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Cracking on foreign funds? 8,975 NGOs lose their license for not filing annual returns

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The NDA government has cancelled the licenses of 8,975 NGOs saying that the organizations failed to file annual returns the years 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12.

The move came after the government in a crackdown had suspended Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration of international environmental NGO, Greenpeace.

According to the cancellation order by the Home Ministry, the government had issued notifications to 10,343 NGOs on October 16, 2014 asking them to file annual returns within a month. The government also asked them to specify the amount of foreign funds received, their sources, their purpose and how they were utilized. However, only 229 NGOs replied.

“Out of the notices issued to 10,343 associations across India, reply from 229 associations have been received which are being examined on a case to case basis. No reply has been received from the remaining associations numbering 8,975,” the ministry order said.

Under FCRA, NGOs which receive foreign funds have to submit an annual report in Form FC-6. It has to include income and expenditure statement, receipt and payment account, balance sheet etc for every financial year beginning on the 1st day of April within nine months of the closure of the financial year.

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Undaunted Initiative by tribal women for forest preservation in Muturkham, Jharkhand

Muturkhum forest saved from deforestation and exploitation under Timber mafia due to collective efforts of tribal women

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forest under the threat o deforestation in Muthurkam saved by tribal women. pexeby

8th Nov, 2017, Jharkhand:Armed with just water bottles and sticks, a group of poor tribal women in Muturkham village of Purbi Singhbhum district of Jharkhandtrekked miles to the sal forest that surrounded their habitat. Their mission: To save the forest from being plundered and denuded by the “forest mafia”.

Accompanied by just a dog for their safety, these determined women made frequent forays into the deep forest — with which they shared a symbiotic relationship — and have been able, over the years, to successfully conserve 50 hectares of forest land and its flora and fauna deep in the heart of a territory that has also been a battle zone between government forces and left-wing extremists.

This group was brought together by Jamuna Tudu, 37, who has spent the last two decades of her life fighting against deforestation. It was in 1998, after her marriage, that Jamuna took up this challenge of preserving the forest by making villagers develop a stake in it.

 

orest saved from deforestation by tribal women in Muturkham. pexeby

Today, her Van Suraksha Samiti (Forest Protection Group) has about 60 active women members who patrol the jungle in shifts thrice a day: Morning, noon and evening. And sometimes even at night, as the mafia set fire to the forests in random acts of vandalism and vengeance.

Jamuna’s fight has not gone unnoticed. The President of India has honoured her conservation efforts.

“Few days after my marriage, when my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and a few other women from the village took me to the forest to cut wood and get it to cook food, I felt that if we keep cutting the trees this way, all our forests will be wiped out,” Jamuna recalled to IANS in an interview.

In her quest, she had to battle against the mafia that was chopping down trees for their precious sal timber with complete disregard for the law or the tribal tradition that prohibits cutting of the trees.

Realising that she would get little help from authorities, who may well have been hand in glove with the mafia, she took matters in her own hands. She spoke to a few women of the village who were quite aghast at the task she had taken on. We won’t do it; this will require us to fight the men in the village, they told her.

But Jamuna, who has studied up to Class X, foresaw a bleak green-less future for herself and her community with no trees and forests to sustain or protect them.

‘Jungle nahi rahega toh paryavaran kaise bachega (how will we protect the environment if the forest is destroyed)?’ she asked.

Jamuna’s clear understanding of the issue soon trickled down to the other women and even men in her village.

“I was brought up with a love and respect for nature. My father used to plant numerous trees in our farms in Odisha. That’s where I learnt the importance of the environment,” she said.

Pointing out how the mafia was exploiting the wood from Muturkham to fund their alcohol needs, she said she was bewildered by the passive response of the community at their habitat being slowly destroyed.

“I went on to speak to a few women in the village. I held a meeting with them several times to be able to convince them that we needed to protect our beautiful forests,” she said.

Gradually, she mobilised a group of 25 women from the village and armed them with bows and arrows, bamboo sticks and spears, they marched into the forest to take on the forest predators.

With time, many men also became part of the campaign against deforestation, but most of the effort has continued to be from women, said Jamuna.

There are many daunting challenges that came their way, but their single-minded dedication towards their cause kept them going.

“There were too many altercations with the village people initially.. many scuffles with the mafia… and I told those women that in this journey, we would come across both good and bad times, but we have to struggle to keep the forest,” said Jamuna.

The group convinced the railway authorities to bar the plundered wood from being exported.

“Some time in 2008-09, we were brutally attacked by the mafia,” she said.

“They pelted stones at us while we were coming back from the railway station after speaking to the station master. Everybody got injured,” she added.

For obvious reasons, Jamuna, the woman whose initiatives were hampering their business, was their main target. She and her husband suffered most in the assault.

“My husband got hit on his head as he tried to save me. It was dark and we somehow managed to run away. We narrowly escaped death that day.” But she did not give up.

Over 15 years of many fierce encounters with the mafia and relentless sensitisation of the community, Jamuna, and the Van Suraksha Samiti that she formed, have succeeded in protecting and conserving the 50 hectares of forest land not just surrounding her village, but around many others as well.

Tribal communities cannot survive without wood. They need it for various things — mostly to cook food. But they ensure that their requirements remain within sustainable limits.

“We don’t cut trees on purpose any more and use the fallen trees and branches for all our needs,” Jamuna said. “The amount we are able to save up during the rains is sufficient for the whole year.”

The Forest Department has “adopted” her village, which has led to Muturkham getting a water connection and a school.

In 2013, Jamuna was conferred with the Godfrey Phillips Bravery Award in the ‘Acts of Social Courage’ category and this year in August, she was awarded with Women Transforming India Award by the NITI Aayog.

Today, she runs awareness campaigns through various forest committees in Kolhan Division. Around 150 committees formed by Jamuna, comprising more than 6,000 members, have joined her movement to save the forests.

She wants to do a lot more. “I wish to do a lot… to make a lot more difference, but I am bound by limited resources. I can’t in many ways afford to go beyond the villages in my state.”

But if I get more support, many more forests like ours can be saved, she declared.

(This feature is part of a special series that seeks to bring unique and extraordinary stories of ordinary people, groups and communities from across a diverse, plural and inclusive India, and has been made possible by a collaboration between IANS and the Frank Islam Foundation. Mudita Girotra can be contacted at mudita.g@ians.in)

 

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Stable Owner in Mumbai Booked for Cruelty to a Pregnant Cow after Complaint by NGO

Non Governmental Organization called People for Animals, upon learning of the incident, filed a complaint after which the stable owner was booked by the D.B Marg Police

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Cruelty to Cow
An infected cow was abandoned by its owner. Wikimedia
  • People for Animals is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) 
  • They were reported of an incident by local animal enthusiast group called Foundation For Mumbai Animals (FFMA)
  • The incident involved a severely infected cow being left abandoned by a stable owner

Mumbai, August 29, 2017: A Stable owner has been booked here for abandoning one of his cows who was pregnant and severely infected.

Non Governmental Organization called People for Animals, upon learning of the incident, filed a complaint after which the stable owner was booked by the D.B Marg Police.

ALSO READ:  India Increase in Attacks related to Cow Vigilantism under Narendra Modi Government: Report.

The abandoned cow was found wandering in Khetwadi. Local Animal enthusiast group called Foundation for Mumbai Animals (FFMA) found the cow and informed People for Animals (PFA).

Maggot infestation was found in the cow’s hooves and it was clear that the animal was in pain. Pandurang Shinde, a Senior Police Inspector told to the Hindu, “We have booked the accused under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and are conducting further inquiries. The accused has claimed that the cow wandered off four days ago, and that he too was looking for her.”

PFA member Nirali Koradia stated, “We reached out to Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone II) Dnyaneshwar Chavan, and he directed his officers to take action.”

The Stable owner, who sells milk for living, claims that the cow wandered off on its own. The cow is being treated for her infections. The FFMA has also claimed that this same person has been booked for cruelty earlier.


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Sketch by a 10-Year-Old Girl Victim in Delhi Sends her Rapist Uncle to Jail

Delhi court judge Vinod Yadav gave a verdict in girls' favor

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Rapist was convicted based on this sketch
Rapist was convicted based on this sketch.

New Delhi, August 27, 2017: Based on a pencil sketch of a 10-year-old child victim, Delhi court judge Vinod Yadav has taken the decision to punish her 45-year-old uncle for rape and sentenced him to 5 years in jail on June 2016.

Her uncle Akhter Ahmed, who has been jailed for sexual assault, said that the girl had been tortured to speak against him in the court. He also said that she is not a competent witness but the sketch she drew to keep herself busy during trial proceedings, made the Judge to put the rapist behind bars.

The judge gave the verdict based on, “A close scrutiny of the drawing reveals that she has depicted an abandoned house in gloomy colors, a girl carrying some balloons with intermingled threads and her dress lying removed.” The Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav said that the sketch highlighted the lasting torturous impression of the sexual assault that is left on her the mind and this ruled what the uncle earlier said of her not being competent to testify against him.

ALSO READ: Serial rapist has killed over 30 children: police

The girl’s horrifying incidence which is like a nightmare had its origin in the year 2014, the time when she moved in with her aunt from Kolkata to Delhi. Her mother died and her father (who was a drug addict) abandoned her. This is also the year when her trauma started.

Her uncle used to sexually abuse her. The little girl tried to confide in her aunt, wanted to tell her what happened with her but she thought her aunt wouldn’t listen to her. So, one day, she just ran out of the home so as to escape the torture she was dealing with. A conductor saw her on a bus in November 2014, she was sitting all alone and crying. He tried to talk to her and find out what is wrong but she didn’t say a word. Thus, he handed her over to the police, who called in the counselors for help from a non-governmental organization (NGO) called Haq Foundation.

According to NDTV report, the girl’s counselor Uzma Pravin told, “For the first few sessions the girl was not revealing what was going on in her mind but as she became more familiar, she started opening up in bits and pieces.” Uzma joined the puzzle pieces of information together and started to shape up the young girl’s narrative until she was more coherent.

But when the counselors gave her a sheet of paper, pencil, and crayons during the proceedings of the court, they thought it was a way to help the child stay busy with something and would feel less nervous about what was going on. But, one day when the young girl showed the sketch she made to the counselor Uzma Pravin, she gave it to the judge.

She said, “Her drawings revealed a lot about her. There was always something in it. Most children can’t express themselves. However, if we try to look at their drawings, we can understand them,” mentions NDTV report.

Her colleague, Bharti Ali, said that drawing therapy was one of the child-friendly practices which the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Gita Mittal encouraged foundations like Haq to undertake  Bharti Ali said that the court verdict was a kind of positive development and a moment of victory but she hoped that more judges in future could use and allow innovative methods like this.


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.
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