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NGOs facing the heat from LPG price hike

The Centre’s decision to hike the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders has not gone down well with NGOs, and is hampering their social work. 33 NGOs operating in the Virar-Bhayander belt, which are funded by private donors, have approached the Chairman of the Congress Committee, Michael Furtado, with their grievances.

LPG cylinders
Burning issue: To curb expenses, several NGOs have shunned LPG cylinders and have started using wood to cook food. Representation pic

He will now forward their memorandum to the Secretariat at the Mantralaya and to the state government and the Centre, asking them to grant the NGOs subsidies on cooking gas cylinders.

“Whom should we approach, as the price hike policy originates from the Centre?” said Virar-based Victor Bansiwar, founder-trustee of Sanjeevani Voice, an NGO for orphans. “There are 52 mouths to feed. The total cost of food expenses is already rising to nearly Rs 50,000 per month. We get resources from private donors and they may not be able to help us by providing more funds due to the rising inflation. It is high time the government wakes up and does something for us,” said Bansiwar.

He further added that children residing at the NGO get vocational training and pursue courses in bakery and other cooking activities. “With Diwali round the corner, preparation of wax for diyas will take a hit, as we need LPG to prepare them,” said Bansiwar.

The gripe is similar at Nivanya Niketan, Vasai, an NGO that cares for six mentally challenged children and 32 adivasi children. To tide over their problems, they have already opted for commercial cylinders. “We had no option but to opt for the 19-kg cylinder that costs Rs 1,600, since we use a lot of gas. To curb our expenses, we have also started using wood to cook food,” said Rusina Xavier, the NGO director.

Representatives of the NGOs have also approached Shashikant Chauhan, district head of the Woman and Child Development department, seeking advice from him on the issue.

When contacted Chauhan said, “I heard of the grievances, after they got in touch with me on the phone. Firstly, they should approach the Mantralaya and address their problems to them. Whatever help I can provide them, I will definitely oblige.”¬†

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