Paid or paying bribe? Put it online on ‘I Paid a Bribe’

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Bangalore: Is your paper work in some government department stuck and you are being forced to pay a bribe? Are you one of those who are ready to pay a bribe but don’t know how much to pay? And finally are you one of those lucky ones who got the work done without paying any bribe? Irrespective of whichever category one falls into, the ‘I Paid a Bribe’ website offers something for every one.

Ipaidabribe.com is an initiative against corruption by Janaagraha, a Bangalore based citizen’s group. Interacting with Kerala IT News, Disha Barve, Communications Manager, Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship & Democracy said, “The concept of a website which would give people a platform to report bribes and also find out the market value of bribes came about two years back but ‘I Paid a Bribe’ was launched on August 15, 2010.” What worked in favour of Ipaidabribe.com was the unfolding of scams like CWG, 2G and Adarsh Housing Society scam during the same time as the website was launched. People needed a platform to vent out their frustration and it did just that. Anna Hazare’s campaign against corruption has brought back the focus on the website.

“Till date we have had more than 4.15 lakh hits and over 9,000 citizens’ bribe reports thereby making Ipaidabribe.com the largest repository of bribe reports”, says Disha. The reports are posted under three categories – I paid a bribe, I didn’t pay a bribe and I didn’t have to pay a bribe. As per the statistics available on the website, a bribe amount of over Rs.36 crores from 366 cities and towns across India has been reported since its launch.

Janaagraha is a non-profit organisation founded in 2001 by Ramesh and Swati Ramanathan, as a movement to enable citizen participation in public governance. Based on the analysis of the citizen’s bribe reports, Janaagraha brings out the Janamahithi (people’s information) reports. “We analyse the bribes to find trends and patterns and create a report with our recommendations on how the services in the department could be made corruption free. Janaagraha had recently made a presentation of the Karnataka Transport Department’s Janamahithi before 60 RTO officials and we hope that the recommendations that we have made would be taken into consideration by the Transport Department”, adds Disha.

In terms of bribe paid, Bangalore leads the tally of cities followed by Noida and Mumbai. As of now there are less than 100 reports from Kerala. Does that mean we are less corrupt? So go ahead and write about any recent or old bribes you resisted, have paid or did not have to pay on  ‘I Paid a Bribe’.

Anil Philip
Kerala IT News

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