Thursday 23 March 2017 News Updated at 04:03 PM IST
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Withdraw decision on NGO - Deccan Herald
Withdraw decision on NGO
Bengaluru, March 14, 2017, DHNS
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The crackdown on Compassion International, a major American charitable organisation working in India for about five decades, is the latest in the series of actions against non-government organisations by the NDA government. The charity has been forced to shut down and will stop its activities which have helped thousands of poor children with food, medical care and education. Pressure has been put on the organisation on the charge, not very explicitly made, that it was engaged in religious conversion. No proof has been cited and the government has only said in general terms that all NGOs have to abide by the laws of the country. Compassion International was put in a ''prior permission'' category a year ago, which made it compulsory for it to get prior approval from the home ministry to receive funds from abroad. The pressure continued, and according to the organisation, an informal suggestion was made to it by a representative of the RSS in the US that it could continue its activities if a part of the funds are routed through Hindu organisations.

Compassion International has done much good work in the country by promoting the education of poor children and helping them with basic needs. It has aided and supported a large number of such children through its ''Sponsor a Child'' programme. It has been spending about Rs 292 crore a year on these programmes and is the largest single foreign organisation in its area. About 1,45,000 children are beneficiaries of the programme and they will now be deprived of the vital help. It is children without the support of the government or other agencies who have benefited from the organisations programme. Children of all religions and communities have benefited. There has not been any proof for the charge of discrimination or illegalities. The government should actually be encouraging organisations which are doing the work it is unable to do. Instead, it is harassing and punishing them.

About 11,000 NGOs have been denied licence to accept foreign donations after the Modi government came to power. Most of them have had to stop their operations. They have done valuable charitable work in many areas. Governments have viewed such activities with suspicion, made charges against them, called them anti-national and targeted them. The Modi government has been particularly harsh. This policy is wrong and unfair and hurts the interests of deserving people whom the government does not reach out to. The action against Compassion International should be withdrawn and it should be free to do the valuable work it has been doing.