More questions from the webinar will be answered right here as soon as we get the responses from the subject matter experts. Specific questions will be responded directly to the people that asked the questions via email.

Here are some links from that day that may be useful for you:

 

Where and How do we post pictures for the Digital Strike? 

Post the pictures on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook with the hashtag #DigitalStrike and tag us @jhatkaadotorg @jhatkaa_org

 

Q: Can you share some petition success stories?

Do check out the https://jhatkaa.org/victories/ page to see some petition victories. Also read this LiveMint article (https://www.livemint.com/mint-lounge/features/do-online-petitions-really-work-11572012359688.html) to read more about it from an outsider’s perspective.

 

Q: Whether it’s Bangalore steel flyover petition, or the Kodaikanal Mercury Poisoning campaign, looks like online petitioning is a tool for the urbanites?

While it is true that there is more access to internet and such causes in cities, online petitioning is NOT a tool solely meant for urban dwellers. It can be leveraged in the rural setting as well. It really depends on the cause that is being driven, and whether we have volunteers living in rural areas that are willing to share the petitions amongst their networks.

 

Q: How to use this platform when the issue is very very local and is not in so much light? for eg. a steel industry dumping ashes in an area

If the issue is very specific to the environment, and comes under the ambit of Air Pollution and Gender & Sexuality, then we can launch the campaign and circulate the link among our own members via email and Whatsapp. It will then go on social media, sometimes with videos to support the main campaign.

To make a hyper-local campaign more successful we need an on-ground person to anchor it. This person becomes the eyes-and-ears on the ground. We would need this person to: 1. help us understand the issue from different angle 2. find out who the key stakeholders are 3. stay up-to-date with the latest developments, 4. Interact with local media.

 

Q: Not everybody has an access to a lawyer’s advice? Then what should we do?

There are multiple online resources, like http://nyaaya.in/ that can help answer many of your questions. If you are interested in a paid service you can check www.vakilsearch.com as well. 

There is commercial arrangement between Jhatkaa.org and any of the named organisations.

Q: Will Jhakataa help us in talking with Police, Court , etc and take the front foot?

As we are a small team, we are unable to be the front of all causes. Ideally we would like to give citizens the tools to lead the conversation themselves. That said, if Jhatkaa.org has to take the front foot, the decision that we make really depends on:

  1. Our available resources at that moment in time
  2. Is the project within our mandate of Air Pollution and Gender & Sexuality
  3. The size of the project, and how it would impact Jhatkaa.org’s own annual goals

 

Q: If I were to file an FIR, do I first need to consult a lawyer?

You do not need to consult a lawyer if you are filing an FIR. Just make sure that you cover all the points presented in the talk. For your convenience, we are pasting it below:

– Date / time of offence
– Location of offence
– Description of offence
– Name of accused, if not physical details if possible
– Witness accounts, information if possible

 

Q: Do you have advocates as volunteers or interns?’

We do not currently have advocates as volunteers, and we are in need of this. If you are an advocate, please sign up as a volunteer or an intern. We are happy to take this conversation forward, via our Careers page: https://jhatkaa.org/careers/

 

Q: Could you brief us on the possibility of advocates volunteering with your organization?

We need advocates as volunteers as we often need to clarify legal matters with regards to campaigns, protesting and queries from on-ground volunteers. For instance here are two projects where we have immediate need:

  1. There is a lot of research-related work required to compile a law handbook for activists and citizens to know their rights. 
  2. Help in one of our current campaigns to file cases in the High Court for Climate Justice-related work

 

Q: What if we don’t have the proof and we need to lodge an FIR?

You do not need proof when you are filing an FIR. You need to report the incident and it is the police’s work to find the proof.

 

Q: Are Jhatkaa’s services/consultation free or chargeable?

Jhatkaa.org’s services and consultations are NOT chargeable. However we do run on donations, and if you feel it is worth giving us money, then please do donate to us here: https://jhatkaa.org/donate

 

 Q: Regarding RTI, how can we be certain that the info shared with us is true and not tempered with or withheld?

As per the law, they have to provide us with the right information. We can be sure about the authenticity of the document with the seal and signature of the PIO. And also the mention that “the given information is issued is mentioned under the provision of RTI act 2005.”
If we are aware that the response is incorrect or invalid, we can challenge the PIO’s decision/information in the 1st appeal, given we have the documentation to prove otherwise. A PIL can be filed too, if need be.

  Q: Are all our RTIs responded?

No. Not always. We can follow it up by filing a first and then a second appeal in the specified time periods.

  Q: How many RTIs can one person file at once?

There is no limit to filing RTIs. At the same time, if there are multiple RTIs to the same department, it’s better to stagger them over a certain period of time.

  Q: Also if I am filing anonymously, how can the govt be sure that I am not going to misuse it/the data?

While an individual files an RTI anonymously, YouRTI forwards it to the government, so ideally the response is coming back to a trusted entity. At the same time, RTI is filed for official government data which is reported to be true by the government and is expected to be an information that can be public knowledge. So, there is no fear of misusing an information taht is supposed to be public knowledge.