How do we fight corruption at a personal level? As an inidividual it might be a lone battle, and you may end up gaining nothing and losing a lot. Take for instance getting a water connection at home or an electricity connection when setting up a new business; most of the times you cannot get the connections unless you pay a bribe to people who are responsible for providing the services at the local level. For practically everything you need to give a bribe. People claim that they had to give bribes even to obtain death certificates!
You may decide not to pay a bribe and take the matter up with higher authorities, but the problem is even people sitting there may also turn out to be corrupt and this litany of corruption may go right up till the top, wherever the top goes. You might end up never getting your work done just to set an example for other would-be “crusaders”. What is the solution than?
The problem is aggravated by the indifferent or even hostile attitude of neighbors, colleagues and even relatives. If you don’t get your work done because you haven’t paid a bribe it’s often you who would end up being termed as a fool. They will either laugh at you, or resent you for pricking at their conscience.
Why do the corrupt survive? They work together. In togetherness lies their safety and interest. They are always protecting each other and watching each other’s back. Unless there is some diehard whistleblower among them they either remain quite or become a part of the corrupt system.
On a lower level the only way you can tackle corruption is by getting people together. It might be an uphill task but it is definitely better than fighting a lone battle. Just like you there might be scores of other people who don’t want to pay a bribe just as a principal (not just to save money) but don’t know how to go about it alone. Whenever you’re visiting a place where you suspect a bribe will be demanded go with many people who too have the same need. Maybe there are 15 other people who need a water connection or electricity connection in your locality. Try to mobilize them.
At the outset it may sound like an overkill (just to get a water connection) but just imagine what you stand to lose if you continuously give in to corrupt officials. You don’t get proper roads, you get inferior quality amenities and even if somehow you are able to get water and electricity connections you are very well aware of the standard of these services. You may already be purchasing drinking water and power cuts may already have forced you to resort to using a generator or an inverter.
Form locality-based groups and organizations that can come to the assistance of those being pestered by corrupt officials. There are already many non-profit organizations working in this field and they can provide you with ample information and support if you look around.