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Janaagraha: Be The Change You Want To See

Janaagraha, a name popular to many in Bangalore, is an organization that is trying to break our silence on the rampant corruption, injustice , poor allocation of resources happening around the country. Started in 2001, by Ramesh Ramanathan, Janaagraha’s mission is to improve urban governance and increase people’s participation in public programmes through innovative initiatives.

The prominent ones are :

  • I Paid A Bribe :  A  truly unique initiative to combat corruption. Just log onto and register all those incidents where you were forced to pay bribe to a government official. The portal will present hard facts about acts of corruption happening in a particular city which will help the organisation to push for more consistent standards of law enforcement and regulation.
  • is a superb platform that aims to bring together people committed to urban issues be it electoral or civic. It aims to build a networks of empowered communities and local civic bodies, promote civic awareness at the neighbourhood level.
  • Ward Infrastructure & Services Assessment(WISA) – WISA  is a programme to assess quality of life in urban areas. It analyses various wards by the quality of infrastructure and rates them on a scale of 0 to 10. WISA helps residents and municipalities get a sense of how their local area measures up  against the benchmarks set by the government. The project looks at water supply, sanitation,electricity,public health,public safety, civic amenities, transport and environment to arrive at a rating. WISA brings forth the shortcomings in the system and facilitates direct accountability of local administration to the urban citizens.
  • Area Suraksha Mitra – trains the local public in aspects of firefighting,first aid ,neighbourhood security,CPR etc. Started in collaboration with Directorate of Home Guards & Civil Defence its goal is to strengthen the hand of police and rescue workers in times of emergency.
  • Bala Janaagraha – is an education programme for children equipping them with knowledge and values to become a conscientious citizen of the country. The programme brings children of different schools together encourage them to interact with the community volunteers during the classroom sessions. It helps them to get the idea of participation, grassroots engagement in a democracy. As of now , the programme is running in about 30 schools in Bengaluru.
  • Proof : A key initiative on public disclosure – Public Records of Operations and Finance is now leading the public policy formulation on direct accountability of Urban Local Bodies  at the national level. After doing a successful pilot in Benguluru , Proof is now engaging with government to create a framework within which cities across India can disclose their performance on Standardized Level Benchmarks (SSLBs). The programme has received several accolades from the UNDP and the World Bank.

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