Bribery and corruption have become such accepted vices that the second we enter into a government office to get some work done, we assume putting a few notes into the file would fasten things up. Voices have been raised against the practice and more often than not it has continued to flourish due to the officers themselves encouraging it.
In a classic example of how change needs to come from within, this Panchayat officer in Kerala has made his anti-bribe policy clear with a very quirky message on his desk. Abdul Saleem Palliyalthody has been serving as a clerk at the Angadipuram panchayat in Kerala for three years now and has a board on his desk in Malayalam which translates to, ‘The government pays me Rs. 811 a day (Rs. 24,340 a month) to serve you. If you are not happy with my service, please tell me about it.’ Now, that’s a witty way of telling those seeking his service that no bribes are needed.
The officer suffers from 40 percent polio disability but that does not deter him from making field trips. The 42-year-old updates figures on the message every time he gets an increment. Apart from his work, he helps people become aware of their rights and goes beyond his responsibility to help people out.
This clerk’s anti-bribe policy and the message on his desk went viral after a few visitors posted photos of it online, because good work must garner every kind of recognition it deserves. Venkaiah Naidu tweeted in praise of the officer as well.
Appreciate the honesty & spirit of Mr. Abdul Saleem, Panchayat clerk in #Kerala. Public service should be the motto of every Govt employee. pic.twitter.com/kRH1qMLWgL
— M Venkaiah Naidu (@MVenkaiahNaidu) March 29, 2017
Kudos to Abdul Saleem Palliyalthody and here’s hoping he inspires several others to be as honest as him.