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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

Countless fought from behind scene

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 09, 2011
First Published: 23:24 IST(9/4/2011) | Last Updated: 23:27 IST(9/4/2011)

Even as Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Swami Agnivesh became the "face" of what has been touted as a people's movement vis-à-vis India Against Corruption, there were countless others who remained behind the scene to volunteer at ground zero.

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And the most striking thing was that a majority of them were impromptu participants, all members of the public, coming forward to volunteer. Kejriwal said, "Nothing was planned ahead. It was all happening on a daily basis. Our original volunteers were only a handful, rest were on-the-spot volunteers. We announced daily and people joined in."

From making human chains to controlling the crowd, managing the scenario around the stage, to distributing water to supporters, writing down names and other contact details of those showing interest in participating for wiping out corruption and also to usher in important people safely towards the stage, volunteers were there everywhere. Of course, the crowds spilled over and things were disorganised but organisers said, "a mass movement cannot be organised".

Guddu Kumar, 24, who is preparing for IAS examination, said: "I have been with the campaign for the past three months. But since April 5, it has been round-the-clock work for us."

The core team of volunteers - less then a dozen of them - came from the campaign's home office but there were countless others like Pankaj Kumar Tripathi, who joined in at the spur of the moment.

Tripathi, 33, came from Lucknow on Saturday morning to witness the jubilation at Jantar Mantar. "But when I reached the venue at 7am and saw a long queue for enrolment as volunteer, I joined in."

Of the three Ms essential for any movement, it was not just men and material that came from public. "Finances (too) were completely from public donations," Kejriwal said.


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