Bangalore, December 9: “Eradication of any social evil can happen successfully only when every member of the society works towards it. Corruption is a systemic issue in our country and the only way to uproot this menace is by working towards change from the grass roots. Highlighting this issue to youth and getting them to understand the importance of tackling the issue is a wonderful way of starting to address the problem” said Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde, Karnataka State flagging off Vrath Yatra – a 38-day bus journey across the country to connect with the youth and urge them to pledge against corruption.
Tata Tea’s Jaago Re has launched this Vrath Yatra, which starts Wednesday (Dec 9)- International Anti-Corruption Day- will travel from Bangalore to Kolkata via Mumbai and Delhi, touching a total of 12 cities on the way, there by covering a significant cross section of the country.
Speaking on a more serious note, Hegde said that corruption is one of the biggest hindrances to the development of our country. “We have had cases where senior IPS, and IAS officers were caught accepting bribe, and corruption is not contained only to politics, its runs deep in educational institutions as well. US $ 1456 billion was uncovered at Swiss Banks, the kind of money can remove India’s international debt three times over. With the kind of work we do, last year alone, I spoke at 127 educational institutions telling them against corruption” added Hegde.
He further said, “I wish this Yatra a grand success and wish it achieves its objective of reaching out to youth and getting them to pledge against corruption.”
The branded bus, which will be the central factor of the Yatra, will interact with the youth in every city, understand their perspectives on the issue of corruption and impress upon them the need for their involvement – all in a fun and relaxed manner that they would associate and respond to, said a Tata release Tuesday.
Speaking about the campaign, Sangeeta Talwar, Executive Director, Tata Tea Limited, said, “In 2009, Tata Tea migrated the Jaago Re campaign from voting to address what is the single largest malaise hampering the future of our nation - Corruption. “Har subah sirf utho mat but Jaago Re” to the change you want to see - stop aiding and abetting corruption. It has the power to pin us down and root us to where we are, severely hampering entrepreneurial activity, denying economic opportunity and limiting prosperity.
“The Vrath Yatra and the Jaago Re internet site will connect with the hearts, minds and souls of young India’s emerging social consciousness and hopefully make a huge difference.”
Tata Tea also launched a Corruption Index, a 3-city study to bring out the perceptions of citizens, across socio-economic classes, about corruption and its impact on the social and economic fibre of society in the nation.
Tata Tea launched an integrated media campaign – “Khilana Bandh, Pilana Shuru” in August this year, and over the last 3 months it has collected over 3.1L pledges through various routes – internet, mobile, retail and even schools.