mid-day editorial: Charity doesn't work without honesty

Published: 20 December, 2017 06:11 IST | mid-day correspondent | Mumbai

In this season of charity and giving, it is alarming to learn of the less than honourable actions of thousands of charitable organisations

In this season of charity and giving, it is alarming to learn of the less than honourable actions of thousands of charitable organisations. A report in this paper stated the Maharashtra Charity Commission has de-registered as many as 26,168 organisations that failed to submit their audit reports of five years.

Details to be mentioned in the audit report include funds received by the organisations, expenditure, name changes and property owned by them. One fails to understand why the organisations would refuse to provide these details. It is especially important that charity outfits follow the rules to the letter. They operate on one principle - trust and faith. If they fail in their duty, they risk losing the faith of their contributors, supporters and followers. Losing the faith is deadly for these institutions because it is the base on which their edifice of altruism is built. When you chip away at the foundation itself, the entire building is in danger of collapse.

One must also remember that thanks to a few bad eggs in the charity basket, the public does tend to look at these Good Samaritan organisations with a jaundiced eye. Doubts surface about whether citizens' generous contributions are going to the right cause and people. Failing to comply with the commissioner and getting de-registered only cements doubts about whether the particular organisation is above board.

Charities need to get their act together. If they want support, they must adhere to laws and deadlines, and be completely transparent and professional. Nobody should have the opportunity to question their motives or record of money. They must remember that their shortcomings will also end up tainting other organisations that may be doing stellar work.

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