NGO Aid worker problem.

#1 Mar 21st, 2017, 21:28
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#1
Interesting story about NGO aid worker in India:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-39300771


Ed.
#2 Mar 21st, 2017, 22:39
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It's normal that she's not allowed to leave while her appeal is pending. It's insinuated in the article that local interests may have had a hand in her being convicted in the first place. Yet what other choice is there than -pending the appeal- to respect the judgment of the first court? Presumably they had access to the complete file, not to a one page summary.

That said, I can vividly imagine all kinds of conflicts occurring when a foreign NGO becomes active as a 'competitor' with previously established local actors and it goes to show that once should a) respect legislation on foreign donations and NGO management and b) be very, very cautious before venturing down this road.
"It is preferable to have a criminal for a servant rather than a fool because a criminal's actions are predictable and you can protect yourself against them, whereas there is no telling what a fool's next move will be.
#3 Mar 22nd, 2017, 04:40
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#3

The postfactual slides

It does not take a college degree, just spend few hours on Indiamike to begin to have issues with BBC story

Quote:
Ms Ashtari said she started having troubles with a local NGO called Assist.
Assist accused her of misusing funds, and eventually took over her foundation.
Why would another NGO care about another foundations's funds ? or, heaven forbid, which enabling legal statutes allow it to take over [hostile takeover ??] another foundation ?
  • Who sponsored her visa ?
  • Who registered Prishan Foundation, her NGO ?
  • Which governmental agency/database was this NGO registered ?

The BBC story raises credibility issues
#4 Mar 22nd, 2017, 05:05
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#4
Foundation funding might be something that can be used as a weapon if she had trodden on someone's toes.

Otherwise, all I can say is that it sounds rather a grueling tale.
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#5 Mar 22nd, 2017, 22:50
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More info published earlier in the Tehran Times (as independent and neutral as Anadolu news agency in Turkey lately, I should add).

Quote:
According to a report on charge.org, with much difficulty, Narges was granted an employment visa through a local NGO called ASSIST (Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation).

In 2011, Narges established the Prishan Foundation in Rayagada, an orphanage home for girls in the Rayagada district in Odisha, which then led to the launch of another home for blind children in Mukundapur, all through the generosity of foreign donors.

Based on her personal account on Telegram, a messaging app, Narges named her organization in the honor of an orphaned blind girl she met in Sri Lanka.

A couple of years after the establishment of her schools, in 2013, ASSIST took away Narges’s first children’s home, the orphanage, through “forged document” and “false promises.”

The founder and secretary of ASSIST registered the Narges Foundation in his own name, manipulating Narges into believing she could not register a foundation as a foreigner.

The NGO then tried to take Narges’s second home for visually impaired children, but this time she fought back.

“I filed a complaint at the police station in Rayagada and the husband and wife behind ASSIST were sent to jail.”

But soon, the court granted the couple bail, and from then on Narges’s life became a “living hell” as she receives life threats constantly.

“They have tried to ruin my reputation, take away my second children’s home, threaten to send me to jail and have my Indian visa revoked.”
Also:

Quote:
However, social media played a pivotal role in disseminating the news of the Iranian-British girl, particularly in Iran, causing a huge public outcry.

As Narges’s story went viral, the Iranian Consul General in Heydarabad, Hassan Nourian, was among the first Iranian authorities to reach out to her.

Nourian paid Narges a visit in Rayagada and joined her in one of her court hearings.

Iranian Ambassador to New Delhi Gholamareza Ansari also reached out to her by meeting Indian officials in ministry of external affairs and requesting protection for Narges from threats and harassment she had to put up with in Odisha.

Although through her help hundreds of thousands of children and families now have a better life in that country today Narges is faced with an uncertain future in India as she waits for her next round of court hearing.
A case that gets a consul-general AND an ambassador moving is not exactly common (regular criminal cases can count on an occasional visit in gaol by a 2nd secretary or so). I wonder who those foreign donors were. Strange story.
#6 Mar 22nd, 2017, 23:53
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The reason that I thought the story worth posting, is that I sometimes see folk asking on Indiamike for info on volunteering in India, and felt it might be relevant.
While I can see that India, or many countries, would not welcome outsiders trying to alter their religions, or upset the existing status quo, helping children and such to a better life seems innocent enough?

It seems reasonable that donations might be sought abroad, given the lack of local money available for such causes.

I believe even NGO Greenpeace are in trouble in India, as they lobby to protect forests against the interests of local big business?

I think most of the donors were Canadian ?

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#7 Mar 23rd, 2017, 00:39
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NGOs and foreign funding is a dicey story in the best of cases. It can seem innocent and in most cases that's what it is. In other cases, the NGO can become active in politically sensitive areas and wield great influence, not always in accordance with the letter or the spirit of local laws. We've had/have NGOs in Europe who serve as proxies for organisations supported and funded by governments who advocate extreme forms of islam and advocate principles that are incompatible with basic human rights provisions. I'm all for freedom of expression even if I don't like what is being said. But between that and allowing foreign governments to act by proxy in a sovereign third state is still a difference.

In the US for instance, the FARA-act (Foreign Agents Registration Act) for instance, lays down an obligation to register and disclose certain facts about funding, operations....

I'm not saying that this is the case here, just that it's an understandably touchy subject.
#8 Mar 23rd, 2017, 02:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldandRambling View Post The reason that I thought the story worth posting, is that I sometimes see folk asking on Indiamike for info on volunteering in India, and felt it might be relevant. ... ... ...
Charity/NGOs are big business in India. Whilst there may be political offence in certain cases, mostly one probably doesn't have to look that far. Just look as far as the competitor whose charity might be inconvenienced.

Tales From IndiaMike's Past.

A very small number of individuals have caused the IM team head and heart aches over the years. They are far, far exceeded by the touting travel agents and... charities. It is very far from all being sweetness and light.
#9 Mar 23rd, 2017, 04:23
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#9
I can see it is not all sweetness and light where there is a few quid to be made.

Nick, what will happen after you post another 3 items? Is 66666 the number of a bigger beast

Cheers

Ed.
#10 Mar 23rd, 2017, 05:36
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I shall become infinitely more powerful than I am now!

Actually, I think it is the number of our cat.
#11 Mar 23rd, 2017, 09:55
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Some news organizations do sloppy job some times; Some news organizations do sloppy job all the times; Some news organizations are just a mouthpiece of the gummint or special interests.

"local NGO called ASSIST (Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation)"

"Prishan Foundation"

I did not find her NGO listed or registered in any governmental NGO registries. Neither did I find "a local NGO called ASSIST" I did find one in Andhra Pradesh,

I did find Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation - Which is a NGO with headquarters in Makati, PH

Looks like BBC is turning into Murdochian Faux News
#12 Mar 23rd, 2017, 10:29
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nycank,

The link you provided for ASSIST does suggest that they do a number of projects in India - http://www.assistasia.org/index.php/...all&Itemid=129

Doesn't contradict your point about the reporting but not completely bogus either, it seems...
#13 Mar 26th, 2017, 20:06
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The aid worker has been acquitted and given the right to sure by Odisha high court. Neither article below is the best piece of journalism but perhaps it is better covered in other sources.

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2017/03/25/515558/Iran

http://www.firstpost.com/india/briti...h-3352804.html
#14 Mar 27th, 2017, 01:31
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#14
Following the links: Indian Express

Thanks for spotting the update. This is good news, but it sounds like this woman has made some powerful enemies. Wishing her all the best for the futire, especially if she wants to continue with her work
#15 Mar 27th, 2017, 05:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post but it sounds like this woman has made some powerful enemies. Wishing her all the best for the futire, especially if she wants to continue with her work
Au contraire, she has powerful allies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmalik View Post The aid worker has been acquitted and given the right to sure by Odisha high court. Neither article below is the best piece of journalism but perhaps it is better covered in other sources.

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2017/03/25/515558/Iran

http://www.firstpost.com/india/briti...h-3352804.html
Excellent spotting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmalik View Post nycank,

The link you provided for ASSIST does suggest that they do a number of projects in India - http://www.assistasia.org/index.php/...all&Itemid=129

Doesn't contradict your point about the reporting but not completely bogus either, it seems...
Actually, I am (and was) not too focussed on the defendant, nor the details of the case; but my focus was the sloppy reporting. The notion of a "local" NGO, and insinuation that somehow the local/indian NGO was conspiring against a poor, helpless, nubile Mother-Theresa-in-the-making; by two countries on the opposite end of the NGO-tolerance continuum makes one wonder.

Given what I know of the quantity of pending cases in India, and state of judicial neglect due to mountainous backlogs, it was surprising the speed of trial and disposal of the appeal. Also the attention given by some of highest diplomatic personnel (Foreign Minister of Iran) of a person who migrated eons ago, and holds nationality of another country, and probably permanent residence of yet another; makes one wonder.

There are many hyphenated Iranians, and hyphenated British citizens begging for similar attention, many in vain....

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