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Golden Jubilee Celebrations of UP Press Club

Right to Information Act has great utility for journalists : Chief Information Commissioner

The Chief Information commissioner of India, Mr Wajahat Habibullah has said that the Right to Information Act is of tremendous use for journalists , who, however, have not availed the desired benefit from it..

He was speaking at the concluding function of the golden jubilee of the UP Press Club . He honoured journalists by presenting them mementoes and a shawl on the occasion He said the Right to Information Act was the milestone of Indian democracy . On the one hand this Act  brought transparency in the functioning of the government and, on the other hand the government too had  benefited. This act stressed on the Indian Constitution on article 119 under which every citizen had right to expression.

Mr Habibullah said although the electronic media gained popularity,  yet the print media had not lost its importance. The picture before the TV audience shortly vanished, but the lines scribbled on a piece of paper had a longer life till the paper carrying it was destroyed. He said  The debates on important issues could be comprehensive and more logically carried in the print media than the electronic channels. It was in the interest of the government that people gathered all the information about the work being carried out by it . Often it appeared that the work was not upto the mark, but after collecting all relevant details under the Right to Information Act it was found that , in fact, the work had been done well.

The Right to Information  Act increased  answerability of the government towards the people, which was the hallmark of democracy. The Press informed people about this Act , but it was still found wanting in its use .

The mayor Dr Dinesh Sharma Congratulated the office bearers of the Press Club for holding a gathering of journalists coming from  three generations of their  fraternity. The Press played an important role in strengthening the Indian democracy,  He said a free Press was the  soul of democracy.

The president of IFWJ, Mr Vikram Rao said that the activities of IFWJ  were not only confined to trade union, its units also participated in the training of journalists and cultural programmes. He said IFWJ never followed any specific idealogy. Its members were free to be supporters of any political party.

The president of Press Club, Mr Ravindra Singh gave details of its activities . He said  that all the main  leaders of the country including president, Mr V,V. Giri and prime minister Indira Gandhi had participated in the programmes organized by the Press Club. Prominent among others were Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mr Kanshi Ram, Mr Chandra Shekhar, Mr V.P Singh. Chaudhari Charan Singh and almost all the chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh . Those active in the field of art and literature also participated in the programmes of the Press Club.

Earlier, the president of the U.P Working Journalists ‘  Union , Mr Haseeb Siddiqui, Mr Siddharth Kalhans and Miss Vinita Rani , president and secretary of Lucknow Union, respectively  and Treasurer of Club Mr Hussain Afsar welcomed the guests . Later, the secretary of the Press Club proposed vote of thanks. Mr. Sarvesh Asthana conducted the proceedings.