Published: 03rd April 2018
Meet the guys because of whom you are not paying parking charges at Hyderabad malls
Activist Satish Kumar Pendyala, one of the men behind the move, will teach you the art of filing PILs, RTIs and more during his new monthly workshop
Your next trip to GVK One or Inorbit Mall might be a little less expensive than you're used to because, Hyderabadis, you no longer have to worry about the obnoxious parking charges levied by multiplexes and malls in the city! Well, provided you produce a bill or park for less than half an hour, at least. While this has been in effect since April 1, 2018 (no, it wasn't an April Fools joke) and is probably common knowledge by now, who do we thank for this wallet-sized blessing? None other than our homeboys and activists, Satish Kumar Pendyala, Sheelu Raj and Vijay Gopal.
Both Pendyala and Sheelu Raj are a part of Dr Jayaprakash Narayan's Vision India Foundation and are also a part of Youth for Better India
But to thank Pendyala you might have to get in the line because the calls have been pouring in from all over the city, thanking him for filing the PIL (Public Interest Litigation) that made this happen in Hyderabad and other urban areas of Telangana. And obviously, his friends from Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Bengaluru, Lucknow and Raipur want him to do the same in their cities. But what Pendyala really wants is for, "more and more youngsters to start thinking rationally for themselves, become thought leaders and question the system so that it functions better," he states.
Group op: When they organised Anna Hazare's Anti-Corruption movement in Hyderabad
An advocate and citizen activist, Pendyala, as a part of Dr Jayaprakash Narayan's Foundation for Democratic Reforms, filed a PIL regarding the parking fee along with fellow advocate, Sheelu Raj and a social activist, Vijay Gopal, in the High Court. Following this, the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department along with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation issued a government order that now allows free parking for the first half an hour and further still, if a bill is produced.
Legal activism along with political and social activism is important for retaining a balance in the governance
Satish Kumar Pendyala, advocate and citizen activist
And this is not all! Pendyala had also filed a PIL against the dual MRP charged on water bottles served at restaurants, for which he was the petitioner and Sheelu Raj, the counsellor. The Government of India set certain rules for this as well. Yet another reason to thank this 29-year-old Osmania University alumnus!
At his best: Pendyala addressing an audience
Clearly, milking PILs is an art that Pendyala has mastered. And he now wants to pass on the skills to equip us as well. Starting April 14, the legal activist will conduct a workshop once a month, schooling us on how to file FIRs, PILs and RTIs. "We want to assist members of the community to use this tool to question the system," he says passionately. With Deeksha Academy in Ashok Nagar as their venue partner, they will admit 20 members per batch for this two-hour session. "The members will also have to file an RTI and will be assisted to do so by the forum," he says. And those who are deterred by the very mention of filing, which involves filling out a tedious application, this is what Pendyala has to say to you — "Consult lawyers who are activists like us. A PIL is lengthy, requires research and empirical studies, which a traditional lawyer doesn't usually prefer doing."
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