(153 Total References)
Aruna Roy's Yatra Attacked ...
Aruna Roy's Yatra Attacked In Rajasthan
Patkar was addressing a press conference ...
Patkar was addressing a press conference jointly with Aruna Roy, president of MKSS, and Sawai Singh, president of Rajasthan Samrag Seva Sangh.
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In a message sent to the people in the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), Aruna Roy, a senior activist associated with the Mazdoor Kisan Sakti Sanghathan, Rajasthan stated: "If distances were short, I would be with you for both these days to celebrate your extraordinary courage & determination in fighting a very difficult battle with the state for democracy.
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The prominent signatories include former Chiefs of Naval Staff Admiral L Ramdas and Vishnu Bhagwat, former Major-General SG Vombatkere, former Planning Commission member SP Shukla, former Atomic Energy Regulatory Board chairman A Gopalakrishnan, former vice-chancellors Deepak Nayyar and Mushirul Hasan, former Ambassador to the United Nations Nirupam Sen, social scientists Romila Thapar, Sumit and Tanika Sarkar, Ramachandra Guha, Rajeev Bhargava, Amit Bhaduri, Achin Vanaik and Zoya Hasan, and scientists PM Bhargava, Satyajit Rath, MV Ramana, Suvrat Raju, writer Arundhati Roy, dancer Leela Samson, artistes Krishen Khanna, Ghulam Shaikh, SG Vasudev, Vivan Sundaram and Bharti Kher, veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar, and many others, including scholars, and social and environmental activists such as Vandana Shiva and Aruna Roy.
Aruna Roy, Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, Rajasthan
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Aruna Roy - Voice of the People
July 31: She was once an officer of the Indian Administrative Service or the IAS as it is popularly known.
What is equally well known is that most IAS
officers are as remote from the people as possible.
has won the Magsaysay Award for public service for daring to question this attitude.
looks like a village woman in a simple sari, chatting away in a local dialect or language of Rajasthan
Aruna has won this award for her long and dedicated work among the poor people of Devdungri village in Rajasthan.
runs an organisation called Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan ( MKSS ), which was started with the idea of making the villagers conscious of their rights in a democracy.
How does Aruna
As an IAS officer she enjoyed the best facilities of the country at her disposal -- a house, a car, a good salary, and the power that goes with being a senior government officer.
And yet, she
wasn't happy with the way IAS
officers were running the country.
They form a most powerful bureaucracy, or the organ of the state which deals with the administration of the country.
It is one of the most important organs, for it keeps things going.
The Indian bureaucracy though, has one big problem - it is too distant from the people it is supposed to administer.
The superior attitude of its officers poses the main problem.
was not like the others.
wanted to get close to the people, particularly the villagers, and understand their problems.
In fact India is a democracy.
Which means that its government should be as open to the people as possible.
But quite the opposite was true.
quit service to work among the people of Rajasthan
, one of the most backward states in India.
soon realised that it was the bureaucracy which posed the biggest hindrance to people.
wanted the bureaucracy to be accountable to people.
began a campaign for The Right to Information for villagers.
This means that ordinary people had could demand to know what the government officials were doing with funds meant for their progress.
The idea was for people to organise public hearings so that everybody could be part of the process.
The battle, as Aruna
found for herself, was not an easy one.
MKSS used the methods of protest marches, and travel from village to village to create awareness about the campaign.
got tremendous support from the people, the state government and officials ignored it.
But that didn't stop Aruna
and fellow- workers persuaded the Press Council of India
to draft a bill on the Right to Information, to be placed before Parliament.
The Press Council of India
is an organisation of media people, which keeps track of the way in which right of people to know something or the right of journalists to write something is taken away.
Parliament alone has the authority to decide which bill to pass or not.
The Right to Information Bill allows anyone to get hold of information and gives everybody the right to obtain certified copies of documents or records of any public authority.
friends finally persuaded the government to bow to public pressure.
The Right to Information bill became an Act this year.
Aruna is married to Bunker Roy who is also a noted social worker.
The prestige of the Award makes no difference to Aruna
Always humble, she
says that she
would be happier if the award was given not to her
organisation and fellow-workers.