Local libraries are set to play a significant role in anti-corruption drive in Kerala under an innovative initiative of the state Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau to sensitise local community against graft. Under the initiative, titled ‘On-site On-line vigil visit’, regular readers of libraries, known as ”vayanasalas’ in local parlance, could report about corruption in their respective areas to the VACB. A top VACB official said the objective of the initiative was to evolve a good methodology of creating a culture of zero tolerance to corruption at the grassroot level, with local library as the medium.
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“Our mission is to nurture a zero-tolerance-to-corruption culture in the society. It should be visible and felt or experienced by everyone in the state. Joining hands with local libraries is one of the steps to achieve this goal,” Vigilance Director Jacob Thomas told PTI. Of the more than 7,900 libraries in the state, at least ten, which are very active, would be identified for this in each of the 14 districts.
A library action group would be formed with selected libraries, which are very active, vibrant and doing socially useful activities, as members and the Research and Training team of VACB would visit them libraries and develop joint plans and activities appropriate for each area. Posters, urging people to take part in anti-corruption drives, would also be displayed in these libraries.
Thomas said libraries played a significant role in cultural life and the plan was to leverage the regular readers and active members of these vayanasalas to fight against corruption in their respective areas. The members of libraries can utilise the ‘Arising Kerala’ and ‘Whistelenow’, the mobile apps developed by VACB, to document corruption and anti-corruption practices that they observe, hear or learn during their ‘on-site and on-line vigil visits’.
They can monitor the progress of various initiatives, being carried out using government fund, in their area and update information about the issues of environment pollution, plundering of natural resources and illegal encroachments.
“They can post information in the apps in the form of video, photo or audio and can share among maximum number of people,” Thomas said adding they can also suggest remedies in the mobile app and monitor the follow-up too.
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