NGO and its Head

Harasankar Adhikari

As per the Societies Registration Act 1860 (or its state statutory act or rules), a group of Indians may incorporate and form a socity referred to as NGO for the benefit of society—education, health, employment, etc. It is welfare and social service agency/society in nature. It basically works for the development of down-trodden through implementation of central or state government sponsored schemes or schemes are sponsored/funded by different international and national donor agencies.

The rules of this act direct that all the members (executive and ordinary) would voluntarily serve and no benefit would be taken from NGOs. The functional executive body is an elected committee and the secretary would serve as chief functionary of the NGO.

A study was conducted to know the personal profile of chiefs of NGOs and their changing position in all aspects (personal, social and economic). For this purpose, 100 NGOs of West Bengal were purposively selected considering their service to their local community. It was revealed that 92% of chief of NGOs had high school education and they are from a lower middle-class background. They were unemployed, and they had no job before formation of NGOs. They formed NGOs for their alternative earning, power and prestige. They have little knowledge about technical and professional aspects of development. They only acquainted the process and negotiation to get fund from different agencies. The service of NGOs has little impact on the targeted beneficiaries. But they have become rich from this fund/grant. Rest of them (8%) was either school teacher or professional. Their moto of formation of NGOs was almost similar to the above largest group. Not only that the chief was involved in various indulgences deliberately. No one had to raise voice against it because the chief had enormous power and connection with law and order agencies.

Second observation was that NGOs were single-headed. The Chief or the Secretary was the single supreme. Other executives were in paper. Even, the other executives had no knowledge of association with the NGOs and its functions. There was no meeting conducted at all. Even annual general meeting and election of executives were never organised, but it was in paper. There was no system of supervision and monitoring of this. Management of the fund and banking procedure and so forth daily functions are generally maintained alone by the chief.

The employees of NGOs have to work under threat and fear. Sometimes, they are exploited. They are silent spectators of the work of the chief. They arrange false information, and they are the witness of malpractices for their survival.

So many NGOs are not for the good of the suffering. It is for enrichment and enhancement of their chief.
Who would look into this discrimination? Is it, not the discrimination of discrimination?

Vol. 50, No.41, Apr 15 - 21, 2018