Top 10 foreign-funded NGOs in India

Women workers at a construction site for one of the Rural Development Trust’s orphanages in India. RDT is one of India’s top 10 foreign-funded NGOs. Photo by: Pepe Pont / CC BY-NC-ND

Nongovernmental organizations in India have faced greater government scrutiny since an Intelligence Bureau report was leaked to media last June, accusing foreign-funded NGOs of anti-national activities aimed at stalling development.

Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju told parliament in early March that 69 NGOs had been banned from receiving foreign money. Under India’s 2010 Foreign Contributions Regulations Act, NGOs need to register to receive money from international partners and donors and hold it in a separate account — the government has blocked NGOs from receiving money in past years for violating FCRA rules.

Greenpeace in particular has been under tight watch. While not in the list of banned NGOs, it was put “under watch list.” Further, last June, the government froze its account holding funding from its Netherlands-based parent NGO, after it was singled out as trying to “take down India’s coal-fired power plants and coal mining.”

But while the Delhi High Court ordered the government to unblock the money in January, in the same month, Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai was stopped from boarding a flight to London, where she was going to address British parliamentarians. Greenpeace said many of its U.K. employees had also been stopped for questioning in Indian airports, with one deported despite having a visa, in the past year.

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About the author

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    Alys Francis

    Alys Francis is a freelance journalist covering development and other news in South Asia for international media outlets. Based in India, she travels widely around the region and has covered major events, including national elections in India and Nepal. She is interested in how technology is aiding development and rapidly altering societies.