Saturday, 21 December 2019

FCRA-NGO Recipients of Foreign Contributions from Association for India's Development-USA


In this Post, we shall examine the recipients of FCRA ‘donations’ from Association for India’s Development (AID)-USA. AID-USA, given its moorings, is headquartered in the campus of University of Maryland, USA. Its EIN is 04-3652609. The list of FCRA-NGOs who have received funds from AID-USA has been compiled from the FCRA database available for anyone to view, at the Ministry of Home Affairs’ website, fcraonline.nic.in . We thank them for making available this database.

The list of donees is available in the Table at the end of this Post. A few of the donations listed in the Table are not necessarily from AID-USA (Maryland), but from some of its chapters such AID-Boston-USA etc. AID-USA has ‘donated’ a total of around Rs. 26.2 Crore over the three years 2015-2017 to various FCRA-NGOs in India. In the following, we shall examine a few of these recipient FCRA-NGOs.

  • Jan Swasthya Sahyog (JSS), Bilaspur, CG/327480001 is a major recipient of funds from AID. JSS runs a community-based health care unit & related health programmes in Bilaspur. According to Darpan portal, Saibal Jana is its President, while Dr. Raman Kataria is its secretary. A ‘Friends of JSS’ in UK is one of its chief donors. Other donors include McArthur Foundation, Oxfam etc.. Overall, JSS appears to be doing good work. However, JSS is part of the National Coordination Committee of Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA). JSA, along with the so-called Right to Food campaign has not been happy with (to put mildly) Akshaya Patra Foundation’s participation in the mid-day meals programmes in many States.
  • Programme for Social Action, although located in Tiruvalla, Kerala has a FCRA registration in Delhi. During 2015-2017, it has received around Rs. 54 lakh from AID. According to Darpan portal, its Chair is Xavier Dias, George Philip is its Treasurer and a Ashima Subberwall is its General Secretary. Donors to PSA, other than AID are: American Jewish World Service, Misereor (German Catholic Org), Both Ends (Netherlands Org which funds NGOs in the Global South to work on Environmental Justice), National Foundation for India which too is a FCRA-NGO, DL/231650642 (Syeda Hameed is its Chair & Pamela Philipose is a Trustee, according to Darpan). According to PSA’s website, its founding principles are based on Liberation Theology (which, in this author’s opinion is socialism advanced from a Christian perspective).
  • The Other Media (TOM) (DL/231660085) is a FCRA-NGO to watch out for. According to Darpan, Ernest Deenadayalan (now deceased) is its Chair, and Munusamy Subramaniam and Archanaa Seker (no typographical error) are the other Trustees. TOM runs many ‘projects’, such as ‘Coastal Resources Centre (CRC)’, ‘Community Environmental Monitoring (CEM)’ or 'Health Energy Initiative (HEI)' etc.. In stories appearing on mainstream media, individuals associated with TOM such as this person or this person will invariably be mentioned as belonging to CRC or CEM or HEI and rarely as belonging to TOM. In an interview to the media outlet ‘The Wire’ on the upcoming neutrino observatory in Theni, TamilNadu, the one usually referred to as belonging to CRC remarks: “I think the neutrino [observatory] will get built. You should not have any fears on that count. I’d rather it doesn’t.” It is indeed amazing that AID which was founded by Physics scientists in USA, funds TOM whose personnel advocate against the INO in India.

    Another set of stories related to TOM is the so-called Ennore thermal plants and activism towards preserving the 'Ennore Creek' (in Northern Chennai). For instance, see this story in TNM or this one in ToI, which talk of a Tamil film actor visiting Ennore Creek along with an environmental activist cum journalist from TOM. In this tweet, we can see AID-Boston chapter hosting the activist from TOM for a talk on Ennore thermal power plant.

    For an example of News reporting of HEI, see this news story , which too has a quote from TOM's another environmental activist on the unviability of coal based thermal power plants and in particular, the plant in Cheyyur, Tamil Nadu.

TOM’s other donors include: CORDAID, Trocaire, Global Green Grant Fund, South Asia Forum for Human Rights, World Association for Christian Communication, etc.. Not a good company to find AID USA in.

  • India Institute for Critical Action Centre in Movement goes by the abbreviation CACIM. Although CACIM has received just Rs. 28 lakh from AID in the period of this study, this NGO is an important one for Nationalists to learn about. CACIM and a Centre for Financial Accountability (CenFA) share the same postal address. The names of person(s) in both the entities appear the same which makes one wonder if they are one and the same entity. MSM always reports on Centre for Financial Accountability and never on CACIM. Further details on the work of CACIM/CenFA on environmental matters can be read here.

  • Sanchal Foundation-Delhi has received just about Rs. 10 lakh from AID in this period. Sanchal Foundation’s FCRA registration is no longer active and its FCRA registration is ‘deemed to have ceased’ (i.e., it was not renewed). It runs a project called “Hazards Centre”, which is the name that appears on Sanchal’s behalf in any MSM story. See this one for instance.

  • Centre for Equity Studies (CES), Delhi has received around Rs. 70 lakh from AID in the period 2015-2017. CES was co-founded and one of the well known persons associated with it is Harsh Mander. According to Open Society Foundation (George Soros related), Harsh Mander is one of its Advisory Board Members. Darpan portal lists Harsh Mander as CES’ Director and Amitabh Behar (who heads Oxfam India now) as its Treasurer. This April 2019 article in The Hindu makes for instructive reading on the opinions of Harsh Mander. CES has received ‘donations’ from Dan Church Aid, Islamic Relief, Oxfam etc., apart from AID. Mr. Mander was also a member of the Super-Cabinet, National Advisory Council during 2010-2012. Other donors to CES include Dan Church Aid, Bread for the World (German Protestant Organization), IDRC-Canada, Christian Aid, National Foundation for India, Fund for Global Human Rights-USA, Oxfam etc..

  • Next in the list for discussion is Swadhikar, DL/231661023. Swadhikar is invariably written about in mainstream media as National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, NCDHR. According to Darpan portal, its Secretary is Paul Divakar Namala (who is also a chief functionary of another FCRA-NGO, HRARF, see this post), its President is a Parmar Simon and its Treasurer is Prof. Vimal Thorat. The ‘donations’ from AID to Swadhikar has come from AID’s Boston chapter. NCDHR was recently in the news for feting the newly elected Tamil Nadu Member of Parliament, Shri. Thol Thirumavalavan. Other donors of Swadhikar include: Tides Foundation-USA, Christian Aid, South Asia Women Fund, Misereor, Bread for the World, Feminist Dalit Organization, Fund for Global Human Rights, Open Society Foundation, etc..

  • Partners in Justice Concerns India is a Bengaluru based FCRA-NGO. It has received around Rs. 23 lakh in this period, from AID. Other donors to PJCI include: Global Green Grants Fund, Both Ends-Netherlands, etc.. It is part of an entity called Anti-Nuclear Struggles’ Solidarity Forum and has supported a protest march to Parliament against nuclear energy in 2011, along with ‘The Other Media’, about which we already learnt above.

  • Prarambha, Bengaluru has received around Rs. 33 lakh from AID in this period. Its other donor is Norwegian Human Rights Fund (NHRF). Interestingly, NHRF’s website hosts a Contact Us page, wherein it says that NHRF is C/O Amnesty International-Norway. On the Darpan Portal, Prarambha has the following Trustees: Pramod John, T Pradeep & M.R. Manohar. It lists its work there as ‘Human Rights’ and ‘Women’s Development’. Prarambha appears to be working to collectivise Safai Karamcharis.

  • HID Forum, Bengaluru is another interesting entry. In the FCRA database, its name is HID Forum. However, its actual name is Human and Institutional Development Forum, and that is how it is entered on the Darpan portal. This example once again goes to show the sloppy manner in which entities are registered and inconsistencies between databases. Let us not digress lest we lose focus. Apart from usual NGO type work, they seem to be involved in assisting/guiding other NGOs working on rights based initiatives. Darpan portal gives HIDF’s functionaries as Anuradha Prasad, Gagan Sethi, and Rita Noronha. As noted in our earlier post, Gagan Sethi heads the Board of Jan Vikas, which is a FCRA-NGO and is also a Vice-Chair of Board of Trustees of Centre for Social Justice, which too is a FCRA-NGO. This note in an earlier post related to GS is also pertinent. Apart from AID, HIDF has received ‘donations’ from Misereor (German Catholic Org), National Foundation for India and Clean Clothes Campaign-Netherlands. In particular, the ‘donation’ from CCC is somewhat disconcerting. What does CCC do? Check out here. Elsewhere, we have pointed out, unceasingly, the possible impact of work carried out by ‘non-profits’ from The Netherlands and from the United Kingdom, partnering with FCRA-NGOs in our country and with a Foundation related to an International News Wire Agency on pointed hitjobs on our country’s garment industry. While we all want everything in our garment industry to be hunky-dory, receiving ‘donations’ from foreign ‘non-profits’ to produce reports on our industry which then finds its way to the media to portray us as violating all sorts of rights is quite disconcerting. In particular, HIDF appears to have advocated among workers of garment industry on the need for unions, training them in negotiation skills etc..

  • Anusandhan Trust, Mumbai has received around Rs. 20 lakh from AID during 2015-17. According to Darpan portal, its Chief Functionary is a Saramma Mathew and the Chair is a Dr. Dhruv Mankad. Anusandhan gets ‘donations’ from American Jewish World Service, Ford Foundation, International Budget Partnership-WashingtonDC (IBP), McArthur Foundation, Oxfam, Direct Action for Women Now (DAWN) Worldwide-USA etc.. Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes (CEHAT) is the research centre of Anusandhan Trust. CEHAT is part of the All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN). You can google for news on AIDAN, but this one headlined ‘AIDAN condemns FIR against Lawyers Collective’ can be an illustrative example. As is the norm with all NGOs, nearly all news items on Anusandhan Trust will mention CEHAT and not the name of the trust.
IBP (based out of Washington DC, USA) in particular has the following as one of its aims: “strengthening civil society organizations and networks by developing the skills and relationships needed to improve budget processes and create change in the countries where they operate.” Thus, a foreign ‘charity’ funds an Indian FCRA-NGO so that the latter can ensure that the budget proposed/framed by Governments in India can be improved. Is it not a wonderful feeling that foreign organizations donate their hard-earned money so as to improve third world budgetary practices? Sigh.
DAWN Worldwide appears to be run by NRI/PIO type individuals from Boston, USA. Its aim is to ‘end gender violence and inequality’. Its website sports a large campaign message “Celebrate this DIWALI with DAWN to end Gender based Violence” and shows a child lighting a Diya. It is amazing that a ‘charity’ run notionally by Hindus, chooses to greet fellow Hindus on Diwali not with any message from Hinduism’s scriptures, or just a plain vanilla ‘Happy Diwali’, but with a virtue-signalling, condescending sermon.
  • AID-India too is a FCRA-NGO, based in Chennai. We have nothing to say about them.


In summary, AID-USA appears to be ‘donating’ to a mixed bag of FCRA-NGOs. While a large part of its donations appear to be received by organizations devoted to education, village welfare etc., there are indeed some FCRA-NGOs whose domain of operations include environmental activism, assorted rights activism etc. While it is nobody’s argument that environment should be messed up with, the writings and opinions of some of those associated with, say, TOM for instance, appears not to be in tune with the developmental aspirations of Crores of our fellow citizens. AID-USA might argue that they support a ‘specific project’ of a FCRA-NGO, but not other works of it; however, the individual donors to AID-USA need to know the other activities of the FCRA-NGO, which also receives ‘donations’ from AID-USA. It is hoped that this Post will help in this aspect.

List of FCRA-NGOs which have received ‘donations’ in any of the years 2015-2017 from Association for India’s Development-USA. Data compiled via fcraonline.nic.in
State
FCRA Reg No.
Name
2015 (INR)
2016 (INR)
2017 (INR)
Total(Crore)
AP
10120209
Rural and Environment Development Society
505000
1280893
634392
0.25
AP
10140063
Saha Nivasa Association for Voluntary Social Service
1588796
665893


0.23
AP
10140143
Rural Development Service Society
1534000
1788000
898876
0.43
AP
10140244
Nisarga




811353
0.09
AP
10140263
Womens Initiatives
0
780000
0
0.08
AP
10140408
Sanghamitra Service Society




1088255
0.11
AP
10160456
Vennela Rural Development Society
250000
1335179
798668
0.24
AP
10250100
Vyavasayaka Mariyu Sanghika Abhivruddi Samstha


286900


0.03
AP
10350057
Laya
0


576342.5
0.06
AP
10350102
The Circle of Goodwill
663545
344500
321400
0.14
AS
20840007
Rural Volunteers Centre


803500


0.09
BH
31170193
Centre for Health and Resource Management




1273582
0.13
CG
327480001
Jan Swasthya Sahyog
20432893


22794475
4.33
DL
231650130
Programme for Social Action
2153000
1116800
2196316
0.55
DL
231650268
Sanchal Foundation
900000
60000
N/A
0.1
DL
231660085
The Other Media
2023621
2428566
3970074
0.85
DL
231660162
Chintan Environmental Research & Action Group
0
0
507893
0.06
DL
231660618
Goonj


666892.5


0.07
DL
231661023
Swadhikar
560000


314543.6
0.09
DL
231661081
India Institute for Critical Action Centre in Movement


972163.25
1848688
0.29
DL
231661130
Centre for Equity Studies
2641367.75
3744059
636567
0.71
GJ
41910016
Vikas-Centre for Development
0
4428192
6544041
1.1
GJ
41910022
Utthan Trust
216070


0
0.03
GJ
41910167
Janpath
4093100
3569402.5
4660189
1.24
GJ
41960077
Trust for Reaching the Unreached
1103200
989892.75
1136432
0.33
GJ
41910295
Centre for Development
462100
937092
460150
0.19
GJ
41960172
Sahiyar Stree Sanghathan
0
441000
640400
0.11
GJ
42050049
Prayas
0
454800
0
0.05
JH
337750015
Nav Bharat Jagriti Kendra
774000
90144


0.09
JH
337800206
Diya Seva Sansthan
822000
0
0
0.09
JH
337820081
Occupational Safety and Health Association of Jharkhand
553332.82
469921.25
1288291
0.24
KA
94420174
Sri Ramana Maharishi Academy for the Blind


1200000


0.12
KA
94420301
Partners in Justice Concerns India


2273680


0.23
KA
94420313
Prarambha
936985
1517000
871855
0.34
KA
94420583
Society for Community Health Awareness Research Action
720000
759525
784533
0.23
KA
94420671
Samvada


600525
635525
0.13
KA
94421188
HID Forum




2150217
0.22
KA
94421387
Annapoorna Charitable Trust
631245
672807
321400
0.17
KA
94421460
Sahaja Samrudha
499975




0.05
KA
94520006
Samaj Parivartana Samudaya
760050
380921


0.12
KA
94590090
Karuna Trust for Rural Health
482000




0.05
MH
83780279
Bombay Sarvodya Friendship Centre
222000




0.03
MH
83780403
Society For The Education of the Crippled




179748.3
0.02
MH
83780497
Avehi Public Charitable Educational Trust
330000
499921.25
492414
0.14
MH
83780565
Anusandhan Trust


1975572.5


0.2
MH
83930255
Rachana Society For Social Reconstruction
666400
416400
715173
0.18
MH
84000001
Chetana Vikas
2468175




0.25
MN
194130098
United Voluntary Youth Council
450000
636837
N/A
0.11
RJ
125410039
Manthan Sansthan
300000
432194


0.08
RJ
125440006
Voluntary Association of Agriculture General Development,Health and Reconstruction Alliance




413060.5
0.05
RJ
125470012
Bal Va Mahila Chetna Samiti
496000
434921
2364048
0.33
RJ
125500001
Prayas




317800
0.04
RJ
125560099
Vihaan - Society for Child Development and Education in Rajasthan
399921.37
1050000
1278850
0.28
RJ
125690095
Aajeevika Bureau Trust


451150


0.05
TN
75850332
Institute of Planters for Rejuvenating Earth (INSPIRE)
3000000
7213700
9419348
1.97
TN
75870034
Tribal Health Initiative
268000
645000
842046
0.18
TN
75900481
Citizen Consumer and Civic Action Group


330000


0.04
TN
75900833
AID India
0
22173628
19185381
4.14
TN
75901337
Vasantha Memorial Trust
449800
1242900
1341273
0.31
TN
75930038
Manitham Charitable Trust


810600
707814
0.16
TN
75970084
Association For Health Welfare In The Nilgiris




567909
0.06
TN
75970103
Keystone Foundation


336971


0.04
TN
75970131
Koodu Social Educational & Rural Development Trust


186292.75
616176
0.09
TN
76000142
Rural Women Development Trust
81000
140782.75


0.03
TR
206150006
Voluntary Health Associaton of Tripura
323500
310481.25
N/A
0.07
TS
10230551
Watershed Support Services and Activities Network
565000
165000


0.08
TS
10300055
Pilupu




1345361
0.14
UK
347860010
Uttarakhand Seva Nidhi Pariyavaran Shiksha Sansthan
585640


381240
0.1
UK
347960029
Uttarakhand Jan Jagriti Sansthan


700000


0.07
WB
146990050
Mandra Lions Club
2770170
2252253.62
2523088.1
0.76
WB
147050065
Samaj Kalyan Mahila Unnayan Kendra
130000
1283500
1203118
0.27
WB
147050093
Karna Subarna Welfare Society
355921.37
361860.5
1179809
0.19
WB
147070039
Majhihira National Basic Educational Institution
648000
647892.5


0.13
WB
147110101
Nishhtha
1228546
372701
811100
0.25
WB
147110269
Swanirvar
1011950
600000
590428
0.23
WB
147110395
Baikunthpur Tarun Sangha
1368700
1496706
516800
0.34
WB
147110985
Mukti
1836801
783242
321400
0.3
WB
147111027
Purba Chintamonipur Chetana Sangha


505054
1420741
0.2
WB
147120034
Development Research Communication and Services Centre
535000
1067785.25
990346.5
0.26
WB
147120619
Society for Direct Initiative for Social and Health Action


505054
1420741
0.2
WB
147120855
Mantra
112000
221770
173880
0.06
WB
147120865
Micro Centre For Community Development and Research
513800
755280


0.13












0


TOTAL


66422605.31
86063698.62
109483551.5
26.2