Awards distribution and the opening ceremony of 13th anti-corruption cartoon and 4th anti-corruption photo competition organized by Transparency International Bangladesh
December 9, a day dedicated to raising awareness against corruption has been going on since the past 15 years. According to the United Nations Development Programme - funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance.
Bangladesh, unfortunately, is one of the countries worst affected by this disease. The numbers keep on increasing day by day. It is so deeply rooted that our elders and even our peers have taken advantage of it. Starting from a small parking ticket to committing a dangerous crime, a bribe is your ticket to freedom in this country. Strong political values are much needed in fighting against corruption.
However, there’s a solution to this problem as well. There are activists, organizations and committees fighting against corruption. On the national level, we have Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) working against the corrupt since 2004. They have filed cases against many government officials. With the mission - "to combat, control, prevent corruption relentlessly and promote good practices," this commission has been successful in making people pay for their dishonesty.
“Durniti Daridro O Obichar Barray, Durniti Protirodhe Shochchar Hoi Ekshathe, Ekhoni” - Antorjatik Durniti Birodhi Dibosh
Alongside, we also have non-governmental organizations operating against corruption. This year, ahead of the national parliamentary election, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has been successful in organizing youth rallies and human chains in throughout all the 64 districts of Bangladesh. TIB stressed on commitment and implementation outlining the political parties, ensuring democratic accountability. “Sustainable Development, Peace and Good Governance; Together against Corruption,” was the theme for this year. The theme truly speaks for itself; no one can fight corruption alone but together with others, as a country standing against it can cause a ripple effect. The events were jointly organized by TIB and Bangladesh’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in cooperation with relevant district administrations, supported by cabinet division. Ensuring freedom of expression for all the citizens of Bangladesh, the program aims to see an effective implementation of anti-corruption acts.
According to TIB - anti-corruption volunteers of CCC-YES network, tens of thousands of people, public officials and representatives, professionals, civil society, media, business and young students from schools, colleges and universities joined these International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD) events. In Dhaka, a human chain was organized, at the University of Dhaka. TIB’s Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman was present at the human chain where he placed a 10 point demand, while the participants demanded transparency and accountability in all levels.
“Bangladesh’s noteworthy progress in adopting anti-corruption laws and policies is beset with widespread shortcomings in practice and enforcement levels. The possibility of enforcing the anti-corruption acts has been reduced because of some contradictory laws like Digital Security Act and Civil Service Act which become a weapon not only against freedom of expression but also against the anti-corruption movement. The government should immediately take necessary steps in correcting the laws either through amendment or annulment if needed replacing them with one that is more citizen friendly. Without an effective response from the government and ACC, the fight against corruption will fail.”
-Dr Iftekharuzzaman, Executive Director of Transparency International Bangladesh.
Like every other year, TIB organized the 13th Anti-Corruption Cartoon Competition and the 4th Anti-Corruption Photo Competition. The opening and prize giving ceremony were held on Sunday this week. “The number of participants has been increasing every year. The participation of cadet college students is remarkable. Same goes for Charukola students as well, someone always ends up getting a prize from there.” said Atia Afreen, Program Manager, Outreach and Communication, TIB.
13th Anti-Corruption Cartoon Competition
Aimed at creating a greater awareness and motivation among the young generation to say “no” to corruption, the competition focused solely on ‘corruption’ this year. A total of 751 cartoons were received from 371 cartoonists. The participants were divided into two age categories, group A (13-18 years) and group B (19-25 years).
Three best cartoonists were awarded; 1st prize - Tk75,000, 2nd prize - Tk50,000, and 3rd prize - Tk40,000, each receiving a cheque, crest and certificate.
35 cartoonists got recognition as ‘special mentions’ and were awarded a prize bond of Tk5,000 and a certificate per individual. 61 cartoons including six winners and 55 special mention cartoons were on display.
Members of the jury were Shishir Bhattacharjee, professor, and chairman, Drawing and Painting Department, Faculty of Fine Art in University of Dhaka, Ahsan Habib, cartoonist and editor of UNMAD and Sharier Khan, cartoonist and creative consultant of Punjeree Publications Ltd.
“You can convey a broad message to people by using just a picture. Corruption is the barrier holding back the development of our country. I have tried to portray the same thing through my drawing,” said Tanvir Ahmed, a participant from Rajshahi Cadet College.
4th Anti-Corruption Photo Competition
A total of 496 entries were received from 123 photographers at this competition, both professional and amateur.
In the photography competition, three photographers were awarded; 1st prize - Tk1,00,000, 2nd prize - Tk60,000 and 3rd prize - Tk40,000 each receiving a cheque, crest and certificate.
Among 123 photographers, both professionals and amateurs sent 496 entries in the competition where 16 photographers got recognition as ‘special mentions’ and were awarded a prize bond of Tk5,000 and a certificate per individual. 23 photographs including three winners and 20 special mention photographs were on display at the venue.
Members of the jury were Abir Abdullah, principal, Pathshala South Asian Media Institute and independent photographer, Shafiqul Alam Kiron, photographer, MAP Photo Agency and, Taslima Akhter, activist and freelance photographer.
“Usually, we do not think about corruption. When TIB organizes this exhibition, keeping its agenda in mind, when the competitors are drawing, they undergo a certain change in terms of mentality. When we think about the topic while drawing, the sudden realization strikes our mind that we need to stop corrupting our country” said Md Ashraful Alam - recognized as one of the special mentions out of 35. He is a student of the Department of Printmaking, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka.
At the event, Syed Nafis Sadiq was given special recognition for winning Transparency International's 20th-anniversary Yammer Community Award who earlier bagged three awards in anti-corruption cartoon competitions held from 2008 to 2011.
During the prize-giving ceremony, HE Winnie Estrup Petersen, the Royal Danish Ambassador to Bangladesh gave away the prizes and also inaugurated the week-long cartoons and photography exhibitions.
At the inauguration of the exhibition and awarding ceremony, Anders Öhrström, deputy head of mission and head of development cooperation, Embassy of Sweden; and Dr Luke Mukubvu, governance and institutional adviser- PFM and Service Delivery, DFID Bangladesh were present as guests. The event was presided over by TIB executive director Dr Iftekharuzzaman, chairperson of Board of Trustees. TIB advocate Sultana Kamal was also present at the event.
All the prize-winning cartoons and photographs were exhibited at Drik Gallery starting from Sunday to Thursday this week. The photos are also available online. For the online exhibition - https://www.ti-bangladesh.org/beta3/index.php/en/gallery/145-exibition