Non Profit Organizations? Really? Think Again!

Posted on June 29, 2010 in Social Entrepreneurship

Shivani Ghildiyal:

There is no denying the fact that we, the youth of the nation, are practical enough. We have a capability to clearly demarcate between black and white. Still, there are certain moments when we, rather than being creatures of logic, turn into creatures of emotions.  The moment we see the ill fate of anyone around, we suddenly feel pushed out of our complacent zone – people who don’t have food, clothing and shelter, people who are turned homeless by natural disasters, children who don’t have access to education and the list goes on. As much as we might want to help them, we are unable to. Reason being – absence of any mode to help.

At this juncture, NGO’s become prominent as the instruments of change we want to make in someone’s life.

On one hand, where government is busy calling multinational companies to the countries, helping the rich get richer, Non -Governmental Organisations are the institutions of change for those who need it the most.

But when it turns out that the institution, we have been almost considering reverent, is not really worth looking upto; when it turns out that, it has been misusing the trust of people, public outrage is bound to occur.

To commence the revelation of these counterfeit NGO’s, let us breeze through various cases that have been coming up.

There have been news about so called  NGOs vanishing with about 500 crores after swindling poor people who trusted them to get high  weekly dividends.

NGO Freedom Unnayan Sangstha had vanished overnight with nearly Rs 250 crore collected from about two lakh members. Lax management of the Natore district administration is to blame. Another NGO in Sylhet named Islamic Development Foundation disappeared with about Rs.50 lakh collected from over 500 members.

More than 300 fake NGOs are operating all over the country. As shocking as it might sound, the fact remains that absence of adequate exposure and vigilance helps these organizations to grow, and grow fearlessly.

Based on the type of orientation, NGO’s are classified as-

  • Charitable orientation
  • Service orientation
  • Participatory orientation
  • Empowering orientation

The mismanagement of funds has been highest in case of charitable organisations which work under the patronisation of influential people and local administration. The unholy nexus of the NGO-men with the dishonest members of law enforcement agencies help these NGOs to carry out  misappropriation of funds that were meant for poverty alleviation and diversification to organisations that have no link to poverty alleviation. Some NGO’s for refugee settlements and asylums, whose key functions were to adress the problem of basic amenity provision and manage the issue of statelessness have also grossly failed by only using a measly amount for development. The rest makes its way to their pocket.

Some fake NGOs, in the name of protecting children are actually engaging them in child labour, thus endangering their life even more. These helpless children are doomed to a fate much worse than if they were to beg around in the street for all their life.

Mere discussion of the problem will not be fruitful. Infact will only increase our distrust manifold. There are 12 laws for registering and regulating NGOs. However, most of the NGOs have their registration under the Voluntary Social Welfare Agencies (Regulation and Control) Ordinance 1961, administered by the Social Welfare Directorate, which provides, it seems, even the fake NGOs with the opportunities of getting registered, due to some loopholes in the ordinance. The World Bank also defined a number of areas relating to NGOs’ operations that require regulatory reforms. The areas include financial accountability and transparency that essentially involves proper auditing. As far as official control in this regard is concerned, the NGO Affairs Bureau is the lone regulatory body, set up on march 1, 1990, which has also proved ineffective. It is said that you cannot change the system unless you yourself go into the system. Being the responsible youth of the country, let us promise to be vigilant. In case of any suspicious encounter, report to the concerned authorities. Sharing our misadventure with others would protect them against similar hoax. The accomplice of a criminal is as much a criminal as is the criminal. Lax administration and callous management should be replaced by individuals who would be vigilant, so as to not let such organizations even begin to grow. Hence, in case of our inability to give them a better life, we must atleast make provisions to custodize them against the evil.

image courtesy: http://beta.thehindu.com/multimedia/dynamic/00018/FAKE_CURRENCY_NOTES_18529f.jpg

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