When "RTI-wali ladki" moved Mayawati

RTI application filed by the eight year old forced authorities to remove the garbade dump-yard opposite her school


Danish Raza | April 16, 2010

Aishwarya Sharma
Aishwarya Sharma

Eight-year-old Aishwarya has never met Mayawati. She does not feel the need to. She just shoots a letter to bahenji and gets her work done -- something most top political leaders will not be able to.

Like she did last year when she wanted the garbage dump right opposite her school removed.

Aishwarya is a class 4 student of the Montessari school in Lucknow’s Rajajipuram area. Last year during the swine flu scare, the school authorities asked students to wear masks to prevent infection. There was a garbage dump opposite the school gate- home to pigs and dogs. Aishwarya realised it was a threat to the health of all schoolchildren and the staff.

She wrote a letter to the Chief Minister’s Office asking them to shift the garbage dump to some other location.

However, nothing moved. Exasperated, she asked her mother how to follow it up. “We keep on filing applications under Right to Information Act. Aishwarya asked us if RTI can help in this case,” said Aishwarya’s mother Urvashi, a social worker.

In December last year, the girl, now known as ‘RTI waali ladki’ in her school, wrote an RTI application in long hand on a paper taken out of in her Hindi notebook. In the application filed with the Chief Minister’s Office, she asked the status of the letter she had sent more than a month back; the rules of constructing a garbage dump-yard and who would own the responsibility if the filth lead to health issues.

The application was transferred to the Lucknow municipal corporation. Though Aishwayra is yet to get a reply to her RTI query, the authorities ordered that garbage would not be dumped on the site anymore.

And in its place, a public library, with more than 100 books, fans, tables and chairs, came up last week.

The girl, however, is not satisfied.

“I still want to know the rules of for setting up a dump yard. I want everything in writing. Otherwise some day they might remove the library and the garbage will reappear,” Aishwayra told governance now over phone.



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