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Inspired by the historic Dandi March led by Mahatma Gandhi in India’s fight for freedom from foreign rule, a group of NRIs have organized a 240-mile walk in the United States against corruption in India.
The event, termed “Dandi March II,” starts at Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Park, San Diego, California on March 12. Walkers will follow a route that goes through Los Angeles and ends March 26 at the Gandhi Statue in the Embarcadero area in San Francisco. The dates coincide with the dates of Gandhi’s historic march in 1930.
Several other cities in the United States, India and eight other countries are joining the movement by organizing supporting events.
Since independence, corruption in India has grown every year and can be considered endemic to the political and bureaucratic system. The Indian populace has learned to accommodate corruption, but the last straw appears to have been the 2G Spectrum scandal, is believed to have drained the Indian exchequer of Rs. 176,000 crores ($ 40 Billion).
“It is a shame that more than trillion dollars are stashed away in foreign havens, while 80 percent of Indians earn less than 2$ per day and every second child is malnourished,” said an organizer of the march.
Movements against corruption appear to have sprung up spontaneously at various parts of India. Now Non-Resident Indians want to make a difference as well, and the U.S. March seeks to give the cause international exposure.
This effort has the support of progressive groups in India such as Lok Satta Party, India Against Corruption, The 5th Pillar (Chennai), Youth For Better India (Hyderabad) Saaku (Bangalore) and Save India From Corruption.
What can you do to be a part of this movement?
Check out http://www.dandimarch2.org/ . Three volunteers, Subhash Karri, Jawahar Kambhampati, and Sunil Kumar, plan to complete the entire walk of 240 miles, but several other participants have pledged to walk shorter distances in their own neighborhoods. Details are available at the website. You can also show your support by donating to the cause.