Kerala was the first State in the country to incorporate the Right to Information in the Panchayati Raj Act. But the State has an abysmal record in utilising the right. Seven years after the amendment to the law, only 10 persons have invoked the Act to elicit official information, the majority of them, contractors.

The startling fact was revealed by the Principal Secretary, Department of Local Self-Government, S. M.Vijayanand, here on Monday. Participating in a one-day seminar organised by the Sahayi Centre for Collective Learning and Action, he said it was surprising that NGOs, social workers and the media had failed to seek information under the provisions of the Act.

Apparently, the high levels of literacy, education and political consciousness in Kerala have been disproportionate to the thirst for information.