How People First Helpline got a corrupt MRO suspended

‘People First’ helpline - 1100 was introduced by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in June 2017 to keep an eye on corruption within government. The helpline also worked to get people’s “bribe money” back. Ever since, 1100 helpline has been a medium to reach out to the government in case of any complaints on corruption. A interesting case of a Deepam connection beneficiary ended up suspending a government official who demanded bribe from the citizen after he reached out to the government’s 1100 helpline.
Shivashankar Rao, a beneficiary who had applied for gas connection on his wife’s name in 2016, asked the MRO’s office to correct his wife’s name in the ration card as it was spelt wrongly. Due to this, the Deepam connection was rejected. The middleman at the MRO’s office demanded Rs. 1000 to correct his wife’s name on the ration card. Rao, who did not have Rs. 1000 with him had borrowed it from a friend and have it to the middleman. 
However, Shivashankar Rao recently reached out to the middleman again to find out whether he had corrected the name since it has already been over two years. On finding out that the middleman still did not issue the ration card with the right name, he was upset. Much to his surprise, he received a call from 1100 helpline which sought his feedback on the government’s services. 
Rao, informed the helpline executives that he was forced to offer a bribe of Rs. 1000 for a Deepam connection and still did not receive the connection despite repeated calls. Following his complaint, the “People First -1100” helpline reprimanded the middleman at the MRO’s office and ensured that he returned Rao’s money and got the ration card delivered to his residence. 
At a recent meeting, Rao shared his experience with Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and thanked the government for being so responsive. On the other hand, he also told people to come forward to report such cases without fear. On the occasion, the Chief Minister reiterated his confidence in rooting out corruption from the state. The Chief Minister eventually ordered for MRO’s suspension for demanding bribe.
How does the helpline work?
As soon as the helpline receive the complaint, they cross verify the details to check if the allegations are true. The basic idea is to return the bribe amount and teach a lesson to the officers. The government is encouraging citizens to report any grievance on the toll-free helpline. So, if you are a victim of corruption in Andhra Pradesh, you can just pick up the phone and dial 1100. You never know, someone may just knock your door to return the bribe money!

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