Corruption is the monster standing in our way to development today, breeding in our neighbourhood without us even noticing. Gain awareness about what's going on and help to stop it. The Oxford dictionary states that Corruption is 'a dishonest or illegal behaviour, especially by people in power'. I don't think corruption only exists with people in power, every small act of cheating is corruption. Thus, it dominates not only in our dealing with people in power but also exists in one's normal everyday mundane life.
My brush with corruption
When my grandmother was in the hospital for her knee surgery, all the essential medical aids were brought by the nurse from the pharmacy. We just paid for the supplies. One day while checking the massive hospital bills, we noticed that some of the medicines brought in were more than what was prescribed by the doctor and on checking the hospital cabinet, they weren't even there anymore! Where did they go? Back to the pharmacy? They made you pay for medicines which they ultimately sneak back to where it came from. In a place where one is so vulnerable and heedless, they are being hustled.
That was a rather big place, but even in unnoticeable events, corruption thrives. Yesterday on the street, I bought an innocent and hungry looking beggar child a packet of biscuits and looking back just minutes later, I could see an adult with him selling it back to the shop owner. On having a chat with the shopkeeper, he briefed me on how these beggars earn thousands of rupees in a day and that returning the food or necessity items people gave them, was nothing new.
One place I always feel cheated is in my college- not cheated for my money but my time when our teachers just don't show up a lot of the times even though they are present for lectures in a row. Despite enjoying studies, students thus end up not attending or sitting in class and twiddling thumbs rather than something productive.
Speaking of college, travelling from one place to another has also become a corruption-ridden journey. Have you ever travelled in the rickshaw and the driver just refuses to give you the balance amount? ''I don't have change'', is their pattern dialogue – some of them don't even bother to give you back those two rupees and just drive off. Even with the new electric meters, there is always a notable distinction between the fares of the vehicles every now and then, some of them just running at the speed of the wind. Some of us don't care, some of us don't like it but we don't do anything but you're not the only one. He probably does that to most of his other customers till those small changes turn into hundreds of rupees and that needs to stop.
If we don't stop corruption in the smallest levels, how do we expect it to not have its bearing in the higher authorities? As they say, small things make big difference.
If you are being cheated or notice someone else is, point it out, stop them. Don't put up with corruption at small stages. Use the technology at hand to spread awareness, put up posters and art as a reminder to everyone walking by to not turn a blind eye to corruption. Every member of the society from a youngster to an aged needs to step up.
Be the face of change, be the start of a revolution!
Send in a video, photo and write specifically where you are experiencing it.
Avi Gopani writes for Kalaage our partner organization