The Struggles Of People Of Different Classes Is Missing From Our Fight Against Corruption

Between October 29 and November 3, Indians observed Vigilance Awareness Week, with the theme “Eradicate Corruption—Build a New India”. But is there really a need to eradicate corruption when we already have numerous other issues that act as a basis for corruption? Every individual, at least once in their lifetime, would have faced or practiced corruption, which shows we all are corrupt to some extent.

Corruption is present in our schools and colleges when a friend puts in proxy attendance for us. This is present even after our death, when getting a death certificate. So, corruption is everywhere in which one person gets privileged access to resources over others for some specific ‘loss’ in terms of cash or kind. This shows that corruption is really bad but it would be a biased view to just see one side of the coin. Let us see how corruption has played a positive role.

There are numerous uneducated youth and old people in our country; billions belong to the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid, and have actually benefited from corruption. One simple example would be seeing the line for ration card. A poor daily wage worker has to visit two or three times to obtain a ration card. And being a daily wage earner, they have to lose three days’ earnings, which, when analysed in terms of giving a bribe (maybe one day’s earning) will save this person their money. This is where corruption is not bad because it gives access to an unprivileged, poor person, in return for cash. Taking the same example, let us consider the person is educated and rich. They may be well-aware of the official process, but still pay money to get the things done faster. If the same amount of information and knowledge is given to an uneducated, poor person, maybe they would prefer not to pay a bribe. This is the basic difference between good and bad corruption.

Thus, it would be better if we do not focus just on the negatives of corruption and start working on reducing this gap in information about processes that exists between different classes of people. There is a need to have equity in access to resources, processes, and knowledge to avoid corruption which cannot be achieved by following a week dedicated to ‘eradicating corruption’. Eradicating corruption will not help people. We all need to eradicate the existing inequity.

Similar Posts

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below