08 Mar 2011

5Th Pillar’s Way to Reward Corruption: Zero Currency Notes and More

The 5th Pillar successfully encourages and empowers citizens to take a stand against acts of corruption. One of their most successful campaigns – the Zero Rupee Note – gave concerned citizens a practical tool in confronting daily corruption attempts of public officials. The organization’s website presents a series of success stories, in which supporters of this campaign from all over India have chosen to pay for bribes with the 5th Pillar’s specially designed zero currency note. The organization is setup as a network, with two chapters in the United States and another three across India. Besides offering citizens empowering tools to report and act on petty corruption acts, the 5th Pillar offers information and organized trainings on how to use the Right to Information Act (RTI). Moreover, the 5th Pillar makes available a portal and a telephone hotline where individuals and organizations can submit reports of corruption acts. So far, 46 reports were submitted by citizens concerned with everything from illegal revenue collection, corruption in research and education, as well as possible insurance fraud. We believe the work of the 5th Pillar organization is a valuable source of ideas to fight corruption for civil society organizations around the developing world, Eastern Europe included, and this is why we would like to welcome them to our network.