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NGOs to run community affairs of Malaysian Indians: Report

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Sikh Police commissioner

Kuala Lumpur: The Malaysian government has decided to disburse funds aimed at development of the Malaysian Indian community through non-governmental organizations and training institutions following the leadership tussle within the country’s largest ethnic Indian party, a media report said on Thursday.

The department of Socio-Economic Development of the Indian Community (SEDIC) would disburse the funds through selected NGOs and training institutions, and not through individuals or political parties, The Malaysian Insider quoted SEDIC Director N.S. Rajendran as saying.

2000px-Coat_of_arms_of_Malaysia.svgAmong the 11 areas identified for funding are development of Tamil schools, issuing of identity cards to undocumented Indians, university admissions and promoting Indian participation in the public sector.

“The proposals will go through different stages of screening before they are approved by the prime minister,” Rajendran said.

The 68-year-old Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), long perceived to be upholder of the rights of Indian Malaysians, is facing the danger of disintegration following differences of opinion between former party president G. Palanivel and acting president S. Subramaniam.

The Registrar of Societies, a statutory body, in December last year ordered the MIC to re-elect its 23 Central Working Committee members and three vice-presidents. It directed the party to hold the internal elections within 90 days.

But Palanivel made new appointments without prior consultation with the existing committee members and his deputy, who called the move arbitrary. The statutory body also held the appointments null and void.

“I don’t think we should focus too much on the MIC’s problems because in doing so, we are diverting our attention from our community’s problems. When it comes to empowering the Indians, NGOs have proven to be more reliable than political parties like the MIC,” Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA) principal fellow K.S. Nathan said.

He added that Malaysian Indians have pinned all their hopes on civil society to help them fight for their cause.

The MIC is a part of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition of Malaysia.

Ethnic Indians comprise a little over 7 percent of Malaysia’s total population of nearly 30 million. (IANS)

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EXCLUSIVE- ‘Mitti Ki Khusboo’: Why did Amanjot Ramoowalia leave Canadian Citizenship?

Nationalism sprouts within the home itself and such has been the story of Roomawalia, for which she left Canadian citizenship

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Amanjot Ramoowalia
Mitti Ki Khusboo Campaign with Amanjot Ramoowalia
  • ‘Mitti Ki Khusboo’ is an initiative which thrives on connecting NRIs and PIOs to their motherland
  • Amanjot Ramoowalia left Canadian Citizenship for her native land
  • She now runs an NGO called “Helping Hapless”, which aims at helping the needy people.

– by Naina Mishra  

Chandigarh, June 08, 2017: ‘Mitti Ki Khusboo’ is an initiative which thrives on connecting NRIs and PIOs to their motherland. No matter wherever you set off, your native land must never be forgotten, and the smell of the motherland should always fill your heart with reverence.

Newsgram brings to you the gratifying narrative of an ex-NRI, Amanjot Ramoowalia who left the Canadian citizenship for the welfare of her native land– “Punjab”.

Ms. Ramoowalia, 47, is a resident of Chandigarh and the head of a charity for women. At the age of 19, she left to Canada and got married. During her stay in Canada, she always had a subtle inclination towards her homeland.

“I always had a whole in my heart for my nation. I still remember the first time in years after I visited India. As soon as the plane landed, I greeted the motherland and sighed relief.” told Ramoowalia to Newsgram.

Nationalism sprouts within the home itself and such has been the story of Roomawalia. Her family background explains the inclination towards the nation:

She grew up watching her father and grandfather fully immersed in serving the motherland. The young girl instilled the similar patterns in her as she grew up. Ramooawalia’s grandfather, Karnail Singh Paras was a renowned Kavishar of ‘Indian Punjab’. He used to sing patriotic songs and inspire people to devote themselves to Dharma (religion) and Vatan (nation). Ramoowalia also saw her father, Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, now Cabinet Minister of UP, who ran ‘Dharam Yudh Morcha’ while struggling at the time of emergency period.

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“One night cops entered my house looking for my father. Few armed men tried to shoot him at back. At that time, we didn’t even know whether my dad would return back or not. On that night my mother told me not to cry. She pointed towards a painting of Guru Gobind Singh with 4 sahibzaade and said “our Guru sacrificed himself for us. We must not fear to lose him as he will sacrifice himself for the nation if the situation commands.” said Ramoowalia recalling the memories of her childhood.

It was certain that Ramoowalia was turning as a nationalist herself while growing up. Before shifting to India, Ramoowalia did some election campaigning for her father who was a politician in Punjab. She covered her father wherever it was required.  Ramoowalia would listen to the plight of the marginalized sections of society, which changed her perspective wholly.

She says, “I heard a woman lamenting over her 19-year-old son who died due to a drug overdose. I was touched with the problems people faced in Punjab and wanted to bring a change in the state of affairs”. By this time she was about to hail as the chief of Planning Commission Board under SAD-led government. However, I was a Canadian and was suppose to renounce my citizenship.”

Ramoowalia adds,”Someone on the immigration board did ask me “Are you sure you want to renounce the citizenship. People are dying for this.” But out of my people’s love and patriotism, I gave up my citizenship, quoted Ramoowalia on leaving Canadian citizenship.”

Roomawalia now runs an NGO called “Helping Hapless”, which aims at helping the needy people. It strives to solve myriads of issues like Human Trafficking, Drugs, and Domestic Violence.

“We wanted to continue our work which we also carried out during elections because it was the need of an hour and not something to be vouched politically”, she explained.

Ramoowalia put in plain words the essence of Mitti ki Khusboo.

 When you leave your home country owing to a better education or better life but do not forget your homeland, mother tongue, culture and traditions of the land you come from. The smell of the motherland is the smell of your own natives. Our land has the oldest legacy in the world. There might be others as well but for me, this is the place I found my soul always belonged to where heart fills more than the gut. I am fully satisfied living here and working for my people

– by Naina Mishra of Newsgram, Twitter: @Nainamishr94

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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Impact Guru and GlobalGiving team up to scale Crowdfunding in India

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An old person treated in hospital in India (representational Image), VOA

New Delhi, May 2, 2017: Impact Guru, India’s leading crowdfunding platform for NGOs, medical and personal causes has entered into a strategic partnership with US and UK based GlobalGiving, the world’s first and largest non-profit crowdfunding platform.

This partnership will enable vetted Indian NGOs and social enterprises raising money on www.impactguru.com to offer tax benefits to international donors in US and UK, particularly NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) / PIOs (People of Indian Origin) when they donate towards social causes using GlobalGiving’s technology on the Impact Guru platform.

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India is home to the highest number of nonprofits in the world (33 lakh NGOs) and raises more than Rs. 8,500 crore annually from international donors. Tax incentives are often considered a crucial factor in encouraging philanthropy. By offering tax exemptions to US and UK donors, this partnership will help Indian NGOs and social enterprises to attract more philanthropy or grant capital from the Indian diaspora.

The Indian government estimates that there are more than 60 lakh NRIs / PIOs residing in the US and UK. According to a research report by The Bridgespan Group, if the charitable contributions of the Indian diaspora in the US were consistent with those of other American households in similar income brackets, and they directed 40 percent of their philanthropy to India, Rs. 8000 crore additional funds could flow from such donors towards Indian social causes per year.

International donors can be rest assured about the transparency and authenticity of the participating organisations as all participants will need to go through an intermediary facilitating the process of due diligence or should have been vetted in the past by one.

Social enterprises based in India are also eligible to either fundraise online or route their grants via Impact Guru. Beyond India, this partnership will also enable nonprofits and social enterprises across Southeast Asia (including Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia) to raise funds via Impact Guru.

“Having spent over a decade outside of India prior to starting Impact Guru, we can relate to the desire of Indian diaspora to give back while obtaining local tax benefits, and their concerns around transparency of Indian NGOs. Impact Guru is thrilled to be partnering with GlobalGiving to address these gaps, thereby making us the platform of choice for crowd funding by Indians globally,” said co-founder and CEO Piyush Jain, Impact Guru’s.

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“GlobalGiving is excited to partner with Impact Guru to help Indian NGOs transact with donors in India, the US and the UK on a single giving platform. This partnership will help GlobalGiving, Impact Guru and the global social sector to understand more about how donors and NGOs interact locally and globally,” said GlobalGiving’s Spokesperson, John Hecklinger, Chief Network Officer.

In the past, Impact Guru has executed a successful partnership with Fundnel, a Singapore based private investment platform. This collaboration strengthened the Indian platform’s presence in Southeast Asia. Since 2016, Impact Guru and Fundnel have helped mobilize over Rs. 329 crore for various projects across 15 countries.

Impact Guru was also recently chosen as the official crowd funding partner of Project Inspire, an initiative by Singapore Committee for UN Women and MasterCard that focused on creating a better world for women and girls in Asia Pacific. It raised approximately Rs. 25 lakhs from more than 1,100 supporters from over 30 countries in less than a month. (ANI)

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Rights Group calls for more Refugees in Europe on First Death Anniversary of Syrian Toddler Aylan Kurdi’s Death

Since Kurdi’s death, though, more than 4,000 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean – including hundreds of children – which Egeland called unacceptable

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Map of Europe. Image Source: Wikimedia commons.

August 31, 2016: This week marks the one-year anniversary of the death of a Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi, whose body washed up on a beach in Turkey, and whose photograph sparked an outpouring of support around the world.

Now, the Norwegian Refugee Council, a human rights group based in Europe, is using the anniversary of the iconic photo to call on European leaders to “stop the loss of lives” on their doorstep.

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“One year after the death of Aylan Kurdi the haemorrhage of human lives on the doorstep to Europe has worsened,” Jan Egeland, head of the NRC. “European leaders promised action and countries promised to fulfil their moral responsibilities. But instead of building bridges they have built walls, and instead of taking their share of responsibility, they have participated in a race to a bottom.”

Representational Image of Refugees. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Representational Image of Refugees. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

According to the International Organization for Migration, European countries combined took in more than 1,000,000 refugees during 2015, but still, Egeland said this isn’t good enough and wants to see more refugees settled in Europe.

“European civilisation, or lack thereof, is defined by how we receive persecuted human beings seeking our protection,” he said.

The photo of the toddler, shown lying face down on the Turkish shoreline as the waves rolled in and out, led to a massive spike in donations to charities and NGOs that help refugees and asylum seekers obtain food, clothing and other goods.

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Save the Children, a U.K.-based child advocacy group reported a 70 percent increase in donations in the 24 hours after the picture was published, while the Migrant Offshore Aid Station, which operates independent rescue boats in the Mediterranean, saw 15 times as much money donated in the 24 hours after the photo was published than any other 24-hour time period in the past.

Since Kurdi’s death, though, more than 4,000 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean – including hundreds of children – which Egeland called unacceptable.

“European leaders must do more to prevent new tragedies,” he said. (VOA)

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