Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I Paid a Bribe- Let us fight Corruption Together- A new online Initiative

Bribed? Didn't bribe? Powerless? Victimised? Angry? Tell us your story
Using your stories we'll advocate with the government for an improved system. Together let's fight corruption

About Janaagraha
Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy is a non-profit organisation based in Bangalore, India. It works with citizens and the government to improve the quality of life in Indian cities and towns.

The term ‘quality of life’ as defined by Janaagraha has two distinct and inter-related aspects. The first is ‘quality of urban infrastructure and services’ – the quality of urban of amenities, i.e., roads, drains, traffic, transport, water supply, etc. The second aspect is the ‘quality of citizenship’ – the role that urban residents play by participating in civic issues.

Founded in 2001 by Ramesh Ramanathan and Swati Ramanathan, Janaagraha started as a movement to enable citizen participation in public governance. It has now evolved into a robust institution for Citizenship and Democracy.

Janaagraha’s guiding principle to define quality of life and bring about changes in public governance is a comprehensive framework called REED . It is an acronym for four defining aspects of urban governance:
  • Regional perspective to urban issues
  • Empowered citizens and local governments
  • Enabled citizens and local governments
  • Direct accountability of the government to the people

    Each of Janaagraha’s initiatives aligns with the REED framework, on some or all of its aspects.

    Striving to make government departments transparent and accountable, the 'I Paid a Bribe' programme strongly identifies with the ‘Direct accountability’ element of REED.

    About I Paid a Bribe is Janaagraha’s unique initiative to tackle corruption by harnessing the collective energy of citizens. You can report on the nature, number, pattern, types, location, frequency and values of actual corrupt acts on this website. Your reports will, perhaps for the first time, provide a snapshot of bribes occurring across your city. We will use them to argue for improving governance systems and procedures, tightening law enforcement and regulation and thereby reduce the scope for corruption in obtaining services from the government.

    We invite you to register any recent or old bribes you have paid. Please tell us if you resisted a demand for a bribe, or did not have to pay a bribe, because of a new procedure or an honest official who helped you. We do not ask for your name or phone details, so feel free to report on the formats provided.
    I Paid a Bribe

    Read the article
    The Numbers Say It All
    'I Paid A Bribe' has had over 3 lakh hits since launch last year. Reactions have poured in from 282 cities across India with Mumbai leading the charge. A total estimate of 49 crore rupees has been reported as bribe money by citizens all over.

    It's appalling to note that Mumbai alone has registered bribe demands totalling to 4,108 lakh rupees. The website homepage even provides a 'bribe analytics' tab for a more detailed break-up of those figures.

    Another feature is the 'Hall of Shame'- where you get all the latest news related to corruption and the fight against it.

    You even have a Forum to discuss various issues- land, water, certificates, taxation, etc. How to get a new water connection? What are the fines for trafic violation? All you wanted to know about tax deductions, registrations, reimbursements- everything and anything under the sun. Post your queries or lend advice to others.

    In addition, the webpage hosts The One Million Campaign- a signature drive to collect 1 million votes to force the government to ratify the UN Convention against Corruption. Shame the bureaucracy thoroughly enough, to force those in power to take a step in the right direction.
    ...So log in now. Tell the world your bribe story.

    Source: India Syndicate
    By Sumitha Narayanan Kutty, India Syndicate, 08/03/2011
    No more 'Don't ask, don't tell' A unique initiative that's leading the fight against corruption. Tell the world your bribe story

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