Saturday, 19 May, 2007

Information on Caller Responses to the Right to Information Act Hotline with regard to SAT


Seeking guidence for use of RTI in department Number of Phone calls received till 25th April 2007

Revenue 145

Developmental works (road, bridge, school building etc) 112

Police (inquiring about complaints) 78

Provident Funds 56

Schemes for social social defense department 78

Inquiring about RTI 67

Response received after TV chat Show 'SAT' on RTI. 39

*** Visitors of Saturday guidance camp at Helpline office appreciated the Chat Show 'SAT'.

*** Callers and citizens groups have demanded for regional training and orientation after viewing SAT TV Show on RTI.

*** Many phone calls were received inquiring about MAGP and have expressed their desire to join Mahiti Adhikar Gujarat Pahel after viewing SAT Chat Show on RTI

Tuesday, 15 May, 2007

SAT Controversy

Like all good things in India, SAT has been mired in controversy from its inception. The concept of mainstream entertaining development TV, at a tenth of the cost of commercial TV, threatens a lot of people, within the channels and outside producers. Doordarshan is famous for its kickback culture. SAT would take away hours where kickbacks would not reach anyone. Hence internal blocks to allowing it to happen. SAT would also take away hours from external producers who produce mediocre or bad work but have a nexus with DD officials for favours in return for kickbacks, so they too consider SAT a threat. The Chief Minister of Gujarat is on record as wanting to stop SAT which he sees as an election threat. He has publicly approached the Planning Commission to stop it happening.

Many of these forces have gotten together and tried to block, through the law courts, the one month pilot project. Luckily the High Court refused to give a stay and we have now completed the one month project successfully. However for the project to continue we must battle in the courts. So... onwards and we hope upwards.

Mallika Sarabhai