Hand in Hand about which I posted
earlier is in the news again: Dalit families employ RTI Act, get their land :
"The families were residing in hutments on poramboke land, when in 2008, Kancheepuram-based NGO Hand in Hand started working in the village by forming self-help groups and began development projects.
A Citizen Centre Enterprise was established as an IT empowerment initiative that helped villagers enrol for computer courses, register for voting, apply for ration cards, pensions or prepare petitions, a spokesman for the NGO said.
A Good Governance Rights Protection Committee (GGRPC) was then set up to train villagers in citizen rights and duties. “With the help of this committee, the villagers learnt to use the RTI Act to unearth information on the allotment details of the land,” the spokesman said.
Armed with the RTI information, villagers prepared an application with the signatures of all the beneficiaries along with the land patta copies to be forwarded to the local administration with a copy sent to the District Collector.
To the delight of the villagers, the application evoked a response from the administration. District Collector Santhosh K. Misra undertook a visit to the village.
He personally supervised the handing over of land to the beneficiary families. The villagers plan to raise bank loans to build their own homes and start agriculture."
P.S. An old Hand in Hand News Letter an interview with Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy