present: Vipra, Mohit, Tavleen, Anisha, Prachi


Team Aashayein

New volunteers who joined us this month:


Mohit, Renuka didi, Anisha, Tavleen, Niharika


Regular Volunteers:


Srishti, Nikita, Deboshree, Vipra, Harpreet, Neelu, Swastik, Prachi, Anandita




To know more and  receive regular updates about Aashayein:


Aashayein blog:






For Volunteering opportunities, please contact




Prachi Aggarwal


Project Coordinator, Aashayein 


Inviting you to join the RALLY FOR THE RIGHT TO FOOD on 26th November, 2009 from Mandi House to Parliament Street, New Delhi. Time 10.00am-04.00pm. Please circulate this widely.

Inviting you to join the

Rally for the RIGHT to FOOD   

26 November 2009 (New Delhi)

A rally outside Parliament demanding the passage of a comprehensive Food Entitlements Act and effective interventions in drought stricken areas.

Organized by

The Right to Food Campaign.

Route: Mandi House to Parliament Street (followed by demo outside Parliament.

Assembly time: 10 am.  Rally and demo: 11.00 am- 5.00pm


Dear All,

Greetings from the Right to Food Campaign Secretariat, New Delhi.

This is to invite you once again for a rally on the 26th of November, 2009 to demand the passage of a comprehensive Food Entitlements Act and effective interventions in drought stricken areas.

The country is faced by severe drought and spiraling food prices. The situation of hunger and malnutrition in the country is exacerbated even more than usual.  The UPA government's response to rampant and growing hunger has been mere talk of a farcical National Food Security Act which does nothing to address food security concerns. Now, even this inadequate attempt has been shelved on the pretext of tackling the drought first, though in fact, there is total inaction on the drought.

The campaign's essentials demands, and working draft of a Food Entitlements Act, emerged out of a collective process including consultations held in Delhi on 18th June, 11th July and 17th September (for details, see “Right to Food Act” section at

To press these demands, the Right to Food Campaign is planning a mass rally and demonstration on 26th November, 2009 outside parliament house (at Jantar Mantar). The rally will begin from Mandi house (assembly time 10 am). 

We appeal to you to join this rally in full strength. We also request you to support this initiative by:

a) Organising signature campaigns in your area and bringing the signatures for display in the rally. The signatures can be collected on sarees or banners using the attached documents as a mobilising tool.

b) Distributing and communicating the charter of demands for the march and mobilising as many as possible to participate in the rally.

c) Helping to mobilise participants for the 26th November rally.

d) Helping to raise funds for the rally.

We attach the following documents: (a) Charter of demands for the rally in English and Hindi; (b) Summary of the demands as parcha in english and Hindi; (c)  Invitation to the rally in Hindi.

Please consider translating some of these documents in the local language.

Please drop us a line about your participation, including the number of people from your group so that we can make adequate logistic arrangements. Please help us spread the word regarding this rally.  You can contact those below for enquiries. Let us make this rally a success!!


With regards,

Right to Food Campaign Secretariat

(On behalf of the steering group of the campaign)


Secretariat Office: 011-26499563

Kavita Srivastava- 009351562965

Annie Raja- 9868181992

Biraj Patnaik-09868828474

Eklavya- 09810828817

Trishna- 09891768050



Where to Assemble: Mandi House at 10.00am

Distance from:

Old Delhi Railway station to Mandi house: 13 kms

New Delhi  Railway Station to Mandi house: 6 kms

Nizammudin Railway Station to Mandi house: 10 kms app.


P.S : We request those who need accommodation to bring their own blankets and other warm clothes.

Secretariat - Right to Food Campaign
5 A, Jungi House,
Shahpur Jat, New Delhi 110049.
Phone - 91 -11 -2649 9563

Read all the developments towards Right to Food Act, 2009  here :


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Invitation to National Convention - Demonstration on Displacement and Development November 18th - 21st, New Delhi

[All Are Welcome ! Circulate Widely !]

Invitation to National Convention / Demonstration


Displacement and Development in the context of proposed

Land Acquisition (Amendment) and Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bills

November 18th – 21st, New Delhi

 November 12 2009


Since March 2007, NAPM, NFFPFW, National Hawkers Federation, Nadi Ghati Morcha, Him Niti Abhiyan and many other mass organisations of the country came together under the banner of Sangharsh, and resisted the government’s machinations of enacting a faulty Resettlement and Rehabilitation Act and introducing amendments to the Land Acquisition Act, promoting private and corporate interests over public good. We gathered recently in Delhi in July 2009 and our struggle gained a significant boost when the Acts could not be passed in the Budget session of the Parliament.

            The land related conflicts and ensuing violence and divide across the country today have brought the issue of displacement and resettlement onto the front pages of news papers once again. There have been numerous demonstrations against displacement in Orissa, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh in recent months. All across, there is a simmering discontent in the country side and unrest in the urban areas as well.  Continuing with our past efforts and series of ongoing actions across the country and our resolve to struggle for a people-friendly, democratic Act on R&R and least displacing development model, we invite you all to a four day programme in Delhi from November 18th -21st . (Please see details below.)

            The idea is not only to demonstrate, but also to capture the civil and democratic space in this charged times of undeclared emergency, when the government is planning major offensive apparantly against armed resistance by Maoists, but in the process is also clamping down on peaceful mass struggles that are challenging dispossession and inequity.  In such difficult times of state-sponsored militarisation, it is important to remind the government and the society at large that there is a large mass of people in the country who have been struggling democratically, for decades, to retain community control over natural resources and resist any attempt at displacing them from their land and livelihood. We wish to make it clear to the government and send out a loud message that these Bills, in their current form, far from providing justice to the millions of displaced people across the country, will only accentuate their misery and anger.

We demand that UPA government MUST :

  1. NOT pass the proposed Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill and Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill in their current form in the Parliament. UPA attempted this towards the end of the 14th Lok Sabha and also on the last day of the Monsoon Session in extremely secretive manner without any debate and adequate prior information.
  1. ENACT a National Development, Displacement and Rehabilitation Act based on the Draft National Development, Displacement, and Rehabilitation Policy passed by the National Advisory council in 2006 enunciating the principle of least displacement, just rehabilitation and a decentralized development planning based on Article 243 of the Constitution, PESA 1996 and Forest Rights Act, 2006.
  1. ISSUE a White Paper on all the land acquisitions, displacement caused and rehabilitation completed since independence. The White Paper must also make public the extent of land utilized, unutilized and land acquired for public purpose but remains occupied by sick and non-functional industries and other infrastructure projects.
  1. and all the state Governments should come out publicly with the MoUs signed with different corporations, companies and others, which have land acquisition requirements and hold public dialogue - especially with affected people.

We do hope that you will be able to join all of us in this national endeavour to bring out long-lasting legal and political change in favour of the struggling millions.  

Important dates are :

November 18 – Convention at Kanjhawala, (Venue near the Kanjhawla main bus stand) Rohini, Delhi. Get off at the Pritampura Metro Station and take a local RTV, mini bus to Kanjahwala to reach to the dharna site. Call Rawat  : 011 20506929.

November 18th - Remembering Prabhash Joshi, Gandhi Peace Foundation, 5:00 pm onwards

November 19 – 20 – Massive demonstration at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

November 21 – “Development, Displacement and Land Conflicts Today” Public meeting at Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi. (3-6 pm)

Please do try and join us in large numbers and join us in the struggle of the masses of the country in securing just livelihood and dignity.

In Solidarity,

Medha Patkar, Narmada Bachao Andolan & NAPM

Ashok Chowdhury, National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers (NFFPFW)

Gautam Bandopadhyay, Nadi Ghati Morcha, Chattisgarh

Dayamani Barla, Adivasi Mulnivasi Astitva Raksha Manch, Jharkhand

Roma, Kaimur Kshetra Mahila Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, NFFPFW  (Sonbhadra)

Pushpa Toppo, Jharkhand Jungle Bachao Andolan, NFFPFW Jharkhand

Dr. Sunilam, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, Betul

Guman Singh, Himalaya Niti Abhiyan, Himachal Pradesh

Sandhya Devi, Kalahandi Mahila Mahasangh, Orissa

Shaktiman Ghosh, National Hawkers Federation, West Bengal

Advocate Aradhana Bhargav, Pench Sangharsh Samiti, Madhya Pradesh

Niketan Palkar, Tata Dharangrast Sangharsh Samiti and Sahyadri Bachao Andolan, Maharashtra

Hansraj Gheora, Bhumi Bachao Andolan, Delhi

Akhil Gogoi, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, NAPM Assam

Anand Mazgaonkar, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, NAPM Gujarat     

Aruna Roy, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, NAPM

Bhupinder Singh Rawat, Jan Sangharsh Vahini, NAPM Delhi  

Debjit Dutt and Murad Hussain, NAPM West Bengal

Faisal, NAPM Haryana

Gabriele / Geeta Ramakrishnan NAPM, Tamilnadu                           

Geo Jose / Hussain Master, NAPM, Kerala

Mukta Srivastava, NAPM Maharashtra

P Chennaiah, Andhra Pradesh Vyavasaya Vruthidarula Union (APVVU), NAPM

Rajendra Ravi, NAPM, Delhi

Ramakrishnam Raju, United Forum for RTI, Andhra Pradesh      

Praffula Samantray, NAPM Orissa

Sandeep Pandey, Aasha Parivaar (U.P.) NAPM

Sanjay M G, NAPM Maharashtra

Simpreet Singh, Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan, Mumbai, NAPM

Suniti S R, Visthapan Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti, NAPM Maharashtra 

Ulka Mahajan, SEZ-Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti, NAPM Maharashtra         

Venkatesh, Sr. Celia and Sudhir Vombatkare, NAPM, Karnataka

Vimalbhai, Matu Jan Sangathan, NAPM Uttarakhand

And many other mass organisations and individuals from different states…

For any further queries or Delhi contact:

Rajendra Ravi – 9868200316               Madhuresh – 9818905316

Or write to

PS : We welcome contributions towards meeting the costs of the dharna, which includes stay, food, travel and other expenses for more than 1,000 people who would be gathering for this event from different parts of the country.

You can send your contributions by Cheque / Draft in favour of ‘National Alliance of Peoples Movements’ to 1-A, Goela Lane, Under Hill Road Civil Lines, Delhi – 110054. Tel.: 011-23933307. If you wish to contribute in cash then kindly let us know we will arrange for a pick up or else you could handover the money to us at Jantar Mantar. In case of organisational contribution kindly do not issue a cheque to us from your FCRA account.  

National Alliance of Peoples' Movements (NAPM)
Mobile +91 9818 905316
email : |
Web :

Weekly Archive of Events


Fun-o-Fun | Make Money Online