Corruption ends in one rural school in India’s Jharkhand state thanks to IndiaUnheard
Mukesh Rajak, IndiaUnheard community correspondent, has made an impact in his community with his video ‘Pay Bribe, Take Education.’ The video made the local administration take action against a school that took bribes from students.
‘Pay Bribe, Take Education’ was Mukesh’s first video. In this video he highlighted one of the most serious issues within his community: corruption in schools. He interviewed locals who complained that teachers in their village school were demanding bribes from students. Later, Mukesh also interviewed the headmaster of the same school who admitted to accepting money, but insisted that students paid it ‘happily’.
After this video was published in IndiaUneard, Video Volunteers’ team in Goa sent Mukesh a DVD of it, along with the print out of the article that was published alongside the video. In September, 2010, Mukesh took this copy to the local government education office. He met the government official who was in charge of education in his area and told her about the corruption in his village. As a proof, he presented the DVD and the article to the official.
2 weeks later, on October 12, the government official informed Mukesh that the headmaster of Jagdishpur village had been removed from his post and demoted to a teacher’s rank. The official had also ordered the school to immediately stop taking any bribes from students. As a result, about 700 students Jagdishpur village school wrote their terminal exams this month without paying any bribe.
Says Mukesh, ‘The fact that I had proof on video of this corruption helped the Block Education Officer take action. I feel happy to be able to speak for my community. I am also happy to see that the children in Jagdishpur village can now attend school without needing to pay for things they can’t afford and shouldn’t have to pay for.’