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avatar for Vijay Anand

Vijay Anand

5th Pillar
President
Chennai, India
I co-founded and head 5th Pillar, a nonprofit organization that aims to encourage, enable, and empower every citizen of India to eliminate corruption at all levels of society. We use the Zero Rupee Note and the Right to Information(RTI) Act of India, to make willing citizens to pursue any governmental work in India without the briber, delay or disrespect which is otherwise common in Indian government offices.

5th Pillar believes that the citizens of a society are the foundation for the nation and hence our main objective is to strengthen democracy by way of preparing the next generation youth to be socially responsible and democratically empowered in all aspects- starting from paying taxes, following traffic rules, adhering to better environment friendly practices, and very importantly helping fellow citizens to live a bribe-free life by educating them on the procedures they learn from 5th Pillar or other means. In order to sensitize the young generation to become such aware and empowered citizens and to educate them about the various laws governing their rights and in the society, 5th Pillar has conducted awareness programs in more than 3000 schools and colleges to empower and train students on innovative methods to tackle bribery and corruption in the public domain.

5th Pillar has acquired a special consultative status from the United Nations' Economic and Social Council in New York and has taken part in the UN's Global compact program in India. We have also won the citizens' media award from Ashoka Foundation in 2011, for using creative methods like the Zero rupee note to reach our Zero-bribe message to the people. 5th Pillar has been covered by almost all leading newspapers and television channels towards our grassroots work of educating citizens on their democratic duties and rights.

The focus of 5th Pillar in the immediate future is to reach out to children and youth largely, and subsequently galvanize the participation of huge number of youth in our mission, as 65% of India's 1.3 billion population has been reported to be under age 35. The problem is deep rooted, humongous and daunting. Therefore the solution is only possible by engagement of millions of children and youth, and creating a new generation attitude, mindset and action towards/against bribery and corruption in public life.