Often people hesitate in getting involved with anything even remotely involving government officials or offices these days. They know that the path will be blocked by corrupt police officers, delayed post services and responses from the officials and hence they drop the idea of seeking the information which they want to know from the government.
Cases of dowry, defense, education, market rights, business – almost anything comes under the Right To Information or the RTI act. Though the Indian government has provided a website specifically for the RTI Act and also provides the ability to file RTI’s. However there are many types of cases which the the website doesn’t accept or cover like those related to public authorities under the state governments and many more! Not to mention the site is quite boring and not exactly user friendly.
This is exactly where Online RTI comes in. Started by two engineering graduates, Pradeep Bhatt and Vinod Ranganathan, Online RTI is a website where people can file RTI applications without any of the hassles.
User’s just need to visit the portal, fill up a simple form for the information they would like to get and pay a nominal fee of just INR 99. The rest is handled by Online RTI.
Here’s all the steps and additional hassles that they save you from.
No more running to the post office or making demand drafts or jumping through other meaningless hoops.
There were about 80 Lakh RTI applications that were filed last year and the startup aims to get to atleast 10% of the market.
As of now, Online RTI has received over 7 million pageviews and has processed over 30,000 RTI applications till date. Just last month, it had filed over 900 applications. They make a gross margin of about 40% per transaction.
As per customer feedback, 50% of the RTI applicants got their response in which 30% was satisfactory and 20% was evasive response.
They have also been approached by parties in Maldives and Bangladesh to start a similar platform there, but as of now, the startup intends to focus its efforts in India. “We have decided to just provide our software to some other company who will run the show over there,” said Pradeep.
Online RTI had raised INR 50 Lakhs from a group of investors through LetsVenture platform earlier this year. There are a few similar portals like RTI Nation and YourAdhikar who are also dealing in the same space.
“The vision is to make RTI simple and effective to promote transparency and good governance. We plan to open RTI call centers to accept requests on phone and we are also working on handling more apps. This effort is to reach more and more people to help solve their problem. We plan to file 10 lakh RTIs in next 2 years,” say Pradeep.