The foreign donors on govt’s watch list
-The Indian Express
From Greenpeace to a Danish government wing to church-backed NGOs, the government has put 14 foreign donors in the “prior approval” category; any transaction they make through Indian banks will need Home Ministry clearance. Among the allegations against them is that they were funding anti-India activities and clandestinely routing money to Greenpeace India.
DANIDA: Danish International Development Agency, the humanitarian aid wing of Denmark’s foreign ministry.
Dan Church Aid: Funded by DANIDA. Its website says its work is based on a Christian view of humanity with respect for every individual’s rights. Working in India since 1980. Its latest project is helping “human rights defenders” with focus on Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Manipur, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Assam.
Danish Institute of Human Rights: An independent institution funded by Denmark. Its website says its mandate is to promote and protect human rights and equal treatment. Not handling any projects in India but running programmes in Nepal and Myanmar.
CORDAID: Catholic Organisation for Relief and Development Aids runs 73 projects in India. Its website says it “collaborates with societal organisations in northeast India in the pursuit of peace and justice…” Was named in an Intelligence Bureau report for stalling development projects in the Northeast by funding agitations.
Hivos: Working in 26 countries. Set up Institute of Pluralism in Gujarat; another project has been “mobilising women in Rajkot”. It recently campaigned for LGBT rights in India. It supports CGnet Swara, a platform run by journalist Subhranshu Chowdhury in Maoist-affected Chhattisgarh.
ICCO: Indian arm registered in 2008. ICCO works in 44 countries, primarily in the areas of food and nutrition security, climate change, Health and HIV/AIDS.
Inter Church Peace Council-PAX Christi: Backed by the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, it works in 15 countries. Its website does not mention any direct projects in India.
Greenpeace International: Based out of Vancouver, present in more than 40 countries. It works in the areas of environment, climate change and energy. It has a strong presence in India and recently its Indian arm was in the news for stalling developmental projects.
ClimateWorks Foundation: One of the donors to Greenpeace India. It works in India through partners, one being Shakti Foundation that undertook many projects in Gujarat. It has also funded Global Legislators International, which lobbies for laws on climate change in more than 80 countries. Founded in 2011, its first president was Prakash Javadekar, who resigned after becoming Environment Minister.
Mercy Corps: It works mainly to help refugees and in times of natural disaster. Worked in 2001 during the Gujarat earthquake. Focus area is tea gardens of Darjeeling and Kashmir. Its website says, “India’s northern regions are home to some of the poorest and neglected communities in the country… Millions of people are also extremely vulnerable to disasters and the effects of climate change.”
BIC: Bank Information Centre works in the coal sector, seeking transparency from World Bank and other funding agencies. Does not organise campaigns but claims to provide information to people affected by a project about its impact. A prominent intervention has been in Tata Power’s 4000 MW Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) near Mundra port, where it claims to have highlighted the impact of the project on the fishing community.
Avaaz: Founded in the US by Ricken Patel, a Canadian with Gujarati roots, it espouses women’s issues, conflict mitigation, corruption, poverty, and GM-free agriculture. It helped the social media campaign of Anna Hazare’s movement and was a partner in the People’s Climate March organised by 350.org globally. It has campaigned against the Adani Group’s coal mining venture in Australia.
350.org: Working mainly on climate change, it has been in India for four years, operating through four “consultants”. The organisation believes that “India’s dependence on coal as a source of energy is detrimental to the lives of her people and also the future generations”. Last year, it organised the People’s Climate March in Delhi, the Indian leg of a global event.
Sierra Club: Started in the 1890s, has campaigned extensively against the use of coal in the US.
The Indian Express, 17 April, 2015, http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/the-foreign-donors-on-govts-watch-list/