Reproduced from Times Of India ( Bangalore ) August
12, 2008 front page)
Making a case for people
B K Ganesh |TNN
power is all set to take on a new avatar in
Bangalore, and police officials will feel its
impact. Mahithi Hakku Jagruthi Vedike, Email
: firstname.lastname@example.org , a group of RTI activists, will
launch a service to assist citizens in their
dealings with the police.
This voluntary organization will
help you register your police complaint and hold your
hand through follow-up action. The Vedike was
inspired by the success of Mumbai-based PLEAD (People
for Legal and Emotional Assistance to the Deserving).
The Vedike team has 21 retired
persons from all walks of life in each police station
limit. Of these, five will be in constant touch with
the police station. They will take up a
complainants cause and the idea is to ensure
that people get justice. Volunteers will keep an eye
on corruption too.
Indur Chhugani formed PLEAD, which
has over 160 volunteers. Chhugani told TOI: We
prefer retired officials as volunteers as they have
time to spare, and experience too. Our success in
Mumbai motivated us to open similar organizations in
Bangalore and Kolkata. Many volunteers in Bangalore
have come forward. In Mumbai, we were able to get a
court order to demolish 137 police chowkis
constructed illegally on the pavements. That was a
landmark achievement, he explained.
To begin with, Mahithi Hakku
Jagruthi Vedike will have teams in JP Nagar and
Kalyan Nagar. Many people have contacted us
through our social networking site. Anybody can join
us, said Vedike president J S D Pani, adding,
They should be ready to spare 8-10 hours a
month for this activity.
Indur said: These pursuits
may not be rewarding financially. But, they are a
source of immense happiness and fulfilment.
Sometimes, you may even spend some money from your
own pocket to benefit others, he said, adding:
We cannot expect change to happen overnight. It
happens through legislation, it happens through
social transformation, attitude change, and mindset
change. It is indeed a work in progress all the