Generosity of Foreign donors  funding NGO's in India.


NGOs hit pay dirt on dollar trail


MUMBAI: Foreign donors seem to be in a generous mood when it comes to funding non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in India. Foreigners loosened their purse strings to the extent of Rs 4,871.9 crore in ’01-02, up 7.4% from Rs 4,535.5 crore in ’00-01. There has also been a change in the list of the top receivers of foreign funds in the country.


The little-known Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushotam Sanstha (BAPS), a Gujarat-based organisation, tops the receivers list with foreign donations of Rs 107.5 crore. BAPS has seen a 280% jump in foreign funding over two years, rising from 26th place in ’00 with receipts of Rs 28.3 crore to the top of the list of receivers in ’01-02. Gospel for Asia with Rs 98.9 crore is the second highest recipient, while the World Vision of India with Rs 88.4 crore is in third place, according to data collated from the home ministry’s latest annual report.


BAPS is also the first time a voluntary organisation to have received over Rs 100 crore in foreign funds, the previous high being Rs 88.2 crore by the Sathya Sai Trust in ’00-01. For ’00-01, the top three beneficiaries were the Sri Sathya Sai Trust, World Vision India and the Watchtower and Bible Tract Society.


It is also interesting to note that two of the top three receivers (BAPS and Gospel for Asia) of funds in ’01-02 are religious organisations.


In ’00-01, Rs 284 crore was received for religious activities by Indian organisations. This has risen by 37.6% to Rs 391 crore in ’01-02. On an average, Indian religious organisations have received around 10% of total FCRA (Foreign Contributions Regulations Act) regulated foreign fund inflows since 1991.


Thirteen of the top 25 receivers of foreign funds in India are religious organisations, both Hindu and Christian. Several of these organisations are involved in social causes; the building of schools, housing for the poor, literacy and so on, besides religious activities.


Delhi continues to top the list of receiving states with Rs 794.4 crore going to 839 organisations. Tamil Nadu, where World Vision India is headquartered, comes second with Rs 695.5 crore, and Andhra Pradesh follows with Rs 559.6 crore. In terms of cities, Bangalore topped the receivers list with Rs 362.2 crore, followed by Chennai with Rs 311.6 crore and Mumbai with Rs 298.3 crore.


The top three donors are all based in the US. The bulk of the funding for Gospel for Asia in India comes from its parent organisation in the US, which heads the foreign donors list with Rs 111.2 crore. World Vision International and Foster Parents Plan International follow with Rs 78.3 crore and Rs 72.4 crore, respectively. Actionaid UK donated Rs 71.2 crore, and the Spain-based Foundation Vincent Ferrer Rs 63.1 crore. The total number of associations receiving foreign funds in India has also gone up in ’01-02 to 15,618 from 14,598 in ’00-01.