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Nikhil Dey Named ‘2023 International Anti-Corruption Champion’ by the US Government

 

Indian social activist Nikhil Dey has been honored as an International Anti-Corruption Champion by the US government for 2023. This recognition highlights his decades-long commitment to empowering peasants and workers while exposing corruption in the delivery of government services. Dey is the co-founder of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), a Rajasthan-based organization at the forefront of transparency and anti-corruption movements in India.

Championing Policy Reforms

  • For the past 35 years, Nikhil Dey has been a stalwart advocate for policy reforms aimed at empowering workers in India.
  • The US State Department acknowledged his efforts in bringing official corruption to light, specifically instances such as the underpayment of workers on official projects.
  • Dey’s work has centered on building empowerment campaigns for peasants and workers, targeting corruption in the delivery of essential government services.

Pioneering Public Audits

  • One of Dey’s notable contributions is the pioneering of public audits through MKSS. Local officials are now required to report to communities on how and where resources are spent, allowing citizens to ask probing questions.
  • This practice, initiated by Dey’s organization, has spread across India, encouraging citizens to take the lead in holding officials accountable.

Community Empowerment in Rajasthan

  • United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken praised Nikhil Dey for working with underserved and marginalized populations, particularly in Rajasthan.
  • Dey and his organization have played a crucial role in helping communities demand access to essential services and rights, including education, healthcare, fair wages, and improved working conditions.
  • MKSS’s leadership has been instrumental in initiating struggles for minimum wages and transparency in the state.

International Anti-Corruption Champions Award

  • Established in 2021, the International Anti-Corruption Champions Award recognizes individuals who put their lives on the line to bring about lasting change in the fight against corruption.
  • Nikhil Dey is the first Indian to receive this prestigious award. The US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti (Ambassador of the United States of America to the Republic of India), congratulated Dey and highlighted the United States’ commitment to supporting champions like him who work for transparency, rule of law, and justice.

Important Questions Related to Exams

Q. Why has Nikhil Dey been honored by the US government for 2023?

Answer: Nikhil Dey has been recognized for his decades-long commitment to empowering peasants and workers, exposing corruption in government services.

Q. In which Indian state has Dey and Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) played a crucial role in community empowerment?

Answer: Dey and MKSS have played a crucial role in Rajasthan.

Q. What essential services and rights has Dey helped communities demand in Rajasthan?

Answer: Dey has helped demand access to education, healthcare, fair wages, and improved working conditions.

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