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.

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