This is to follow up on earlier communications you may have received, inviting you to the 3rd National RTI Convention of the NCPRI on RTI to be held in Shillong. The convention will be held between the 10th- 12th March, 2011. The Meghalaya Right to Information Movement (MRTIM) has offered to host the event.
The NCPRI has chosen to locate this Convention in Shillong so that it provides us with a great opportunity to learn from the significant experiences of the North East in the use of the RTI. We have been very happy to get responses from all over the country (and even South Asia!), where people have expressed a desire to participate; many of whom have already made arrangements for travel. The expression of support has been very encouraging.
The Third NCPRI RTI Convention comes after 5 years of use of the RTI which has empowered us all in varying degrees. This interaction will provide an important opportunity for all of us to share our wide and rich experiences in the use of this law for varied rights of people in a democracy, and plan the way forward. The RTI activists groups in Shillong as well as other parts of the country are already planning programmes as well as the logistics of the Convention.
Since we are dealing with large numbers of people and Shillong has logistical and geographic limitations of space, we need a clear indication of numbers of participants. We would also require an expression of interest by the participants in the workshops and other activities during the Convention.
The opening plenary is planned for the evening of the 1st day. We attach a tentative list of (approximately 15) parallel workshops scheduled for the 2nd and 3rd days of the Convention, with a tentative list of plenary sessions. The (almost) final programme will be sent to you a couple of weeks before the convention.
We plan to invite an organization or campaign with expertise in the concerned area to help design and co-ordinate each workshop, and to choose and invite key resource persons. Each workshop will focus on a set of questions that will connect the theme to the RTI and consequent democratic action. The attached list will give you an idea of what is being planned. Suggestions and support are most welcome.
It has been proposed that the convention make provisions for stalls from different States and Peoples campaigns, displaying their work and detailing the work of the campaigns and organizations ( and individuals) with strategies for protecting and strengthening the Act. We welcome lists of concerns, including varied agendas for action / statements of concern/ resolutions proposed to be passed during the course of the Convention. The role of the Government and State and Central Information Commissions will also be issues for discussion.
It has also been proposed that the convention will be inaugurated with a festival of RTI plays and songs, with a strong focus on Meghalaya and its culture. The RTI Campaigns have created a large number of songs, slogans, political lampoons and theatre, both formal and street plays. Groups coming to the Convention could send details of the activities they propose to perform. The literature, booklets, writings, articles, cartoons, etc should also provide a great alternative history of the peoples’ RTI movement and its impact on strengthening democracy. Please do also let us know what your interests are to organize such shows.
The NCPRI runs on individual donations by supporters of the Campaign. This Convention is also being organized with the help of contributions in cash and kind by various people and organizations. We will have to request all participants to bear their own costs for travel to Shillong, and make a contribution of Rs 300/- towards registration fees, which will go towards underwriting some of the costs of food and accommodation. Basic food and accommodation will be organized for all those who have registered. Apart from this any contribution in cash or kind is most welcome. A tentative budget will be on display at the Convention with a list of donations received.
Shillong will be cold this time of the year (lows around 12 degrees at night, and highs around 22 degrees in the day). We request participants to bring enough warm clothing and their own quilts or sleeping bags, as only mattresses may be provided. We are enclosing details of rail and air routes to reach Shillong from different parts of India. We will also send you a list of hotels with rates that have been negotiated by the MRTIM for those who might want to stay there at their own expense.
As we propose to close registration by 28th February 2011, we hope to hear from you about numbers of participants with areas of interest as soon as possible. You will hear from us with a confirmation email as soon as we receive your letter. Our list of contact addresses and telephone numbers are given below.
Looking forward to meeting you in Shillong,
Wishing everyone a meaningful and better 2011
Nikhil Dey and Michael N. Syiem
(for the NCPRI and MRTIM)
1st January 2011
Rakshita Swamy +919818838588, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nikhil Dey +919414004180, Email: email@example.com
Tarun Bhartiya +91986309754 , Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Angela Rangad : +919863097754 Email email@example.com
Nachiket Udupa +919845114168, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Suchi Pande +919811333041, Email: email@example.com
Ruchi Gupta +919910206490, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
All crossed cheques must be sent in the name of ‘NCPRI’ to:
Rakshita Swamy c/o NCPRI
278, SFS Apartments, DDA Flats
Details for electronic transfer of funds will be sent to you shortly
List of proposed parallel workshops for the National RTI Convention Shillong:
1. RTI and implementation of the RTI Law
2. RTI and Judiciary
3. RTI and the Environment
4. RTI and Human Rights
a. Dalit Rights
c. Armed Forces
5. RTI Natural Resources
d. Minerals and Mines
6. RTI, Rural Development & Local Self Governance
7. RTI and Urban Development and urban local bodies
8. RTI and Youth
9. RTI and Media
10. RTI and basic social services
e. Mid-Day Meals
g. differently abled
h. social aecurity
11. Democracy Charter for South Asia
12. RTI and Electoral Politics
13. RTI, Food Security and Agriculture
14. RTI and Corporate and Private Bodies
b. International Financial Institutions
15. RTI and New Information Regimes
e. Data protection
List of Proposed Plenaries
• RTI and Democracy
• RTI and Peoples Movements
• RTI and the Law – Commissions, People, and Governments
• NCPRI and its future structure
Routes by Rail and Air
Shillong By Air
Guwahati is the nearest major airport, which is nearly 100 km away from Shillong. Shillong can be reached from airport by taxi, the fare for a fully reserved Taxi is about Rs 1500 or if you take a share taxi then it is Rs. 400/person.
Guwahati Airport is well connected to many major cities inIndia, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata.
Shillong By Train – (Please also note for those who have made their reservations and need to postpone tickets)
“The date of journey on Confirmed/RAC/Waitlisted tickets can be preponed or postponed in the same/higher class or for a longer distance on payment of nominal charges. This facility can be availed only once, irrespective of whether the accommodation available is reserved or RAC or wait-listed.
If you want to prepone the date of your journey, you should surrender your ticket during working hours and up to six hours before the scheduled departure of the train in which fresh reservation is required. For postponement, the ticket must be surrendered at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure of the train in which reservation is presently held.”- IRCTC Website
Nearest railhead to Shillong is Guwahati, which is at distance of 100 km away from Shillong. The Paltan Bazaar Railway Station in Guwahati is a major railway junction on the North-East Frontier Railway. Guwahati is well connected with all the major railheads of India.. Shillong can be reached by Bus, taxi or Sumo in approximately 4 hours. The fare for a fully reserved Taxi is about Rs 1200 or if you take a share taxi then it is Rs. 300/person. You can also share a Sumo, which costs about Rs. 150/person.
The State Road Transport Public buses and the private tourist bus providers operate bus services from Guwahati to Shillong. The bus fare is approximately Rs 100 per person one way. The bus stand is located in the heart of Shillong.
We are trying to arrange for Buses and Taxis for convention delegates from Railway station and Airport. Further details regarding this will be sent to you in the days to come.