People A new website started by a group of friends encourages users to share instances of bribery

How many times have we given bribes to get our work done? While some have no qualms about parting with gifts and goodies to get whatever they want done, there are many who feel otherwise. Bribery is corrupting our system in such a way that we don’t seem to be able to get our work done without hassles. Even the have-nots fall a prey to this system and are made to run from pillar to post for something as small as getting a verification from the cops. To make these and several other issues public and to put a stop to the practice of bribery, four friends decided on sharing their experience online. Their idea was: ‘Sharing will tell them, they are not alone. There are others who are victims of the same evil.’

Wanting to be anonymous and calling themselves ‘Indians’, the friends launched ‘Bribebook.com’ The reason the Indians choose to be anonymous is because they want users to take the site forward instead of it becoming a personal page or remaining restricted to a small group.

The portal is a blatant copy of a popular networking page but the founders say this has been done on purpose. “It isn’t to create something better or fancier than the popular site we chose to look like, it is about familiarity for users and the need to be quick about posting something without having to spend more than 30 seconds to update it and narrate instances where they have had to pay a bribe,” says one of the founders.

The four youngsters feel it’s time to bring about change in society and there is no better way of doing it than encouraging people to share their experiences online.

“Also keeping in mind the trouble the users might get into, we have decided to keep the posts anonymous. And after we have registered enough complaints, we ourselves will approach the authorities with the highest number of complaints registered,” say the Indians.

But the idea is not to threaten or instil fear. “It is to create awareness about a system we are part of. Once the site gets popular, bribe takers themselves will be aware that they will eventually get exposed.. As individuals we are powerless but as a group a lot of change can be brought about. Bribebook is a way of silent intervention — no rallies, no banners.

Bribebook.com is barely a few weeks old but it has already registered 50 users and some have posted their complaints as well. There are some who have also written about the positive way in which bribebook helped them get their work done and how the official apologised for his actions. “This update was registered by a user from another state and we were surprised at his feedback later which said his work was done,” say the Indians.

PRABALIKA M. BORAH

It isn’t an issue to create something better than the site who we look like, it is about familiarity for users.

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