US State Dept names Indian social activist Nikhil Dey as Intl Anti-Corruption Champion

Nikhil Dey
Nikhil Dey

WASHINGTON: Indian social activist Nikhil Dey has been named an International Anti-Corruption Champion by the US State Department.

The US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs said it recognises Dey as an Anti-Corruption Champion for his important role in social movements aimed at transparency and accountability, public audits, and participatory democracy to counter corruption in government welfare programmes in India.

The co-founder of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), Dey’s work led to transparency and anti-corruption reforms in India, helping the state of Rajasthan pioneer public policies to increase transparency and accountability.

The Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, is a people’s Organisation that works with workers and peasants in the villages of Central Rajasthan. It was set up by the people of the area in 1990 to strengthen participatory democratic processes, so that ordinary citizens could live their lives with dignity and justice. The organisation was born out of a struggle for community land held illegally by a landlord.

US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti wrote on ‘X’: “Congratulations to Nikhil Dey, a founding member of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, for being named an International Anti-Corruption Champion by the @StateDept.”

“The United States stands with champions like Dey who work for transparency, rule of law, and justice,” Garcetti said.

The International Anti-Corruption Champion Awards (ACCA) recognise people who work to promote accountability and transparency.

Meanwhile, US State Secretary Antony Blinken on Thursday (US local time) said the State Department is committed to countering corruption and promoting integrity as a foreign policy priority and core national security interest.

“On the eve of International Anti-Corruption Day, December 9, the United States is proud to honour the individuals and institutions championing transparency, accountability, integrity, and good governance worldwide,” Blinken said while honouring Global Anti-Corruption Champions.

The US State Secretary launched the International Anti-Corruption Champions Award in 2021 to recognise individuals who have taken remarkable steps to counter corruption and to demonstrate US solidarity with these heroic partners.

As many as 11 International Anti-Corruption Champions for 2023 were recognised on Thursday (US local time).

“Today, we recognise the 11 International Anti-Corruption Champions for 2023 and all those who fight for accountability, the rule of law, transparency, and press freedom. The honorees are Stanislau Ivashkevich of Belarus, Jean-Claude Mputu of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Arturo Torres of Ecuador, Nikhil Dey of India, Ali (Mukhammedali) Toktakunov of Kyrgyz Republic, Marc N. Kollie of Liberia, Veronica Mihailov-Moraru of Moldova, Vladimir Novovic of Montenegro, Annette Planells of Panama, Francisco Belo Simoes da Costa of Timor-Leste, and May De Silva of Seychelles. We are honored to work alongside champions like these to defeat corruption,” Blinken said on Thursday. (ANI)

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