Thank you for the amazing support to our Legal Helpline!
Greetings! Let me start by saying that we are both elated and humbled at the amazing response to our request to support our Legal Helpline, which was without funding for the first time since it started.
We use these resources to help people find ways to resolve disputes, seek alternative resolution channels and get their facts or, even if they have a good case to seek legal remedies. Your generous support will not only help us continue this work but also expand it to other areas where help is required.
We are most obliged to a benefactor, who wishes to remain anonymous, for giving momentum to our donation drive by offering to match all donations in June (with a limit of Rs2.5 lakhs and a cap of Rs10,000 per donor).
Advisory Committee on Bridges in Mumbai
We are delighted at how the talk and discussion by Ms Alpa Sheth, a highly qualified and respected structural engineer and Managing Director of VMS Consultants on the state of Mumbai's urban infrastructure has taken off.
The talk and discussion was attended by many activists, engineers and experts, including Mr Sanjay Nirupam, former Member of Parliament, renowned structural engineer Mr Shirish Patel, Ajit Shenoy, Sudhir Badami, Vidyadhar Date, Abhay Datar and representatives of the Indian Railways, retired municipal engineers, the Indian Railways etc.
As a follow up, Mr Sanjay Nirupam led a delegation of activists to meet BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi, who amazed us with his pro-activeness. To cut a long story short, he agreed that there was a need to consult experts and immediately set up a Technical Advisory Committee that includes Mr Shirish Patel, Dr Nori among others.
I am happy to report that the committee, chaired by Mr Shirish Patel was set up immediately, it held its first meeting on Friday, 28th June and will be conducting its first site inspection of the Juhu-Tara and Oshiwara bridges on 2nd July.
This extraordinary speed of action is heartening. It is also in line with the new pro-activeness of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation on social media. Many of you may be unaware that every ward of the corporation is not only on twitter but also very responsive. We urge you to follow @mybmc or your specific ward on twitter, especially in the rains, as they are coming up with warnings as well as innovations such as #RainDosts.
We have some super programmes lined up for you with two major back-to-back events in September 2019. Yes, we have announced them over two and a half months in advance to allow you to block your calendar and make it a point to be with us. Do read the details and register now.
Our second RTI lecture will be delivered by none other than Justice Santosh Hegde. Justice Hegde is renowned for his commitment to public welfare and good governance and is among the rare persons to he named Indian of the Year more than once. The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion with former CIC Shailesh Gandhi and legal scholar Prof. (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer. We have to thank Prof Basheer for his generous help in connecting us to Justice Santosh Hegde.
Time & Location: 4-6pm at BSE International Convention Centre, Mumbai.
All of us need medicines and have been celebrating the fact that India has helped reduce prices of generic medicines around the world. Well, there is another side to that story and Mr Dinesh Thakur, a US citizen and known around the world as the Ranbaxy whistleblower will tell you all about it. This talk is important to all of us, but of special interest to medical professionals and those who research or trade in pharmaceutical stocks.
Mr Thakur is a public health activist focused on improving the quality of affordable medicines across the globe and improving health policies in the USA and India.
During his career, he has held senior positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Ranbaxy Laboratories and Infosys Technologies. Most recently he co-founded and was CEO (2007-12) of Sciformix Corporation.
Time & Location: 6:30 - 8:30pm at Walchand Hirachand Hall, IMC, Mumbai.
Before telling you about our activities in June, I want to repeat a line of caution:
Moneylife Foundation takes full responsibility for all that we say and do at our talks, programmes and through our helplines, but NOT for any engagement professional or otherwise - with our speakers/experts outside the Foundation.
Programmes Conducted in June
If you missed out on attending Alpa Sheth's talk on Urban Infrastructure Challenges in Mumbai, you can watch it here or read about it here.
Shivajirao Bagat Deputy Controller of Civil Defence (Mumbai) took the time to enlighten us about Fire Safety measures. Fire safety has become an issue of great importance since there have been quite a few incidents in Mumbai and other cities throughout India. Those of you who could not attend the session can always watch a video recording on our YouTube channel
For those of you who have had trouble filing complaints with RBI's Banking Ombudsman, we had DG Kale, retd. CGM from RBI talk on How to File Banking Complaints Correctly. The recording of this session is also available on our YouTube Channel
On the RTI front, we had activist Krishnaraj Rao give an interesting talk on How to be a Laid Back RTI User. Mr Rao feels that users and activists often draft their applications requesting information in ways that the Public Information Officer (PIO) is tempted to deny and justify it. This is essentially followed by an energetic battle in first/second appeal and perhaps even High Court and Supreme Court. Mr Rao proclaims himself as a lazy activist and in his talk shared a few insights on how one can become a more efficient and laid back RTI user. You can watch the video recording of this session here
We also had RTI activist Bhaskar Prabhu talk about Using RTI to Fight Your Civic Battles like poorly constructed pavements, potholes on roads, missing manhole covers etc using RTI applications. While his talk covered the essentials of filing an RTI application, he also provided tips on approaching a particular civic or governance issue. The video of the talk is available on our YouTube Channel here
In the coming months we are planning to conduct more talks on unique interesting talks on RTI. If you are in Mumbai, please take advantage of the opportunity to come and learn from experts. Also, if you are not in Mumbai and cannot come down to our Knowledge Centre for the event, you can still watch it live on Facebook or watch them on our YouTube Channel.
We are also open to conducting such RTI workshops at your organisation at no cost to you. All we would require is access to your meeting hall or an auditorium for a seating for more than 100 people with your suggestions or requests.
The Moneylife TV has reached over 29.08 lakh views with almost 27,806 active subscribers. You can watch our videos from almost any part of the globe and enrich yourself. If you do not want to miss out on any of our videos then do subscribe to the Moneylife channel on YouTube here.
Even better, become a Member of Moneylife Foundation and join 1,07,961+ others so that you receive updates to our events, their coverage as well as access to our extremely valuable Credit Helpline and Legal Resource Centre absolutely free. To join now, click here
Legal Resource Centre: We have handled 1,954 queries since inception, thanks to the generous help and guidance by senior activists.
Every Monday, Mumbai-based "Free Press Journal" is publishing a column "Your Housing Problems & Solutions" based on queries answered by our Experts at the LRC. So far, we have provided answers to more than 200 queries from readers of the newspaper.
Our FREE Credit Helpline has answered over 3,795 cases. Spread the word, so that those with a low score can get help from us.
Remember, you can benefit from our work from all over the globe through our videos and helplines (Credit Helpline and Legal Resource Centre). They are all offered free of charge, but please do reciprocate by introducing our work to at least 10 people and getting them to become members. Also, if you have benefited from our work and would like to show your support, you can donate
Thank you for your support and look forward to your good wishes always.
Founder-Trustee, Moneylife Foundation
Trustees: TS Krishnamurthy, Dr KC Chakrabarty, Walter Vieira, Sucheta Dalal, Debashis Basu and Dr Anupam Saraph. Special Invitee: Adv Jamshed Mistry
Moneylife Foundation is registered with the Charity Commissioner of Mumbai, is an Affiliate member of OECD's International Network on Financial Education, is a Supporter Member of Consumers International, Development Partner of Advocates for International Development (A4ID), and is a winner of the 10th MR Pai Memorial Award.
Donations are eligible for tax benefits under Sec 80G of the Income Tax 1961 (50% tax exemption) and MLF is registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.