Hemant Goswami

Brief Details About Hemant Goswami

   

ACTIVISM

 
  Hemant had vowed to devote his life to social reforms and contain the aberrations in the system and the society. As a result Hemant is now working as a full time social activist with major focus on Civil Rights (including ensuring transparency, accountability and containing corruption) and Public Health (with tobacco control and preventing substance abuse as a core area of his work.)His involvement in the issues have produced substantial and tangible results which in turn gives hope to many other social activists that with sustained and focused strategic approach desired results can be achieved even by small group of citizens working independently. His innovative approach to social evils and problems has many followers and appreciators.  
   SOME RECENT ACTIONS  
  Besides, numerous other activities, some specific recent work of Hemant Goswami includes;Ongoing fight against the tobacco menace: Hemant’s fight against tobacco, which kills nearly a million people in India (and 5 million worldwide) has continued since his school days. His innovative approach and strong actions have produced many encouraging results in tobacco control.  
   Hemant Goswami (Picture)Hemant’s legal challenge (in High Court) to the tobacco industry forced one of the major tobacco companies to drop the trade-name of their cigarette brand from their (surrogate) promotion activities undertaken in the name of rewarding brave people. Subsequent actions have ensured that the high officials and bureaucrats do not participate in other such activities of the tobacco industry.

Another tobacco company was promoting their trade-name through greeting cards for youngsters. Hemant’s initiative ensured that not only this was discontinued but also all the existing stock is also removed.

Hemant also exposed the nexus of the tobacco companies and political parties and unearthed open source documents to show that how tobacco companies were paying donation to almost each and every political party in the parliament. The issue was also raised in the Punjab Legislative Assembly.

Fight against the illegal “Hookah Bars” has also produced good results. As a result of legal action by Hemant, all “Hookah/Shisha Bars” have been closed down in the region. Currently a Writ Petition is also pending in the High Court on the matter.

Keeping a tap on the tobacco industry manipulation and circumvention of the law is an ongoing activity. Hemant has filed 100’s of police complaint against the industry and filed nearly 500 cases for circumvention of the tobacco control law. Favourable orders and results have been obtained in all the cases. Specific cases of blocking tobacco industry promotion of tobacco inside educational institutes and university have also produced positive results.

 
 

War against Drugs and exposing the nexus of Police with Drug Mafia:

Hemant has used the independent judiciary to expose the nexus of police and enforcement officials with the drug mafia. As a result of Hemant’s action many police officials were found to be involved in the drug trade and thereafter action was initiated against them. A Writ Petition on the subject matter is still pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Fight against the Land Mafia:

Hemant is instrumental in exposing major frauds in the land deals in Chandigarh. The corrupt section of bureaucracy and political agents has unlawfully transferred hundreds of acres of land worth thousands of crores to some big builders and developers. Hemant exposed the nexus and ensured that investigation is initiated against such nefarious activities. Currently a vigilance probe is going on the matter.

 

Fight against Corruption:

Hemant initiated and launched “Mission Zero Tolerance,” a fight against corruption and for ensuring transparency. The initial results of the Mission are very encouraging and have produced the desired results. Major corruption in many areas have been jointly exposed along with the activists in the Region. 

Action for Protecting Civil Rights:

Hemant has been working on many other civil right issues too. One of the core areas of his work is ensuring that the fundamental rights guaranteed to citizens under Chapter III of the Constitution remains protected. Hemant is a voice for protecting the fundamental rights of citizens and has been taking lawful actions to ensure the same. Public education activities, creating public opinion and other awareness activities on civil right issues are also continuously undertaken by Hemant.

Fight to protect Right to Information:

While educating the people on use of RTI and other lawful provisions to eradicate corruption and promote transparency is an ongoing activity. Hemant has also ensured that the Right to Information Act is not diluted /compromised by the corrupt section of the Bureaucracy and Politicians. So when the Government decided to take the file noting out of the purview of the RTI Act, Hemant mobilised people in the region to ensure that the decision is taken back. With similar uproar by activist groups all over the country, the decision was taken back.

To ensure transparency in the office of the office of the Governor-Administrator of Chandigarh, Hemant fought another long and bitter battle. The Governor-Administrator of Chandigarh refused to follow the Right to Information Act. Countering his contentions, Hemant pursued the bitter legal battle to ensure that the office of the Governor-Administrator also starts abiding with the RTI legislation. Favourable orders were secured in July 2008 and thereafter the office of the Governor-Administrator was forced to operate in a transparent manner.

In UT of Chandigarh, Hemant is fighting another battle against the unlawful action of increasing the fee for obtaining information by 500%. Besides the public opinion and action, a Writ Petition is pending in the High Court on the matter.

Prison Reforms:

Hemant found out that many prisoners who were released lawfully on bail by the courts were still detained just because the court officials were not paid bribes. As a result the orders were not sent to the prison on time. Taking example of one such case, where a person remained in prison even after 5 days of being ordered on bail, Hemant moved the high court. As a result the system has been reformed to a large extent. The writ petition on the matter remains pending with the High Court. It is expected that still more reforms will result as a result of this initiative.

Motivating and Directing the Youth:

Hemant is actively involved in many activities directed towards youngsters and children, so as to streamline and direct their energies in positive direction. Many activities, events and training programmes are conducted for such activities. Hemant mentors hundreds of youngsters.

 

 

 

 

     
  CURRENT ASSIGNMENTS

Hemant is presently working as;

  • Chairperson – Burning Brain Society
    (A non-profit CSO based in Chandigarh, India)
  • Convener – Tobacco Free India Coalition
    (A coalition of ground level groups/NGO’s working on tobacco control)
  • Director – Tobacco Free World Foundation
    (An organisation working on the next level of solving the tobacco problem)
  • Managing Director – Progressive Development Facilitators P. Ltd.
    (A company dedicated to providing innovative solutions for development)
  • Chairperson – Society for Prevention of Crime and Corruption
    (A NGO dedicated to the cause of protecting civil rights and counter corruption)
  • Member of “National Steering Committee on Tobacco Control,” formed by Govt of India
  • Member of “Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Tobacco Control” formed by Govt of India.
  • Member of “Chandigarh Tobacco Control Cell,” etc.
  • Associated with many other Non-Profit Organisations, Groups and Coalitions as office-bearer/ member/ consultant
 
     
  EARLY LIFE AND FAMILY

Hemant was born at Delhi to an Indian Air Force officer (Wing Commander) and a teacher. Descending from the lineage of the great Indian poet “Goswami Tulsi Das” (1532-1623) and having one of the greatest religious preachers of modern times, “Swami Rama Tirtha,” in the form of his great-grandfather, certainly makes a difference.Since his school days Hemant Goswami is actively involved in social welfare activities and is active member, office bearer and founder member of many social and philanthropic associations. By profession he is a Management Trainer & Consultant, Industrial Psychologist, Writer and N.V.C. expert. But as of now he is spending most of his time on social activities and public welfare works.

 
     
  EDUCATION AND PROFESSION

Hemant is presently devoting much of his time on social activism. He is on the board of governors of many social and philanthropic organisations, including the “Burning Brain Society.” Though people relate him to his fight against corruption and for ensuring transparency but his crusade against “Tobacco” and fight against the biggest tobacco MNC’s is also well known and appreciated. Hemant completed his graduation in electronics and then pursued education in Management, besides having training in fields as diverse as Industrial Psychology and Computers.  Hemant mentions that he deliberately selected the path of practical action (and results) rather than one of academic excellence.

 
     
  WRITINGS

Hemant Goswami writes regularly as a free-lancer. He is also the author of “Towards a Perfect Democracy – Alternatives”, authored at an age of 28 Years. This book was released in November 1999 and has the distinction of being the first Indian on-line Internet book. “Towards a Perfect Democracy – Alternatives” as the name suggests is a book about possibilities, it do ignites the thought process of all those people who look forward to the progress of mankind and all other life forms, are socially aware, active and strongly feel that certain reforms in the present style of Governance are urgently required. This is the reason why this book has been highly appreciated by masses and the classes. Another book related to his professional field, titled, “How to be Successful in Interviews & Get a Job” also gained the distinction of being one of the best selling books in the category. Goswami has authored four books and contributed numerous articles.

 
     
  RESULT OF HIS WORKS

There can be nothing more satisfying for an activist than producing tangible results on causes one is working on. Goswami has achieved tangible results on many issues of civil rights and public health. Hemant believes in “Working for Results” and this focus on result-oriented approach is the key to his successful handling of all issues. His frankness and courage to speak the truth is another quality which earns him a lot of appreciation.  Hemant architected and initiated to make Chandigarh as the first smoke-free city of India (and any third world country) by using a combination of legal innovation and strategic action. Thereafter ensured that the “Smoke-free Chandigarh” initiative remains sustainable. Hemant made the state of Chandigarh smoke-free by using most innovative means.  On July 15, 2007 Chandigarh became the first smoke-free state of India (and any third-world) country with the efforts of Hemant. Right from building a momentum for tobacco control, to preparing a road map, and getting it executed was done through an aggressive and altogether a new form of activist approach. As an innovation, Hemant used the provisions of “Right to Information Act (A Freedom of Info Act),” to make the non-responsive government machinery answerable. More than 300 “Right to Information (RTI)” petitions were filed by him over a period of one year. For sustaining the effort, Hemant used the independent judiciary extensively and filed over 400 cases and hundreds of criminal complaints.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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