The “NMTV Citizen of the Year 2010” award is conferred to provide the community with an opportunity to honor the achievements and contribution of their fellow citizens. The award acknowledges remarkable individuals and organizations that motivate and inspire others through their vision, talent, humility and spirit of community service. In its inaugural year, when we invited your response for choosing one citizen who silently goes around the neighborhood doing things for people, there was one name that every citizen who voted had – no points for guessing – RTI Activist Sandeep Thakur is NMTV Citizen of the Year 2010. Navi Mumbai is a huge beneficiary of the RTI Act – courtesy the one citizen who has earned the reputation of being called a “One Man Army” – RTI Activist Sandeep Thakur. Both CIDCO and NMMC would vouch that if there is one man who challenges the vested interests in these government bodies and ensures that public interest wins – it is RTI Activist Sandeep Thakur. You have seen and heard all issues that Sandeep Thakur has raised through RTIs and how he had succeeded in most of them. The RTI Activist has dragged some of the biggest corporate and names of the city to court for snatching the rights of the common man and has had even made a Commissioner of NMMC be summoned to court in the popular case of the Vashi holding pond. Some of the issues that RTI Activist Sandeep Thakur has raised : * EXPOSED MGM HOSPITAL, VASHI He has exposed how the MGM Hospital at Vashi is using public hospital plot commercially for profits. * EXPOSED VIOLATION OF LAND DISPOSAL REGULATION IN NMMC FORTIS TIE UP He has exposed that the NMMC-Fortis agreement is in violation of the New Bombay Land Disposal 1975. EXPOSED HOW A PLOT FOR SOCIAL WELFARE CHARITY PURPOSE IS BEING COMMERCIALLY EXPLOITED BY HDFC STANDARD AT VASHI He has exposed how HDFC Standard Life at Vashi is commercially misusing a plot meant for social welfare and charity purpose. While these are few of the issue that Sandeep Thakur has taken up, here are some significant issues that he raised and achieved success in. * WON GDCR FORGERY CASE AGAINST NMMC IN HIGH COURT He won against NMMC in the GDCR forgery case in the High Court. These clauses could have created a havoc and mess in the planning of the city. * WON CASE AGAINST NMMC, GOT ILLEGAL GARDEN REMOVED FROM HOLDING POND AT VASHI He won a case in High court against NMMC for building an illegal garden within a holding pond at Vashi. * SAVES RS. 50 LACS OF PUBLIC TAXES WITH ONE RTI ENQUIRY ON DESILTING WORK AT HOLDING POND IN SECTOR 8, VASHI He stopped another civic work that would have resulted in criminal wastage of over Rs. 55 lacs of public money in the de-silting work of the holding pond at Sector 8 Vashi. * FORCED NMMC TO REVOKE AMENDING THE MRTP ACT THAT WOULD HAVE PERMITTED 2 FSI He forced NMMC Town Planning Dept. to revoke its proposal to amend the MRTP Act to make 2 FSI applicable in Navi Mumbai. For having won so many issues in public interest and still going strong on several others, you have chosen RTI Activist Sandeep Thakur as NMTV Citizen of the Year 2010. This is to honor Sandeep Thakur for his extraordinary voluntary service and dedication as an individual that leads to the betterment of life for the community on the whole. NMTV News Dy. Editor Sana Warsia caught up with Sandeep Thakur on having won the NMTV Citizen of the Year 2010. He advises that maximum literate, educated and intelligent people should use RTI. Ask him the cases that he succeeded in and that give him a sense of satisfaction and this is what he has to say. It is a known fact that RTI Activists often get threats but this has never been the case with Sandeep Thakur. According to Sandeep Thakur, fighting for public issued under RTI should be taken up as a mission. The saying goes that “behind every successful man is a woman” and for Sandeep Thakur too the statement surely rings true. “I have a wonderful wife who supports me” says Sandeep Thakur. As for his better half, Vandana Thakur says that initially she was scared, especially when demolition of the temple happened but now she has appreciates and supports him all the way. Sathyajit Thakur says that his father makes him proud. Sandeep Thakur has used the RTI and proved to citizens how the act is redefining the relationships between the people and the governments. For his dedicated service to make the Navi Mumbai community a great place to live and work, for exemplifying the traits of an Outstanding Citizen who has served Navi Mumbai beyond the call of duty; demonstrated character, committment, and community service – RTI Activist Sandeep Thakur is NMTV Citizen of the Year 2010 !!!
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