Mumbai NGO in soup for using ACB's name in campaign without permission

Jan 12, 2018, 14:41 IST | A Correspondent

This Mumbai NGO is fighting for the right cause but going about it the wrong way

Pravin Kalme
Pravin Kalme

This Mumbai NGO is fighting for the right cause but going about it the wrong way. It had initiated a movement on social media for a "corruption-free Maharashtra", in association with the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), a couple of years back. While that association is now over, its social media page still continues to claim the same despite the agency not authorising further use of its name for the campaign.

Pravin Kalme, who manages the NGO Earth, on its Facebook page mentions that corruption leads to slow economic growth, high unemployment and slow development, and the NGO, in association with the ACB, is working to create awareness in society against corruption.

The ACB, however, is clueless about the initiative and even the fact that the agency's name is being used for it. When mid-day called Vivek Phansalkar, additional director general of police, state ACB, he said, "ACB has not associated itself with any such NGO." When asked whether the department would take any action against the organisation for using ACB's name, the officer didn't respond.

A mid-ranking ACB officer said citizens do get carried away by such ads or lines used by individuals or NGOs. "Everyone in the society needs to fight corruption, and we welcome initiatives that are aimed at that. But, while doing so, anyone misguiding people is not acceptable or endorsed by the department," the officer added.

The other side
Kalme admitted that his NGO was no longer associated with the ACB or the corruption-free Maharashtra movement. "In 2015-16, we were (associated)... We have official communication from then DG (anti-corruption) for the same," he added, saying, "Someone is trying to malign the NGO's image." When asked why the page continued to mention the association with ACB, Kalme said, "The post is from 2015. But I will look into it."

By invitation
The United Nations had invited Kalme's NGO as the observer for state parties convention against corruption, which was held in Vienna in November 2017.

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