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Want to fight corruption? Pay a bribe with ‘Zero’ rupees

July 12, 2011

Writer – Meera Vijayann

Common citizens often believe that they are helpless when it comes to fighting corruption. Be it paying a ‘fine’ to the traffic police for no reason or an under-the-table donation to the college they wish to send their children to, bribes , unfortunately have become an inseparable part of everyday life.  Even worse, most people have begun to accept it. Surprisingly, few people understand that the national attitude towards corruption can be changed with just a little effort.  The best example is, perhaps, 5th Pillar, a Chennai-based NGO,  which introduced an simple, effortless idea to tackle bribes  – Zero rupee notes.

The motive of the note is not just to ‘passive aggressively’ deal with pretty corruption that people face on a daily basis but to promote ‘zero’ tolerance towards corruption on the whole. Although, there were obvious doubts whether the idea may truly work in a country like India which ranks 87th in the world for corruption, the response has been fairly positive on various levels.  Countries across the world are now adopting zero currencies to tackle their corruption in their own systems. Well, what are you waiting for? The next time, keep a zero rupee note in hand. It’s a small way of saying that you care enough to say ‘no’.


Note5th Pillar is actively looking for volunteers all through India to spread the word and fight against the corruption. Interested? It takes just an email to make the change.

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