Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Want govt officials to act? 'Daari' shows the way with a novel form of protest

In our country, there is no dearth of issues. Regardless of which political party comes to power, one has to struggle hard for one's rights.  In such circumstances, a person inadvertently makes use of his democratic and constitutional rights and/or protests for his rights.
The result is that we find protests and fasts to awaken government officials on a daily basis.  Some organizations come forward for such measures with their own agenda. Across the country, we see organizations come to the streets with banners and posters shouting slogans particularly against the government. However it is unfortunate that personal interest and craze for publicity remains hidden in most of the protests.  It is a different matter as to what extent they get justice, if at all.
Protests, complaints and for that matter, even hiring goons don't often solve the problem. Hence, a new group, which calls itself 'Daari',  has found a new and novel way to obtain justice. And what's more, so far it has been successful too.
The name Daari is an abbreviation for 'Democratic Ambassador for All India Rural Integrity'.  The basis for the struggle is freedom of speech assured in our Constitution.  The organization awakens the system by getting to know the problems of the ordinary citizens.  It can be said that it is a catalyst in the direct fight between the administration and the common citizen.
Interestingly, the organization does not belong to anybody and has no office.  The creators do not come forward as they are not after publicity.  As it works with the help of technology, only mobile messages and calls are their weapon. It conveys the problems to the officials concerned with the help of SMSs.  Everybody who conveys such messages is a member of Daari.  When an official receives hundreds of such messages, he realizes the seriousness of the problem and gets into action, and this is the essence of the plan.
In other words, sending SMSs, emails and making calls repeatedly to officials to address the problems is the idea of activism propagated by the members of this group.
The problems may vary.  They may be irregular drinking water supply, erratic load shedding or even provision of title deeds documents.
For everything, Democratic Ambassador for All India Rural Integrity has a solution.
The members collect mobile numbers of the officials and pass it on to people who are suffering from the problem. Besides, an SMS is drafted and people are trained to speak politely over the phone.
The group never hesitates to call the residence of an IAS officer or even a chief secretary to get their work done. With not much expenses involved, Daari has found a novel way to protest and alert the officials.
How to obtain numbers of officials?A helpline to find out the phone numbers of officials such as deputy commissioner, tahsildar, Mescom official, irrigation department and others is in place. The phone numbers of the officials can be obtained by calling the helpline number 9900713646.
SMSs can be sent to any official because people have the right to contact any government official. They are the servants of people and get paid from tax payer’s money. There is nothing to fear even if you want to call them at night, the Daari members believe.
Daari convener said that he started the activism six months ago. “The specialty is that our team members call officials even at midnight to alert them.  We are using our constitutional right under Article 19 (Freedom of Speech and Expression) which is entrusted as the right of a citizen,” he claimed. The social activist said his group has 600 members, who call and send SMSs to officials whenever there is a complaint against the government.
Daari group has already solved five problems related to drinking  water, electricity connection, title deeds problem and drains.  “It is better this way instead of staging protests in front of DC’s office or Vidhana Soudha.  We have been using social networking websites to popularize this concept,” he said.  After the success in sorting out five local issues, Daari group started to alert officials as well as ministers to provide compensation to Endosulfan victims.
Another member, a resident of Machina in Beltangady taluk says that there were more than 25 houses that did not have electricity connection for many years.
With Daari activism, electricity connections were given to these houses in a matter of days. “We sent SMSs to the Mescom officials four times a day to remind them about our applications, till the work was done,” he said.
A resident of Bagambila said that one of his neighbors was deprived of title deeds for many years.  The SMS technology helped him to get title deeds in 15 days.
"It was just because of SMSs and phone calls. I called him ten times a day.  I even called tahsildar’s house and asked his wife to remind him on issuing title deeds," he said.
Daari has now decided to protest against Niddodi and Yettinahole projects.  The people in the nearby places will have to join hands in the struggle to open the eyes of officials, Daari members say....     from:-

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