Indian-Americans welcome launch of electronic postal order

Indians living abroad, especially those in the US have welcomed the launch of the electronic postal order, which they say would go a long way for them seeking information from the Indian Government and other state governments under the Right to Information Act.

A number of Indians living in the US said that RTI has now become accessible to the Indian citizens living abroad after the Postal Department last week launched Indian postal order in electronic format (eIPO).

"With eIPO, I now have the ability to discern conflicting information about governance in India in the news by going directly to the source the government," Vishal Kudchadkar, a volunteer with the non-profit Association for India's Development (AID) at Los Angeles, told.

"In the last seven years, we have tried all possible workarounds to exercise our right to know. Now, our participation in nation building has become tad easier!," he said.

For the past several years, the volunteers of AID havebeen running from pillar to post both at the Indian missions in the United States and with government agencies back home seeking information under RTI.

However, the inability to pay in Indian currency from overseas was coming a major hindrance in their move. "It has been seven long years since we started this campaign for our right to information. It has been a difficult journey and during this time we have had to depend on friends in India to file RTIs on our behalf," said Arun Gopalan, a volunteer with Association for India's Development, Greater Washington Metro area chapter.

"Their non-availability meant a missed opportunity. That

will no longer be the case with this new eIPO. It would be ideal if the list of email id of PIOs is also available on this portal and the information exchange is completely digitised, but we will take this for now," Gopalan said.

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