Friday, August 24, 2007

Press release - The Hindu online Edition, Aug 25 2007
‘Refrain from giving or accepting bribe’
Staff Reporter
SALEM: The 5th Pillar, a non-governmental organisation for fighting corruption, has conducted sensitisation programmes here on Friday urging people to refrain from giving or accepting bribe.
The programmes were organised as a part of the organisation’s State-wide campaign.
The need to eliminate corruption and Right to Information Act were explained during the programmes.
Earlier at a meeting on Thursday, organisation president Vijay Anand released the ‘zero rupee’ note in the district. Pledge
It has a pledge ‘I promise to neither accept nor give bribe’ printed both in English and Tamil.
The notes were being distributed to the public to encourage them to fight corruption. A signature campaign was also being conducted to make students in the schools and colleges aware of the need to fight corruption and to garner their support for the cause, the release said.
© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Press release - The Hindu National Edition, Aug 21 2007

'Freedom from corruption' campaign by '5th pillar' launched
Chennai, Aug. 21 (PTI): Next time, when you are asked to cough up extra money to get a driving licence or a birth certificate, shock the bribe-seekers with 'zero rupee' note.
This is a novel campaign launched by '5th Pillar,' a non-profit non-governmental organisation formed to fight the common enemy of the nation -- corruption.
The 'zero rupee' note, which resembles an orginial thousand rupees note, is a sign of unwillingness to bribe. It has the picture of Mahatma Gandhi on it with a pledge "I promise to neither accept nor give bribe" printed both in English and Tamil. It also resolves to "eliminate corruption at all levels."
The rupee note has also been printed in Hindi and other regional languages to take up the campaign against corruption at the national level.
Founded recently by noted environmentalist and Exnora founder M B Nirmal, the NGO seeks to reduce the scale of corruption problem in the country by fostering attitudinal change among citizens and advocating the use of Right to Information (RTI) Act to ensure transparency in all governmental organisations.
Volunteers of the organisation have so far distributed 75,000 'zero rupee' notes among students in seven districts in Tamil Nadu as part of a month-long campaign "freedom from corruption" to coincide with country's 60th year of independence. The students have also taken a pledge not to take or give bribe.

Press Release - Dinamalar August 19, 2007

Friday, August 17, 2007

Madurai Press Release - The Hindu, August 16th 2007

Tamil Nadu - Madurai Students’ support to be garnered for fighting corruption
Special Correspondent
TIRUCHI: The 5th Pillar, a non-governmental organisation for fighting corruption, has planned to reach out to about one lakh school and college students in the State to enlist their support for the cause.
The organisation has already conducted sensitisation programmes, which included brief modules on the effective use of the Right to Information Act, in about 28 institutions spread over eight districts in the State.
It has also been conducting a signature campaign as part of the initiative.
The campaign in the rest of the districts would be completed soon and it would culminate in Chennai by September, Vijay Anand, president, 5th Pillar, told media persons here on Wednesday.
Student members were being enrolled during the campaign and each institution would have male and female representatives to spread the message. Student members undertake a pledge against giving bribes.
“We will go back to the institutions that we cover to conduct elaborate training programmes on the RTI Act,” Mr.Anand said. The forum would provide training to government officials on the RTI Act, if the government made a request.
The organisation would launch a chapter in Andhra Pradesh. It has also planned to conduct a survey to measure the impact of corruption on the common man and come out with a corruption index for each district in the State, he said.
© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Campaign at VIT Vellore As published by THE HINDU
Tamil Nadu - Vellore Students urged to help tackle corruption

MEET: A volunteer of the Students’ Council of the VIT University distributing a zero-rupee note printed by 5th Pillars at a meeting on the VITU campus in Vellore on Tuesday.

VELLORE: “How much did you pay to get your driving licence?” “I paid Rs. 800,” said one student, “I paid Rs. 300,” said another, and “I paid Rs. 2,000,” said a third. The question was asked by Vijay Anand, president of 5th Pillar, during the course of his interactive talk on ‘Empowering citizens to fight corruption through the Right to Information (RTI) Act’ under the auspices of the Students’ Council of VIT University on the VITU campus here on Tuesday.
Mr. Vijay Anand said that the students or their parents who paid Rs. 800 and Rs. 2,000 for them had committed a crime by paying so much to get a two-wheeler licence, the actual fee of which is only Rs. 250, and Rs. 300 for both two-wheeler and light motor vehicle driving licences. Drawing the student audience further into the discussion, he asked the students whether they would go to court if the authorities refused to issue them their driving licence within the stipulated 30 days without demanding any extra amount or bribe. To this the students replied in the negative. They said that court proceedings were time consuming and that they would rather pay a bribe amount and get the licence.
Mr. Anand said that India stood 70th of 163 countries in the world in the corruption perception index, Finland taking the first place. “Can we bring India within the 10th place in the corruption perception index?” he asked. “No, because corruption is rampant in India,” replied a student, to which a large section of the audience clapped. Taken aback by the clapping, Mr. Vijay Anand asked them whether they clapped because there was too much corruption in India. “If that is the case, there is no point in conducting the meeting. I expect positive responses from you,” said Mr. Anand, who said that he was confident that India could become a superpower in 30 years if corruption is eliminated.
Mr. Anand said that he was going to conduct one such meeting in each of the 30 districts of Tamil Nadu to convey the need to eliminate corruption.
He picked three students – Keshav, Ganesh and Muthukumar – of the Nazareth College of Arts and Science, Avadi, who were deputed by the principal of the college to work as volunteers along with him in his mission, when he conducted a similar meeting in that college on Monday. “I propose to get 100 such volunteers from each district to gather a total of 3,000 volunteers to join the 5th Pillar in its task. Our organisation will coordinate with similar organisations in other States to take the movement to the National level,” he said.Vital tool
Mr. Anand said that though the RTI Act was introduced by the Central Government two years ago, 95 per cent of the citizens did not know about the Act or how to use the Act to obtain information. He said he was confident that in future the RTI Act was going to be a vital tool in the task of eliminating corruption.
M.V. Siva Harsha, president, Students’ Council, VITU, welcomed the gathering. Githin J. Mathew, vice-president, Students’ Council, spoke. M.S.S. Ramanathan, another vice-president of the council, proposed a vote of thanks.
© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Hindu Report on August campaign at Sevalaya, a service organisation

Tamil Nadu “Freedom from corruption”
Sevalaya, a service organization, arranged a programme on “Freedom from corruption” on Monday. Chief guest Mr. Vijay Anand of 5th Pillar, an organization devoted to eradication of corruption.
Founder and Managing Trustee, Sevalaya, V. Muralidharan spoke of the organization and the challenges it faced in its mission. Mr. Vijay told students that the responsibility of freeing India from corruption lay with them. He said the only way corruption could be eradicated was by taking a stand against paying bribes, following which the students pledged not to give or accept bribes.
© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu

Monday, August 6, 2007

August Campaign at Tiruvallur 6th August 2007

The August Campaign was flagged off from Marina Beach at at 8 am by Mr.M.B.Nirmal,(founder of 5th Pillar and Exnora International) and noted citizens of Chennai from near the Gandhi statue, marching through the statues of the important and 'true' leaders of our nation on Sun, 5th August 2007. Later in the day, the 5th Pillar team visited Chennai local chapters and interacted with few small gatherings.

On 6th of August they Addressed a few Colleges and Schools in Tiruvallur District.The campaign started off at Nazareth College of Arts and Science where the President of 5th pillar Mr.Vijay Anand Spoke on the topic "CORRUPTION FREE INDIA" .

The Principal Ms.Jayakodi, Secretary Henry Maris and HOD Tamil Dr.Kannadasan were among the others who attended the meeting.

Next the team went to "Sevalaya" a non-profit organization and addressed the students of the School and answered a few questions put by the students. The students who came up with best answers on how to eradicate corruption were presented with Maps of India and the World. The Head of Sevalaya Mr.Muralidaran, the Principal Mr.Chitibabu and the Head Office In charge of 5th Pillar Mr.Sampath Kumar were among the few who attended the meeting.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

5th Pillar Meeting Held on August 4, 2007 at Hotel Sangeetha, Koyambedu, Chennai

5th Pillar conducted a meeting at Hotel Sangeetha, Koyambedu Chennai, which was attended by the District convenors ,coordinators and the members of 5th Pillar. M.B.Nirmal of 5th pillar and Exnora International and the president of 5th Pillar Vijay Anand and others addressed the gathering. A CD "How to Use RTI" was released by the Director Actor Parthiban and was received by M.B.Nirmal along with the board members. The coordinators Nagarajan, pichandi, the kid who questioned the then President Dr.Abdul Kalam about how to combat corruption, Priyanka and others attended the meeting.

The plan for the 30 day road show of 5th Pillar's 'Freedom From Corruption" campaign starting on Sunday the 5th Aug, 07 and ending on 5th Sep 07, covering all the districts of TN and the use of the powerful 'RTI' Act were discussed.

Many of the members who attended the meeting gave willingness to join the fight against corruption and supported the concept of spreading 5th Pillar’s ideas through out India. The book written by Professor Vishwanathan on "How To Use Right To Information Act” was also released.

5th Pillar in NEWS

In the News:

Friday, August 3, 2007

August Campaign against Corruption - Hindu Release

Date:04/08/2007 URL:
Tamil Nadu - Chennai Campaign against corruption
Staff Reporter
Chennai: Volunteers of 5th Pillar, an organisation against corruption, have launched a State-wide campaign urging people to refrain from giving or accepting bribe.
The members will organise meetings and signature campaigns in each district throughout the month. To interest people in the effort, the organisation has printed one lakh copies of a ‘zero rupee’ note that bears the inscription ‘I will neither give nor take bribe’. The notes will be distributed during meetings, said 5th Pillar president Vijay Anand.
An informative session on the Right to Information Act will be held at Hotel Sangeetha in Koyambedu on Saturday. A rally will be held on the Marina on Sunday. For details, call 65273056 or log on to ww
© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu

Thursday, August 2, 2007

"Corruption Free" India Not A Distant Dream Anymore

We all know that Corruption has always been a longstanding social evil un the day to day life of every Indian citizen. The Indian government has always made anti-corruption measures available for the benefit of the citizen, but corruption has always defeated those measures and flourished. We are sure that each one of you or your family has directly or indirectly been a victim of corruption.
Do you want to go on, tolerating corruption OR should we all join forces to chase corruption out of everyday routine of an Indian citizen?

The fight against corruption need no longer be the worry of the government alone. Ironically corruption is the only language the whole India understands. We need like minded supporters to work towards a common goal
“Corruption Free India”

Interested in joining hands with us to work to create change, towards an India free from corruption?

5th Pillar has announced August 2007 to be a corruption free month in India, and is planning for a state wide drive in Tamil Nadu to raise awareness about corrupt practices prevalent in India and to transfer knowledge to our next generations in schools and colleges on fighting corruption through RTI (Right To Information act).

We have now appointed Area Coordinators for 29 towns/cities/district HQ in Tamil Nadu and few major towns and cities in other parts of India. We are now embarking on a 30 day road show of 5th Pillar's "Freedom From Corruption" campaign spearheading the campaign with the powerful 'RTI' Act and the 'Sign of Unwillingness to Bribe' - the Zero rupee note. We are starting on Sunday the 5th Aug, 07 and ending on 5th Sep 07.
We are covering all the districts of TN in those 30 days, we would have distributed 1.5 lakh Zero Rupee notes to school children, youth in colleges and the general public, and we would have obtained lakhs of signatures on our 'very large' Zero Rupee Note banner from people enroute our tour.