The United States honored Indian social activist Anjali Bhardwaj on Tuesday with the International Anti-Corruption Champions Award.
According to a statement by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the award recognizes people who have worked tirelessly, often in the face of adversity, to uphold transparency, fight corruption and ensure accountability in their own countries.
“As President Biden has pointed out, our commitment to truth, transparency and accountability is a mission that we must live at home and embody abroad. I salute the dedication of these 12 brave people to these same ideals, ”said Blinken.
Congratulations to Bolot Temirov from the Kyrgyz Republic and Anjali Bhardwaj from India @StateDeptPrize for champions of the fight against corruption. Today, we honor their courageous work to fight corruption and to defend transparency and accountability. https://t.co/eDfkdrgl04pic.twitter.com/AqQcw7Cz5Y
– State_SCA (@State_SCA) February 23, 2021
Besides Ms. Bhardwaj, the laureates include Ardian Dvorani from Albania, Diana Salazar from Ecuador, Sophia Pretrick from the Federated States of Micronesia, Juan Francisco Sandoval Alfaro from Guatemala, Ibrahima Kalil Gueye from Guinea, Anjali Bhardwaj from India, Dhuha To Mohammed from Iraq, Bolot Temirov from the Kyrgyz Republic, Mustafa Abdullah Sanalla from Libya, Victor Sotto from the Philippines, Francis Ben Kaifala from Sierra Leone and Ruslan Ryaboshapka from Ukraine. They inspire us, and so many of their counterparts, who pursue these ideals all over the world.
According to the State Department, Ms. Bhardwaj has been an active member of the right to information movement in India for more than two decades. She is also the founder of Satark Nagrik Sangathan (SNS), a citizens’ group whose mandate is to promote transparency and accountability in government and to encourage active citizen participation.
Under his leadership, SNS created legislative bulletins that tracked the performance of representatives in a series of categories, defining roles and responsibilities as public servants.
In addition, Ms. Bhardwaj is an organizer of the National Campaign for Peoples’ Right to Information, which has successfully advocated for the creation of an Anti-Corruption Ombudsman and the Whistleblower Protection Act, offering protection for those who denounce corruption and abuse of power.