Kisan Majdoor Sanghatan

Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan is a People’s Organisation and part of the growing Non-party political process in India. They works with workers and peasants in the villages of Central India. It was set up by the people of the area in 1990 to strengthen participatory democratic processes, so that ordinary citizens could live their lives with dignity and justice. The organisation was born out of a struggle for community land held illegally by a feudal landlord. The subsequent struggle for minimum wages made it evident to the people, that transparency and accountability of systems of governance are basic to access any right. It became clear that access to relevant information is a fundamental tool for ensuring transparency and accountability of the government, and of all bodies that affect public interest.

Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan had formulated a specific demand for copies of financial records of expenditure incurred in the local government institutions including Panchayats. However, since there was no legal entitlement to access relevant information even within the Panchayat, the Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan had to mostly rely on informal means and sympathetic officials for access to these documents. Once procured, these records were closely examined by the people of the concerned Panchayats. Public hearings were organised where residents came together to verify and audit the work of their Panchayat through individual and collective testimonies.