As social distancing is the need of the hour, the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has decided to step up the vigil by arranging webinars, online essay competitions, recorded skits and roping-in taxi and truck unions.
The Central Vigilance Commission is observing the Vigilance Awareness Week from October 27 to November 2. This is observed every year in the week that the birthday of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (31st October) falls.
This awareness week encourages citizen participation and a host of awareness campaigns are undertaken every year. The prevailing Covid-19 situation has led ACB to twist this year’s awareness events.
“We are trying to reach a maximum number of people through social distancing,” said a senior ACB officer. “The campaign includes educating school students. Online essay competitions are held in which students are given topics on measures to tackle corruption, the use of technology in battling corruption and how an individual can help in reporting bribery,”
For the first time, ACB is conducting webinars with Poddar hospital, Nehru Science Centre, Mumbai University and Homi Bhabha National Institute. “Our officers are participating in webinars to create awareness on reporting corruption, the means to approach us and awareness regarding types of corruption,” said the officer.
The ACB has also decided to give the message to root out corruption through plays, a powerful medium to impact the public. Under the initiative, police personnel including women staffers, act in the skit. The skit portrays stories that revolve around the corruption and its consequences. Due to Covid-19 situation, the skits have been recorded and broadcasted through various mediums to reach masses. “The number of corruption cases depends on the number of people approaching us and hence awareness is important.”
As per the latest statistics, the ACB has registered 518 trap cases in which a government servant or his accomplice is caught red-handed in this year. Apart from the 518 trap cases, the agency registered 10 cases of disproportionate assets and 21 cases of criminal misconduct in the state. In a trend seen in the previous years, Mumbai city continued to report less trap cases in the state with 15 cases and Pune the highest with 117 cases. Other places are Thane (37), Nashik (82), Nagpur (65), Amravati (72), Aurangabad (68) and Nanded (62).