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Non Profit Organizations? Really? Think Again!

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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

You must be to comment.
  1. Fahim_vora

    who are responsible to look after the work of NGO in Mumbai, India.

    i have encountered a suspicious NGO,
    which i am not sure.

    so i just want to make sure.

    so where can i report about them.

    1. YouthKiAwaaz

      If you have facts and proofs then you can report to the local area police station, or, you can also file a report with the registrar of companies office in your state. But again, be sure that you have the proofs and facts in hand, otherwise the case might go against you,

  2. kanan

    The poor monetary circumstance, lack of affordable health care as well as common disregard by society is the reason behind the launch of HelpAge India, a leading nonprofit organization to help poor elderly. The NGO in India welcomes all those who want to sponsor or donate online and also those who wish to volunteer to support the cause and make a difference.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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