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Notes from Open Meeting Dec 13

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Placeholder post for notes from Saturday's meeting. All those who attended are encouraged to write some.

Was a great meeting! Most important, almost all attendees took away some action items. Recurring monthly meetings should help a lot in getting ourselves structured and better organized. Already looking ahead to next month's meet :)


psaram42's picture

Praja Meeting at Lal Bagh December 13, 2008

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The members gathered inside the Lal Bagh west gate at 7:30 AM. A total of about 15 members in including several new members were in attendance.

After very fruitful discussions some of the points were
1. It is unproductive for Praja to bother about claiming credit and would be self defeating to do so.
2. RTI is being put to good use by praja as was evident by the discussions.
3. It is possible to use kannada medium in Praja web site if required.
4. Praja is making inroads in influencing the decision makers’ policies effectively.
5. Several projects and respective teams relating mainly to violations were identified to be taken forward.
6. Further changes / improvements on praja site design were discussed and planed
7. “Safe Passage” project was on a hold as Ckannan was preoccupied with some crisis in his business.
8. It was decided that each person should write a paragraph summarizing the vision statement for Praja 

My take on the Vision statement is:

Praja should be a platform to attract and mobilize like minded people to come together for the purpose of bringing a change for the better in all governmental policies. It should spearhead proactive movement among various similar organizations to synergize the total out put towards this goal. It should be democratic in working within and with other similar organizations. It should also try to stem the rot of destructive social aberrations by joining hands with the Lokautka.
zeitgeist's picture

Good to have met such an enthusiastic bunch of people

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It was good to have met this morning at Lal Bagh. I hadn't registered into Praja earlier, but a lot of the energy that I sensed this morning rubbed off. One additional point that we discussed was that we would enhance the material available on the gyan page, to include basics on how to file RTIs, etc. A suggestion for the design development team - do add in a glossary of commonly used terms - RTI,RWA, etc were new terms and we certainly dont want to scare off new joiners with a multitude of TLAs(Three Letter Acronyms :-)
silkboard's picture

my takeaways from the meeting

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My top takeaways from the meeting were:

  1. Website needs to be presented better.
  2. Whats Praja's vision - is perhaps not clear. This needs to presented loud and clear. Its hard for someone new to figure what exactly we are - half-media? half-NGO? simple group blog!?
  3. Need a clear concept of projects to focus on action and analysis.

Ananth, Rohith and Srinath will be getting together to attack #1. their recommendations will most likely drive a redesign of the home/front pages on the website.

Over next 3-4 months, let us take up 2-3 projects, and track and analyse them to great details. This will be like how Syed, Rithesh and gang are driving the BIAL-RTI work. If we do 2-3 more projects, we can show everyone how easy it is to do some "public vigilance/tracking" via online collaboration and RTIs - not a lot of work.

Gali Anjaneya Temple flyover (Mysore Road), BWSSB's projects, tracking JNNURM spending and project status were some sugestions. I would add BTRAC to that list.

Let us figure online tools of working on these "projects", and then we will get started. Meanwhile, Syed is working on a Gyan page on RTI. There are plenty of RTI resources on the web, but Syed will write a page relevant to Bangalore (who to ask what).

ananth.bangalore's picture

What is Praja...

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My take on what Praja is (or i wish it to be)-
"Praja is a community of individuals(like-minded or not,) who care, come together to understand governance, care to participate and aid governance by illustrating/demonstrating constructive solutions, thus creating the commonly desired governance system- completely accountable, future oriented, transparent, competent and trend-setting."
a. Praja is the power of many individuals who have come together - so a community, not an organization or an establishment.
b. The common connector between the members is largely that they 'care' and is like-minded only in that way. Actually, not being like-minded will help the community as Praja will always stay close to reality because someone will always play the devil's advocate.- so 'care' and not 'like-minded'
c. Primarily, Praja helps individuals understand any governance issue holistically (and hence help individuals avoid acting as per own personal whims) - thus 'understanding governance'
d. Secondarily Praja also shows how these government policies or process affect/effect common lives, thus creating the want to 'care and participate' in people's minds
e. Praja members shall not stop with complaining- they also need to offer constructive solutions to the issues, ideas, share thoughts. Thus- 'illustrate/demonstrate constructive solutions'
f. All this for the desired end result, the obvious- completely accountable, future oriented, transparent, competent and trend-setting governance.
E.R. Ramachandran's picture

projects under Praja -Double line of Bangalore- Mysore

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I submit Praja should take up this project because: 1.It will decongest Bangalore. 2.It's good for all cities along the route 3. Helps in cheaper travel for commuters. 4 Reduces pollution, traffic on roads. Probably, I am repeating but it's important this project is monitored and we have to make sure there is no furher snag. could you include this ? plese let me know. ERR
Ravi_D's picture

What is Praja....

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Others have already talked about our Lalbagh get together. It was great to meet up again, and we should certainly repeat this every month.

Here is my take on what is (and should be) Praja.

Know, Care, Participate
We are a voluntary and democratic forum for better quality of life in our neighborhoods, attempting to:
 'Know' the issues and related facts affecting our everyday lives
'Care' for how and where we - and in future our children - live
'Participate' by discussing, analyzing, proposing and influencing sustainable solutions
> spend some of our spare time
> stay pragmatic, open, critical, apolitical, sane and plural
> share ideas, knowledge, problems and solutions
> bounce off our thoughts with all those who want to know, care and participate
> build a comprehensive, open to all knowledge chest online
> interact with and help civic bodies and authorities




Rithesh's picture

A few pictures

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praneshachar's picture

praja meeting

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Nice to know about the meeting. a good beginning and it will go long way in making praja movement successful pranesh
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