EmpZen was born of the belief that small actions can make a huge difference. To tackle the mammoth task of holding powerful people in charge of India’s establishment accountable, our platform enables citizens—by providing a means of gathering and reporting injustices—to become an active part of the answer.
In honor of Sarla Nilkant and the thousands of others who have suffered needlessly, we embark on this journey in hopes that it will lead to a better future for all.
Born and raised in India, I have heard countless stories of people affected by the terrible practices of government officials. I have in my own life been witness to police harassment and bribery, despite not having broken the law. And through the life of my aunt, I saw the corrosive effects of abuse, neglect and corruption. Her untimely death encouraged me to devote my career to untangling India’s dangerous web of politics and bureaucracy.
As part of my research, I wrote for Indian newspapers, communicating regularly with common people like myself throughout India. I then began a survey company, but to register this business, I was forced to spend hours waiting in line and pay exorbitant bribes to obtain a license. Many with whom I waited in line were, like myself, helpless, angry and scared. Indian justice was meted out not based on innocence or guilt, it seemed, but according to who could pay and who could not.
My journey led me to Boston, where I attended programs at Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and University of Massachusetts, where I ultimately earned my master’s degree in finance and information technology. In Boston, and other American cities, I met students from all over the world and learned first-hand what was working and what wasn’t in places like Kenya, Russia, Iran, Iraq, South Korea, Italy, Germany, Bangladesh, Pakistan and China.
But proving that all global activities are launched from our local communities, I have been active member in my adopted hometown of Arlington, Massachusetts. First, I participated in the Arlington Citizen’s Police Academy, an eight-week experience that helped me not only understand proper policing standards, but changed my very perception of and about police. I also volunteered with Arlington Community Media, where I experienced the constructive power of media for the good of people.
Now, through EmpZen,I look forward to working with other like-minded individuals who are passionate about the cause of human rights and just practices.
Read what the global experts think of EmpZen
"I think this could be a powerful new tool to fight corruption. Everyone working together can make a difference".
- Tani Chen, PhD, MIT and Suffolk University Law School. Start-Up mentor with MIT Enterprise Forum
"Empzen: A Place for Social Justice ; A Safe Place for All of Us ; Will Expose Crimes and Social Injustices ; Will Protect Our Identities ; Will Bring Justice to Our World ".
- Dr. Sumner Barenburg, Executive Director at BGI. CMRU and Kellogg School of Management.