Animation short film on RTI wins award, to hit 4,500 theatres

A first-of-its-kind animation short-film that aims to sensitise masses about importance and relevance of the RTI Act in the lives of commoners, recently received the annual best practices award from the RTI Cell of the Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (YASHADA).

Titled Chakravyuh, the three-and-half minute short-film has been directed by animation filmmaker Dhvani Desai with help of Films Division of India and Public Concern for Governance Trust (PCGT) among others. Slated to have its shows across single-screen theatres in the country prior to screening of regular movies, the animation movie themed on the RTI Act aims to dispel general notion from people's mind that the use of transparency law is limited to exposing big scams and frauds.

"Besides unearthing large-scale corruption, the RTI Act can improve lives of commoners also when it comes to becoming a beneficiary of even smallest of the government schemes, getting adequate civic amenities and overcoming public nuisances like roadside encroachments or say issue of overflowing garbage-bins in your area. We stress this fact through our animation movie," Desai said.

Chakravyuh narrates tales of four ordinary citizens from four corners of India who use the RTI Act as a weapon to overcome such issues. "I have been an active user of the RTI Act since it came in to effect in 2006. The experiences I gathered during filing of each of my RTI queries led to the conviction that the transparency law can pave way for an informed citizenry. Being a professional animation film-maker, I decided to make a film. The Films Division of India readily agreed to my plans," said Desai, who is also the Grand Jury at the New York Film Festival since last four years. The first public show of Chakravyuh was held on the occasion of seventh anniversary of the RTI Act on October 12 in Mumbai. About the title of short-film, Desai said, "The mythological character of Abhimanyu could not break the Chakravyuh, vicious circle, on account of his short knowledge. We as commoners often find ourselves in similar situation while becoming part of government systems. We all can break the vicious circles with the RTI Act."

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