State govt cracks down on unlicensed NGOs
At least 12 NGOs in the state working towards the benefit of women and children have been found to be unauthorised. This was revealed during a four-month-long survey by the state's Women and Child Development (WCD) department.
WCD officials allege that most of these NGOs get foreign funding, and despite ample finance, have not maintained some of their shelter homes appropriately. After the recent survey, WCD members have taken disciplinary action against two such NGOs located in Vasai and Thane. “We’ve initiated police action against Light House Mission, a Vasai-based NGO. Despite repeated reminders, they haven’t registered their organisation with us. There were 38 boys staying with them, who have been shifted to a nearby shelter with immediate effect. The Thane NGO that accommodated two boys was also asked to shut down,” said a WCD officer.
According to WCD officials, in March this year they conducted a workshop for all the NGOs registered across the state. “The survey pertained to the Government Resolution (GR) that was issued in December last year, which laid down guidelines for NGOs across the state. We asked the NGO representatives to fulfil all the criteria laid down by the state government or face action. Accordingly, around 12 NGOs in Mumbai and Thane had appealed to us to grant extension on their licences,” said WCD officer Shashikant Chavan.
Chavan added, “Despite repeated reminders and the workshop conducted to impose the GR, the people working at the Light House Mission did not bother to apply for a licence. We had sent them repeated reminders and were finally compelled to take action.”
Sources revealed that Light House Mission had more than 20 acres of land in its name, which was purchased through foreign funding. With the recent action, WCD officials have decided to implement strict rules for such dubious NGOs. They have also appealed to the public to alert them in case they come across any such unlicensed NGOs in their neighbourhood.