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Campaign for Introduction of a Right to Information Bill

  • Monitoring the publication of Citizens charters by major user departments
  • Campaign for legislation for true empowerment of local governments
  • Advocacy for direct power to citizens as stake holders
  • Campaign for specific administrative reforms
  • Campaign for establishing gram nyayalayas for speedy justice
  • Campaign for universal access to primary education
  • Campaign for a toilet in every household
  • Continuing Election Watch movement - focusing on electoral roll verification
  • Core group on power sector reforms (Constituted a core group with experts including Dr N Tata Rao, Sri Balarama  Reddy and Sri TL Shankar – all former Chairmen of APSEB and Sri SR Vijayakar, former Secretary, Dept of Electronics, GOI. . Study of the sector undertaken, with an objective to promote rational public discourse and protect genuine public interest. )
  • Advocacy for introduction of a more rational Women's reservation legislation.
  • Campaign for introduction of legislation to prevent criminals from contesting in elections - A.P. is on the verge of introducing such bill, which will make it the first state in the country to do so.

More on Activities

A few of the significant outcomes of our movement are listed below Water Users’ Associations

Lok Satta has advocated from the beginning direct empowerment of stake-holders, so that those who benefit from public services and assets should have the power to manage them directly.  Partly as a result of this advocacy (and partly due to circumstances, including persuasion from lenders), a new legislation has been enacted in the State providing for elected Water Users’ Associations (WUA) and empowering them.  This experiment has yielded significant positive results.

School Education Committees

Lok Satta has been strongly advocating empowerment of parents in managing school education. Over the decades, the elected local governments and government departments which managed schools have no stakes in their functioning.   Nearly 95% of school teachers do not send their children to the schools where they teach.  Almost no government employee at any level or any elected representative sends his or her child to a state-run school.  As stake-holding and power-wielding have been completely divorced, school education languished.  The literacy levels and standards of education in the State are appallingly low.  Lok Satta mounted a powerful campaign to empower the true stake-holders, viz. the parents.  The government, which resisted the idea for quite some time, finally responded largely on account of pressure from Lok Satta, and a legislation has come into effect empowering parents through education committees at school, village, mandal and district levels. However, on account of resistance from the teachers and local political functionaries this empowerment is only partial.   Elections have been held for School Education Committees, and the impact of this empowerment is not yet clear.

Citizens’ Charters

As part of Swarajya movement, Lok Satta, with great effort and meticulous research and documentation, prepared and published a People’s Charter on October 2, 1998.  This People’s Charter, giving precise and highly reliable information on various public services, is the first step to empower people through practical and easily accessible knowledge.  Collective assertion of the community for better public services is thus made possible on a large scale, and people’s movement for better governance has received a major fillip.

The Swarajya movement is rapidly spreading and has already promoted public awareness significantly.  Lok Satta has since then mounted a vigorous campaign to pressurize the government to finalize and release Citizen’s Charters on various public services, and establish verifiable performance standards with legal entitlements to citizens.  The State government responded recently and announced the intention to frame Citizen’s Charters in the following departments and agencies:


  • Transport Department
  • Hyderabad Waterworks & Sewerage Department
  • Employment Exchanges
  • Commercial Tax Department
  • Registration Department
  • Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad
  • Municipalities

Lok Satta is monitoring the progress of Citizen’s Charters, and is working closely with government agencies to design and implement them.

Empowerment  of  Panchayats

Lok Satta has played a pivotal role in mobilizing public opinion for empowerment of elected Sarpanch's of village panchayats. A Working Group of highly respected, experienced citizens and local body leaders has been constituted to campaign for genuine local self-governance under the chairmanship of Sri BPR Vithal, member of the 10th Finance Commission.  Intensive campaigns through Public hearings, whistle-stop tours and public meetings were conducted in 3 districts covering the three regions of the State – Coastal Andhra, Telangana and Rayalaseema.  The State Sarpanches Association was given a highly visible and proactive support by Lok Satta.   As a result of this advocacy, early in March’99 the State government officially announced on the floor of the Assembly its intention to partially empower the Gram Panchayats in 16 of the 29 subjects listed in the 11th Schedule of the Constitution.   However, the actual extent of empowerment and its impact need to be monitored closely.

Through its innovative Election Watch movement Lok Satta has succeeded in accomplishing the following:

  • Helped in the enrolment of a few lakh voters
  • Conducted debates between contesting candidates through common platforms, where for the first time the citizens had an opportunity to question their elected representatives.
  • Focused the attention of the state’s public on the role of criminals in politics by publishing the names of criminals being fielded as candidates by the political parties.

Major Programs

  • Right to Information
  • Citizens charters
  • Empowerment of local governments
  • Direct power to citizens as stake holders
  • Specific administrative reforms
  • Speedy justice through gram nyayalayas
  • Universal access to primary education
  • Safe toilet in every household
  • Election Watch
  • Core group on power sector reforms (Constituted a core group with experts including Dr N Tata Rao, Sri Balarama  Reddy and Sri TL Shankar – all former Chairmen of APSEB and Sri SR Vijayakar, former Secretary, Dept of Electronics, GOI. . Study of the sector undertaken, with an objective to promote rational public discourse and protect genuine public interest. )

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