All you need to know about Anjali Bhardwaj: RTI activist being honoured by US for combatting corruption
The 48-year-old activist, who has been involved in the RTI movement for over two decades, has helped drive several legislations, including the RTI Act 2005, and The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, among others
Right to Information (RTI) activist Anjali Bhardwaj is one of the 12 individuals who were named by the Joe Biden administration for a newly-instituted International Anti-Corruption Champions Award.
On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced that he was establishing a new International Anti-corruption Champions Award. This honour would recognise "individuals who have worked tirelessly, often in the face of adversity, to defend transparency, combat corruption, and ensure accountability in their own countries", he said.
"As President Biden has emphasised, our commitment to truth, transparency, and accountability is a mission that we must live at home and exemplify abroad. I commend the dedication of these 12 brave individuals to these same ideals," Blinken stated.
Congratulations to @AnjaliB_ for being named one of the inaugural @StateDept International Anticorruption Champions Award winners! This award recognizes courageous work of anticorruption advocates from around the world. Read more: https://t.co/Af95S4urVF #UnitedAgainstCorruption pic.twitter.com/hNzCYPSTVx
— Chargé D’Affaires Donald L. Heflin (@USAmbIndia) February 23, 2021
The 48-year-old activist has been chosen as one of the recipients for the inaugural edition of the award, along with activists from other developing countries.
She is a co-convenor of the National Campaign for People's Right to Information (NCPRI) and has been involved in the RTI movement for over two decades.
Her activism helped drive the Right to Information Act 2005, the Whistle-Blowers Protection Act, 2011, The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, and the Grievance Redress Bill among other legislations.
She is also a founder of the Satark Nagrik Sangathan and works to empower the residents of Delhi's slums to use the RTI Act to get their rights, The Hindu reported.
Satark Nagrik Sangathan is a citizens' group with a mandate to promote transparency and accountability in government and encourage the active participation of citizens.
Taking to Twitter, Bhardwaj said the award is a "recognition of the collective effort of people and groups across the country who hold power to account."
Thank you 🙏 This is a recognition of the collective effort of people and groups across the country who hold power to account ✊🏽 https://t.co/ZXIbLy8fGT
— Anjali Bhardwaj (@AnjaliB_) February 23, 2021
"The struggle is quite intense, especially at this time, when we are seeing an attack on all legislations that empower people and on people who demand accountability and transparency in the country," she told The Wire on Tuesday.
Most recently, Bhardwaj had approached the Central Information Commission (CIC) against the denial of minutes of the meeting of the selection committee on appointment of Lokpal chairperson and members by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
The CIC, however, refused the disclosure of the information.
In addition to Bharadwaj, the other activists who will receive the award are: Ardian Dvorani of Albania, Diana Salazar of Ecuador, Sophia Pretrick of Micronesia, Juan Francisco Sandoval Alfaro of Guatemala, Ibrahima Kalil Gueye of Guinea, Dhuha A Mohammed of Iraq, Bolot Temirov of Kyrgyz Republic, Mustafa Abdullah Sanalla of Libya, Victor Sotto of The Philippines, Francis Ben Kaifala of Sierra Leone, and Ruslan Ryaboshapka of Ukraine.
"They inspire us and so many of their counterparts pursuing these ideals around the world. The United States enforces one of the most robust anti-corruption frameworks in the world," Blinken said.
With inputs from PTI
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