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A refurbished toilet complex in Kalyanapuram slum, Chennai, has changed the lives of people living there. Photo: Nathan G/Mint
A refurbished toilet complex in Kalyanapuram slum, Chennai, has changed the lives of people living there. Photo: Nathan G/Mint

The Giving Issue

Don't blame the politician. Contribute to make governance work in the coming year. We show you how

Candlelit vigils, sit-out protests, outbursts on social media and spontaneous marches are not the way to bring about a change in how democracy functions. Neither is going out to vote during an election when you don’t know much about the person who may become the MLA or MP to represent you.

Want a country that functions, where systems and bureaucracy excel and where you, the citizen, has the respect that the Constitution accords you with on paper?

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Ask yourself, when was the last time you cleaned the litter in your neighbourhood park? Or fought someone who promised to get your work done in a jiffy as long as you paid a small bribe? Did you say no or tell yourself it’s fine just this once?

If you are growing guiltier with every sentence, it’s time for you to roll up your sleeves and get cracking, to reclaim this country by starting the process of change with yourself. The only way to do this is to become a participatory citizen, one who knows that the 552 people who sit in the Lok Sabha for five years are not the only ones with the onus (or prerogative) to make this country a better place. It’s only when you become active that you will be able to demand action from others.

Today we are taking away this excuse—“I cannot engage with governance because I do not know where to go". We have drawn up a list of organizations that work with governance-related issues—be it freedom of media, transparency, accountability, citizens’ initiatives, parliamentary and legal reform. Take your pick. And make this democracy rock.

Also Read:

Lounge Preview | The Barking Deer

Ipaidabribe.com | Did you pay a bribe today?

Chakshu Roy | Why we need plain talk

Transparent Chennai | A better life by the Buckingham Canal

Children’s Movement for Civic Awareness | Welcome to the club

‘The government won’t, so I will’

Daksh | What’s your MLA’s score?

Haiyya | We encourage citizens to be community leaders

Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy | The law for the layman

Lounge Loves | Ramayana For Young Readers

Anuradha Parekh & Dhimant Parekh | When the news can change you

Rohini Nilekani | Are you worthy of good governance?

Accountability Initiative | What it takes to hold the system accountable

Socio Political Analysis and Research Kendra | The number-crunching revolution

Swaniti | In search of a winning formula

CGNet Swara | Spreading a revolution with words

Swati Ramanathan | Empowering the urban citizen

Video Volunteers | Movies that will change your life

The Hunger Project | How the women found their voice

Satark Nagrik Sangathan | Know whom you are voting for

MumbaiVotes | Helping the Mumbai voter become smarter

Paryavaran Mitra | Balancing public and private interests

Mission Arogya | Healthcare live

Research Foundation for Governance in India | Learning law through debates

Social Start-up | In the company of trees

Social Start-up | Mapping it out

Praja | School is in session

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