The role of non governmental organisations in Goa as well as in other parts of India has always been under the scanner in their operations in civil society. While there are some committed NGOs and activists, other NGOs with hidden agendas and primary agenda of making money by trumpeting various politically correct causes are spotted at every corner. NGOs today is a huge business. A recent Home Ministry report shows that such voluntary organisations get massive funding from abroad for their activities. The case in Goa is no different.
According to the Home Ministry’s annual report of foreign contributions, this year, as many as 2,325 NGOs are registered in Odisha, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and received around Rs 600 crore during 2009-2010. In North Eastern States, 816 NGOs have secured Rs251 crore in the same period in foreign donations. In the report, the Government admits accounts of only 12 NGOs nationwide were checked. The concern that the NGOs may have been engaged in money laundering and terror financing does not look far-fetched.
The complicity of Apne Aap an anti trafficking NGO from Bihar headed by women themselves, is presently under the scanner as police found that 10 of the 24 girls who disappeared from Kasturba Gandhi residential government school at Simraha, Bihar, managed by the NGO were pushed into flesh trade.
Closer home two NGOs Stop Child Abuse Now, India and its parent organisation El Shaddai and Child Rights Goa have come under the scanner though both have astounding aims of stopping child abuse. SCAN has been named in the Levinson Martins report in the Apna Ghar escapes and criminal activities case. While Child Rights Goa headed by a woman has been castigated by the father of the teenager who committed suicide at her Altinho residence by setting herself on fire.
The government has to thoroughly investigate the role of these NGOs since there are very few Mother Theresas and very few dedicated social workers. Most NGOs make a killing in terms of getting foreign funding even in Goa. The causes they pretend to fight are just cover ups for other agendas, selective intervention, vendetta against particular individuals by ganging up depending on which clique/political affiliation NGOs belongs to.
The bluff of a woman NGO activist who viciously attacked a chief minister in the past on some children’s issue was called when the sharp CM discovered that she was an US citizen, though originally from Mumbai and had shifted to Goa. Fearing action from the CM she immediately resigned as Director and became consultant/advisor to the NGO by putting a dummy director. There are instances where the same research or advocacy project has been put to four funding agencies by making cosmetic changes and one individual was getting fees of Rs 80000 per month about 10 years ago, which was more than IAS officer’s salary then. No wonder a few IAS or IES officers have resigned their jobs to opt for lucrative NGO work.
Another individual who heads an NGO in Goa, has a posh sedan, works out at a city five star hotel gym, lunches and dines at the same hotel and pleads for donations abroad and enjoys at the cost of hard earned and donated public money. Often NGOs pay pitiable salaries to their employees, including to women employees, whose cause they seem to trumpet.
Another woman lawyer formed a one member NGO, which is not even registered but sits on inquiry panels by claiming to be a NGO representative, when anything unregistered has no locus standi.
Hence most sermons preached from seminar pulpits, and most days celebrated in the name of women and children are pious nonsense, lip service and a cover for fraud. It is but natural to suggest that the chief minister of the state who may be certainly aware of the fraudulent role of some NGOs should put in place a system to monitor the funding of NGOs, examine their fudged accounts, and mandate that they be put on the net. If NGOs demand transparency from Government, they themselves should be clean first. Any organisation espousing a public cause whether it is pertaining to women, children, environment etc should be transparent, since betrayal of the cause, is betrayal of public trust and a fraud on the people and government should intervene in public interest.