Sunday, June 6, 2010

If not us, who? If not now, when?

Good day everyone!!!
I want to tell you something that might trigger your thoughts. You might have talked about this topic many times with your friends and family. I am sure you care about it, but you don’t believe that YOU can make a DIFFERENCE or you strongly believe that it can’t be changed. Have you guessed it??? Yes, you are right. It’s about our country and the problems we face in our day to day life…
We are a developing nation for more than 60 years… Our development really gained momentum from 1991 after the economic reforms. People sensed that there are opportunities for everyone to create wealth and live prosper. Education is the key driver for our growth. You can see that in your case and people around you. Millions of people are out of poverty and we have excelled in many sectors like IT, space research, biotechnology, banking, telecommunications etc…
In the growth process, we have consciously neglected to act on a major reform – ELIMINATE CORRUPTION IN INDIA. The result is unbelievable. Every public service in our country can be obtained only by paying EXTRA to the officials. Right from a child is born to his/her end of life, he/she has to bribe for every single service from the government. Birth certificate, community certificate, driver license, marriage certificate, ration card, property registration, passport, police verification, water connection, gas connection, police FIR, court judgment, public hospital services, senior citizen services, pension, death certificate, dependents eligibility services and the list goes on…
You and I know the impact of corruption on our lives very well. Our dads paid 20 rupees for their driver licenses, we pay 100 rupees for ours and our kids will pay 500 rupees for their licenses. The BIG question is, what are we going to do about it??? Till now, we have either ignored or whined about our state. We have increased our tolerance level assuming that society cannot be changed and blamed the system/politicians. We expect someone to bring the change and clean the mess. Have you ever heard about a change in which people is not part of it? All major movements like French revolution, American independence, Elimination of slavery in America, Indian independence struggle, Abolition of Sati, License Raj reform , were successful only when the people believed in the change and actively participated for the cause. Our country is known for social reforms and we had great reformers in time. We are now again in the crossroads. We can either ask our sons & daughters to pay their part of EXTRA or believe in ourselves that we can eliminate corruption completely from our society within 10 years.
Organize for CHANGE!!!
What if I tell you that you can take concrete steps towards a corruption free India? What if I ask you to forget all the practical difficulties for five minutes and believe that you personally can bring the change? Yes… it’s possible!!! You and I can eliminate corruption from our nation, if we start believing in ourselves. We have the technology, and ability to organize change. All we need is willingness and confidence to take the first step towards it. There is a movement in India called 5th Pillar that is organizing citizens against corruption. Innovation is the core of the movement. A Zero Rupee note for showing our resistance to corruption and it works!!! Read more about Zero Rupee note in the world bank blog site.

How can we contribute?
This is very important. We all know that the problem exists and we need to solve it. At the same time, we have our personal life, career and entertainment. But, that’s not an excuse to ignore action. We can do this without affecting our regular life. Seven things you can do in the next seven days….
Declare that our nation is corruption free by 2020.
Believe that you can bring change by active participation.
Promise to neither accept not give bribe.
Join the 5th pillar movement (www.5thpillar.org)
Volunteer your free time in the grass root activities and take leadership.
Donate one day lunch money every month to run the movement.
Spread the word to your friends and family.
The next 10 years (from now to 2020) is very crucial for us to become a developed nation. This is our last chance to leave a better nation for our future generations. If we capitalize it, we will be remembered as a generation of reformers who believed in ourselves and our future. Please think about it, talk to your friends and family, believe in the cause, contribute to the change and spread the word. We can eliminate corruption from all levels of our society before 2020.
If not us, who? If not now, when???

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