Nepal | July 05, 2020

Most citizens unaware of RTI, says NIC Chief Baskota

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, July 22

Chief Commissioner of the National Information Commission Krishnahari Baskota today said that many citizens were still not aware of their right to information.

“Only 3,000 persons have so far demanded information from government offices. This number is very less compared to that in other countries,” he said.

Speaking at the National Seminar on Right to Information in Nepal organised by UNESCO, Baskota said, “Nepali citizens suffer because of the lack of information. They even don’t know that they have the right to information, and who to ask for it.”

The programme was organised with the objective of increasing awareness among citizens on their right to information. “It has been nine years since the inclusion of this right in the constitution, but it has not been properly implemented or exercised by citizens,” he said. “The right has been exercised by journalists only,” he added.

The right to information is guaranteed by the Constitution of Nepal- 2007. Although the constitution has guaranteed the right, most citizens are unaware of it. “Most citizens have the wrong belief that the right to information is only for journalists,” said Babita Basnet, chief of Media Advocacy Nepal.

“Women suffer the most due to this ignorance,” she said, adding that most women who go to foreign lands do not know of the process of acquiring necessary information and where to lodge complaints and seek help when in need.

A 10-point Kathmandu Manifesto was declared at the programme in the presence of information engineers, journalists, public officials.

The manifesto declares that every citizen should be provided with information by every public body, including political leaders and government officials.

A version of this article appears in print on July 23, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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