Parveen Amanullah, needless to say, is a proud mother. An alumnus of Patna’s St Joseph’s Convent and Delhi’s Miranda House, she cannot expect more help from her family. Her husband Afzal Amanullah being in government service in IAS, to be precise, cannot do politics for her. Or so to say.
This daughter of former diplomat Syed Shahabuddin has never let her formidable family background come in her way of carving out a niche for herself. In her early 50s, she is better known as a 24X7 social worker and, of late, an RTI activist. As early as 2002, she collaborated with like-minded people to found Humlog, an organization for promoting peace and harmony. This was in the aftermath of Gujarat riots, when she felt “everyone should do his/her bit to save the world”.
Her daughter Rahmat manages the party office and coordinates with partymen for organizing poll meetings to be addressed by her mother while son Azmat accompanies the politician-in-making to the interiors of the constituency, seeking votes.
This is for the first time that the young duo are dabbling in politics. “Well, it’s new, different, interesting and challenging so far,” Rahmat told TOI.
Azmat agreed with his elder sister. “It is a challenge in that we have no political experience. We interact with local party leaders and then we apply logic and common sense to plan things and execute them with the help of party workers and well- wishers,” Azmat, who practises as a lawyer in the Supreme Court, explained.
The duo find the experience exciting as they talk to voters who, they say, are so diverse in so many spheres but think similarly when it comes to politics. “Mingling with men and women young and old alike, hearing them out and seeking their advice have developed a new sense of responsibility in us,” Rahmat said and added she is these days learning what her B-school books couldn’t teach her.
Setting up a home-cum-office in absolutely no time, getting to know people as fast as possible and getting things done at the lowest possible cost while maintaining quality is no mean a job indeed, specially when you are brand new to the place.
About Her :
What She Did: Has filed over 600 RTI applications to make the system deliver.
The daughter of an Indian Foreign Service officer, Parveen Amanullah had it made early in life. But such a life was clearly not in her list of priorities. Married to an IAS officer, Amanullah has been at the forefront of the RTI movement as the convener of the Bihar Right to Information Manch. It all began in the general elections of 2004 when she procured affidavits of all candidates and compiled constituency wise information brochures. “The idea was to educate voters,” she says.
A botany graduate from Delhi’s Miranda House, Amanullah had always been the activist. She has organised over a dozen marches on various issues. In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where her husband Afzal was the Indian Consul General for three years, she set up special schools for the differently-abled expatriate children. Of late, she has been visiting villages to encourage self-governance.
|48,105 appeals have been addressed by the Central Information Commission since its inception till May 2010|
Amanullah credits her husband for his unstinting support. Though she claims that her work has not affected his career, many administrators do attribute some of Afzal’s transfers to his wife’s continual war against the system. But, what makes Amanullah go on? “I cannot tolerate injustice. Something happens to me when I see rules being bent,” she says.