Corruption story from our Isfit ambassador

Our Isfit ambassador from India, Soumya Jindal, has shared her incredible story about corruption with us.

Read it, and please share your story as well. How does corruption affects you?
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Anti Corruption: the movement begins!

 ‘Corruption’ is one of the few things that link the diverse world together in a great way. It is universal; it exists in all countries, both developed and developing, in the public and private sectors, as well as in non-profit and charitable organizations. It has been in the society, for as long as one can think, perishing it, ever so slowly. It is an amazing fact, then, that Corruption has not until recently been considered as a matter of major significance.

Corruption is viewed differently in the views of different people. The underlying causes of corruption remain poorly understood and widely debated. Research on the causes of corruption is compounded by the difficulties inherent in disentangling the effects of social norms from the effects of legal enforcement. Specifically, societies that collectively place less importance on rooting out corruption, and thus have weak anti-corruption social norms, may simultaneously have less legal enforcement. Understanding the real causes of corruption is of central importance in reforming economic and social institutions: if corruption is predominantly norm-based, interventions that focus exclusively on boosting legal reforms will likely fail.

In India, Corruption is synonymous to Politicians. It is believed that money and corruption are ruining the land, crooked politicians betray the working man, pocketing the profits and treating the citizens like sheep. However, this is not an entirely correct approach. The question that should be raised here is that even if the politicians pledge to cleanse the system and resist temptation, can a change really be brought about?

Even though the people long to be honest and live in a corruption-free world, the irony remains that they themselves give into corruption on trivial matters. Everyone has at some time been tempted to give or accept an inducement to act in a way that does not conform to ethics and law. Most people have given into that temptation on occasion, even if only very rarely and in small matters. Wherever there are transactions that offer the opportunity for personal advantage or profit someone, somewhere will take advantage of that opportunity. Corruption can be such a part of life that citizens of a badly corrupt country may scarcely imagine that it can be reduced or eliminated. Are we condemned to accept corruption, however much we hate it?

Corruption can be a major obstacle in the process of economic development and in modernizing a country. Many now feel that it should receive priority attention in a country’s development agenda. This greater recognition that corruption can have a serious adverse impact on development has been a cause for concern among developing countries. In a recent survey of 150 high level officials from 60 third world countries, the respondents ranked public sector corruption as the most severe obstacle confronting their development process. Corruption also strengthens and encourages bad governance. Law becomes taken for granted, human rights are not respected, accountability and lost and transparency declines as corruption increases. Corruption leads to the depletion of national wealth. It is often responsible for increased costs of goods and services, the funneling of scarce public resources to uneconomic high profile projects at the expense of the much needed projects such as schools, hospitals and roads, or the supply of potable water, diversion and misallocation of resources, conversion of public wealth to private and personal property, inflation, imbalanced economic development, weakling work ethics and professionalism, hindrance of the development of fair in market structures and unhealthy competition there by deterring competition. Large scale corruption hurts the economy and impoverishes entire population. In Social sphere, corruption discourages people to work together for the common good. Frustration and general apathy among the public result in a weak civil society. 

Corruption exists in all countries it is more widespread in low income countries. This is not because people in poor countries are more corruptible than their counterparts in rich countries. It is simply because conditions in poor countries are more conducive for the growth of corruption. Bribery and graft are crimes of calculation and not of passion. Hence, when benefits are large, chances of getting caught are small, and penalties when caught are light, then many people will succumb.
The conclusion once can infer here is that Corruption is the enemy of development, and of good governance. It must be got rid of. Both the government and the people at large must come together to achieve this national objective. In a state where corruption abounds, laws must be very numerous. Laws can be effective only when they are backed by powerful professionals and a determine youth.
The youth is one such section of the society that has the moral duty of challenging corruption and also has the power of giving a boost to corruption. It becomes important in such a case to educate and aware the youth about Corruption and its allied activities. The Youth needs to understand that since corruption has been a part of the way of living for so long, it cannot be completely eliminated. However, it can be checked and brought under control so that the bad effects are minimized.
The truth is that the fight for justice against corruption is never easy. It never has been and never will be. It exacts a toll on our self, our families, our friends, and children. In the end, the price we pay is well worth holding on to our dignity.

Corruption has its own motivations, and one has to thoroughly study that phenomenon and eliminate the foundations that allow corruption to exist.
Paul Struges, in his paperwork, CORRUPTION, TRANSPARENCY AND A ROLE FOR LIBRARIES, believes that uncorrupted politicians and civil society campaigning bodies propose a variety of approaches to the problem of corruption. Institutional reform, powerful legal sanctions, and the creation of regulatory bodies are amongst the types of approach that appear in anti-corruption programmes. Forming an essential part of all of them, is increased transparency.
There may seem to be little, but societies do change and the direction of change can be for the better if the goodwill is there.

Corruption kills livelihood. It is the need of the hour to join the voice of Anti-Corruption. Millions of people are dying due to wars, famines and calamities because another million seek profit everywhere.

Soumya Jindal
International Ambassador, ISFit

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