Banner outside Ahmad's home at New Seemapuri prevented policemen from approaching him for a bribe. Banner reads: 'Giving or taking bribe is a crime, so kindly don't ask for it!'
Thursday, 23 February 2012
An experiment to eradicate corruption
Zaki Ahmad, a 42-year-old resident of New Seemapuri had the will to shake an overwhelming corrupt system in his locality by merely hanging a banner condemning the practice of corruption (see photo). All the people who were thinking of extracting money from Ahmad were motivated to skip their daily dose.
Ahmad wanted to re-structure his one-room home by constructing two new floors above it but feared that he would have to pay a minimum bribe of Rs. 60,000 (i.e. Rs. 20,000 per floor) to local policemen, infamous for demanding money at the drop of a hat. Not willing to bribe anyone or subject his own family members to extortion threats by them, Ahmad shared his dilemma with Rajiv Kumar of Pardarshita.
With a history of years of filing RTIs against corrupt government officials, Kumar suggested that Ahmad display a big banner outside his house condemning the act of giving or taking bribe to demote the idea amongst policemen and discourage their usual practice. “I just wanted to see how an ordinary man, who chooses to be honest, beats a heavily corrupt system around him, and Ahmad did it. It was so easy. He only had to take the first few step and the rest happened on its own,” said Kumar.