If you thought a one rupee note was a rare sight, wait to hear it. India also has a zero rupee banknote. The purpose of this memo is to combat the deeply ingrained systematic corruption. Isn’t that something? The zero rupee banknote serves as a special instrument for dealing with corruption cases. Now, before we start to think that this Note is the real deal approved by the Reserve Bank of India, let’s stop your thinking. Well it isn’t. However, it is not a joke currency either. The zero rupee banknote has a larger purpose, and there are currently 3 million zero rupee banknotes in circulation. Okay, if it’s not the RBI then who germinated these notes? The 5th pillar.
5th Pillar is a Chennai-based NGO and PVO (Private Volunteer Organization) that works every day of its existence to fight the corruption that is destroying the very fabric of democracy. The idea for a zero rupee banknote came in 2007, and since then these banknotes have been used to underline shame and arouse a feeling of shame in the minds of the person involved in bribery.
The NGO-PVO distributes these notes in train stations, bus stations, markets etc. to remind people to stand up against corruption and to be aware of their rights as citizens of this country.
The zero rupee note looks very similar to the old 50 rupee note and is larger than the normal note. Instead of the Reserve Bank of India, the note says “Eliminate corruption at all levels”. The memo also contains several instructions on what to do with a citizen if an officer asks for a bribe. The slip also includes the organization’s phone numbers and a stamp that read, “This is not a banknote. “
The notes are available in different languages like Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam and Tamil. Citizens can download the banknote in ‘.jpg’ format from their official website: www.5thpillar.org
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