• Champion of Change
  • 7 years ago

"I am a bribe fighter. Are you one?" : Rituraj fights LPG mafia

Reported on September 27, 2013 from Bangalore, Karnataka  ι Report #3

"You resist and shout back. You tell the manager that he has no right to force you to buy anything from the agency. You tell about the recording and your complaint"

Rituraj Kumar is an IT professional now staying in Bangalore. He works in iGate Global solutions as a software engineer, and is known among his friends and colleagues as an achiever and a person with grit. 

Hailing from a very small village - Patwatoli in Bihar; known for its young boys cracking the highly competitive IIT Joint entrance examinations, and making their way to the top engineering colleges, Rituraj Kumar is a tough nut to crack. 


He is not your faint hearted, soft spoken nerd. He has nerves of steel an he has shown it in the way he has fought against corruption and bribery in the issue of LPG cylinders in the city of Bangalore.


Trying to get an LPG connection in Bangalore, after he came in to the city, he was shocked to find that the distributors of HP, Bharat Gas and Indane were quoting a figure of anywhere between Rs 7500 to Rs 10,500 for an LPG connection. These prices are inclusive of the gas stove prices, and without buying a gas stove from the distributor one would not be able to get the connection. That is the way the distribution system works in the LPG sector.


He also politely enquired if he would be given an receipt and the answer was a firm no. He enquired and found out that the cost of the LPG connection should not be more than Rs 4700.


Now, Rituraj got into the act and found out a way to get the LPG connection without paying a bribe, and has written about that in IPaidaBribe.com .


The way he has gone about fighting corruption in LPG delivery is amazing. Apart from advising customers to keep their phones ready for voice and video recording, he even recalls the exact step by step process of taking the fight to its logical conclusion.


First he records the audio of the distributor or his manager quoting the inflated price and uploads that in the Bharat Gas complaints website.


Then he visits the distributor after the distributor calls him based on the complaint. He writes of his experience as a bribe fighter thus "The manager will butter you up that connection will be issued in a week time. But the manager will unnecessarily delay in issuing connection and will make the same excuse every time you meet/call him. Actually it took 3 weeks in my case."


And he goes on "Manager will start shouting at you that because of you there was an enquiry from petroleum ministry. He will force you to buy stove and some other stuffs from agency. You resist and shout back. You tell that manager has no right to force you to buy anything from agency. You tell about the recording and tell you are going to submit another complaint against the agency about the forced sale of stuffs by him"


Finally Rituraj has found his way. He got the LPG connection without paying a bribe. How long did it take him to achieve this feat? It is a fairly long eight month wait after he put in his complaint in the Bharat Gas complaints site. He has been defiantly using an induction stove  while waiting for the LPG connection


Rituraj is very proud man now. After showing that corruption and bribery can be fought he does not mince words when he says truimphantly " I am a bribe fighter, are you one?"

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