Arvind Kejriwal is an Indian social activist and crusader for greater transparency in Government. He was awarded Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership in 2006, for activating India's Right to Information movement at grassroots and social activities to empower the poorest citizens to fight corruption by holding the government answerable to the people
Arvind was born in Hissar, Haryana in 1968 , and graduated from IIT Kharagpur as a Mechanical Engineer in 1989. Later, he joined the Indian Revenue Service (IRS), a part of the Indian Civil Service (ICS) in 1992, and was posted at the Income-tax Commissioner's Office in Delhi. Soon, he realized that much of the corruption prevalent in government owes to lack of transparency in the process. Even while in his official position, he started crusading against the corrupt practices.
Initially, Arvind was instrumental in bringing in a number of changes to increase transparency in the Income Tax office. In January 2000, he took a sabbatical from work and founded Parivartan - a Delhi based citizensí movement which works on ensuring just, transparent and accountable governance. Thereafter, in February 2006, he resigned from the job, to work full-time at 'Parivartan'.
Together with Aruna Roy and others, he campaigned for the Right to Information Act, which soon became a silent social movement; Delhi Right to Information Act was passed in 2001 and eventually at the national-level Act the Indian Parliament passed the Right to Information Act (RTI) in 2005. Thereafter, in July 2006, he spearheaded an awareness campaign for RTI across India.
The right to information holds as much importance in the lives of the poor as it does for the general public and professionals. Arvind uses the Right to Information Act to equip individual citizens with the power to question their government. Through his organization Parivartan he promotes participation in governance by people.
Arvind was named CNN-IBN 'Indian of the Year' in Public Service for the year 2006. In addition to this he also received the Ashoka Fellow in 2004 for Civic Engagement and the 'Satyendra Dubey Memorial Award', IIT Kanpur in 2005 for his campaign for bringing transparency in Government.