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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

People Power vs Corrupt Officials

Amazing news. After just five days, a petition started on Change.org has sparked an unprecedented crackdown on corruption in Uttar Pradesh -- helping turn the tide against corruption everywhere. 

Last December, university student Sangh Priya Rahul was brutally beaten by Regional Transport Officers. The reason? He refused to pay them a Rs 100 bribe to get his driver’s licence. Rahul’s courageous stand against corruption left him bruised and bloody, and it could have become just another example of unpunished brutality and injustice against everyday citizens.

But this time was different. Rahul’s friend Param Vir Dhar started a petition on Change.org demanding Uttar Pradesh’s District Magistrate take immediate action. In a matter of days, the DM buckled under the pressure -- he raided the office, suspended two officials and committed to broad anti-corruption measures.

Param says support for the petition was vital: “It was thanks to hundreds of people taking direct action through online platforms like Change.org that the authorities were forced to respond.”

Change.org started in India in August last year, and since then people across the country have won some amazing victories. Param’s success is yet another examp le of how together, ordinary people really can create change. Every corrupt official will now know that citizens are willing and able to hold them to account -- and they’ll have to think twice before they demand bribes.

What’s more, the District Magistrate’s response has set the standard for local governments everywhere. No more will they be able to ignore the plight of ordinary people who face corruption every day.

It’s a vital step, but there’s still a lot to do in the fight against corruption. If there’s something you feel strongly about, you can start a Change.org petition by clicking here.

Thanks for everything you do,

Tamseel and the Change.org team

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