Imagine if you had to pay a bribe to see your newborn baby, get your water supply connected or obtain your driving licence. It's an everyday fact of life in India - but campaigners are now fighting back, using people power and the internet.
"Uncover the market price of corruption," proclaims the banner on the homepage of ipaidabribe.com.
It invites people to share their experiences of bribery, what a bribe was for, where it took place and how much was involved.
Launched in August, the site gives Indians a chance to vent their frustrations anonymously and shine a spotlight on the impact of corruption on everyday life.
"I did the driving test correctly but still the official said I was driving too slow, I realised his intention so gave him 200 Rupees and got the thing done," is a typical example of a posting.
The website was the brainwave of Ramesh and Swati Ramanathan, founders of a not-for-profit organisation in Bangalore called Janaagraha which literally means "people power".
"Bribery is routinely expected in interactions with government officials", Swati Ramanathan told me, "to register your house, to get your driving licence, domestic water connection, even a death certificate."
Having lived in the US and the UK for several years, they were dismayed on their return to see how widespread corruption had become and decided to do something about it.
The website has evolved into a consumer comparison site where people can also get information and advice in different languages on how to avoid paying bribes.
So far, nearly 10,000 bribe experiences have been reported across 347 cities and 19 government departments.
Solving the problem of bribery in India is not going to happen overnight. But ipaidabribe.com shows that ordinary people can be turned from the victims of corruption into part of the solution.
2011-06-09 13:29 编辑：kuaileyingyu