Sunday, March 11, 2012

126. Anti-corruption initiatives

In the Times of India today, I read an article about how more and more initiatives are being taken to enable citizens to narrate their corruption-related experiences. It is no secret that an ordinary citizen has to face corruption at every step- while obtaining berth/death certificates, driving licence, ration card, passport, gas connection and so on.   Often, he/she has to succumb to the demand for bribe to avoid stress and inconvenience. There are also rare instances where people fight such demands at great personal cost to themselves.

Bribe is often demanded and paid in a hush-hush manner. Everybody knows, but no one talks about it. Even accepting that one paid bribe is not easy. People may not be able to resist the demand for bribes, but if they do not feel ashamed of talking about why and how they had to pay bribe, that itself may make a big difference.

The Times of India article talked about a website which was started by the Bangalore-based NGO,Janaagraha about a year ago. Aptly named "", it encourages people to talk about their experiences of paying bribes. In a short period, over 15000 experiences have been posted on the website.

The initiative has started showing results. According to the report, the transport department of Bangalore has changed its system of conducting driving tests based on the feedback received from this site. The NGO has been approached by some neighbouring countries to start similar websites there.

The Anna Hazare movement may be criticised for its methods, but there is no denying the fact that it has given a push to the anti-corruption fight in the country. It has encouraged people to speak out against corruption. People are shedding inhibitions and admitting that they paid bribe. Small initiatives which are now being taken  may make a big difference.


How do we know said...

yes, i agree completely.. this is a small wave that will lead to some change at least..

kavita said...

Great initiative ! And also using our voting rights sensibly is surely going to help.

sm said...

its good start by NGO