One of the most important exposes by activist Jeetendra Ghadge is how over 50 per cent of the families of the farmers who have committed suicide due to debt are denied the law-mandated Rs 1 lakh compensation by the state government. While there is a law to this effect, the eligibility criteria is so strict that most of the needy families tend to miss out on the only help promised by the government. We soon plan to file a PIL in the Bombay High Court seeking leniency in the criteria as well as a steep rise in the compensation promised.
Bankruptcy Scheme for Farmers
Farmer’s suicide continues to be a simmering issue despite the best intentions and efforts of all the successive governments of all hues to contain it. In our opinion, a creative approach to this crucial issue is the need of the hour. Though the government tries to waive the loan of the farmer in debt, as such he does not get any help. One of our suggestions is that we need a better bankruptcy law that will address this issue effectively. We intend to draft such a model law and take it up with the authorities concerned and people’s representatives in the government. That we will pursue this issue through a relevant PIL as well goes without saying.
Protection of Whistleblowers across India
Statistics show that one has to pay dearly for speaking or uncovering the truth in this country. There is no specific legal backing for whistleblowers as the related Act is pending since 2014. A total of 211 activists have been harassed, 163 activists have been injured and 95 have been killed in India so far. There are also instances of murder, harassment of sincere public servants who have been whistleblowers. Against this backdrop, we intend to support all kinds of whistleblowers with legal aid and to ensure that a proper legal framework to help and protect the whistleblowers is in place at the state and Central levels.
Only a robust security apparatus can ensure a proper law and order and security to the common man. While Supreme Court 14 years ago ordered police reforms nationwide, unfortunately there is not a single state in the country which has implemented the reforms in totality. It was only through our relentless efforts that Maharashtra government set up Police Complaints Authority that adjudicates allegations of improper or shoddy investigations, refusal to file FIRs, custodial torture and high-handedness against the police. However, we have noticed that the body has failed to deliver. Now we will further take up the matter by filing a PIL and an RTI with the government to ensure that police reforms are implemented properly in the state.
Climate change is no longer an imaginary problem but it is already upon us. The recent glacier burst in Uttarakhand is one sad example to drive home the importance of trees. While there is some aware at urban level in cities like Mumbai, the story at rural level is completely different. Trees are cut at the drop of a hat. We are in the process of urging the government to implement laws in this connection with utmost serious and come up with new legislations if required to ensure that the green cover increases by the day.
Pollution in seas around Mumbai
A beach and that too a clean one is loved by one and all. Though Mumbaikars are blessed to have beaches, they can hardly enjoy it as most of them are filthy. One of the major reasons is the garbage deposited back by the waves. Almost all the garbage of the city is collected in the sea through a complex network of drains. This old sewage system itself needs to be cleaned and revamped to find a permanent solution to this major environmental and civic problem.
Seeking Accountability from Information commissions
There cannot be two opinions that the Right to Information Act is one of the most potent tools of the Common Man. However, over the years it has been observed that not only there are attempts to weaken it to shield the corrupt, but also a bureaucratic reluctance in the corridors of power to share information or stick to the true spirit of the law. We, as an organization, believe in the power of information and use RTIs liberally to ferret out information and truth to help the common man. Thus, it is but natural for us to stand up for the act, file more PILs if necessary and ensure that the RTI Act is not diluted and implemented in letter and spirit.
Menace of Economic frauds
Economic offences are another area of major concern which affects almost one in four individuals. White-collar crime is currently going on unabated leaving banks and common people at the receiving end. It has been a general observation that the existing laws are not adequate enough to take on these mighty white collar criminals. We intend to work with those in government not only to strengthen the law but also sensitize the law enforcers towards the plight of such victims.
Accountability and performance of ACB
Just like the police, today there is no fear of Anti Corruption Bureau also. No corrupt official is afraid of this body entrusted with the crucial role of controlling corruption. It would not be wrong to say that the Anti Corruption Bureau has failed to deliver and how. As a people-friendly organization, we have decided to monitor the body’s work and ensure that the Bureau performs its role of controlling corruption by cracking down on the corrupt to the T.