NEW DELHI: Kerala-based Ayana Charitable Trust, the new name under which US charity Gospel for Asia is reportedly funding projects in India, has emerged on top of the list of Indian NGOs with the highest foreign funding in 2015-16.
It is one of three Christian evangelical NGOs -- the other two being Believers Church India and World Vision India -- that figure among the top four foreign contribution grossers in the country last fiscal.
Ayana Charitable Trust, is supposedly a rebranded version of Gospel for Asia, the Texas-based NGO which ran into trouble in Canada due to allegations of financial bungling. A look at Ayana's FCRA returns, which declare its total foreign funding in 2015-16 at a whopping Rs 826 crore, lists Gospel for Asia, Hong Kong, as the source of most of its foreign funds. Interestingly, Param Shakthi Peeth, the NGO run by Sadhvi Rithambara who was associated in the past with RSS and VHP, was the second highest recipient of foreign funding in 2015-16.
The NGO has a sprawling ashram in Vrindavan and operates women's shelters, orphanages, hospitals and cowsheds. With foreign funding of Rs 417 crore in 2015-16, as per its FCRA returns uploaded on the home ministry website, Param Shakthi Peeth has figured for the first time in the past three years among the country's top ten NGOs in terms of foreign receipts.
Another Kerala-based evangelical charity, Believers Church India, which has been among the country's top 10 foreign-funded NGOs for the past several years and received Rs 113 crore and Rs 125 crore in 2013-14 and 2014-15 respectively, has shown Rs 342 crore foreign funding in its returns for the last fiscal. Interestingly, it also recorded Rs 500 crore as "foreign funding from local sources", claiming a total foreign funding of Rs 842 crore.
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Home ministry officials said it was not clear if the Rs 500 crore was received from FCRA-registered local NGOs. Interestingly, Gospel for Asia also figures as a prominent donor of foreign funds to Believers Church, which is headquartered in Kerala's Pathanamthitta district. Chennai-based World Vision India, the top foreignfund receiving NGO in 2013-14 and 2014-15, was pushed to the fourth place last fiscal with contributions falling to Rs 319 crore from Rs 357 crore in 2014-15 and Rs 341 crore in 2013-14.
Other top foreign funds recipients among Indian NGOs in the last fiscal included Care India Solutions for Sustainable Development, Rural Development Trust, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Public Health Foundation of India 0(Bill and Melinda GatesFoundation was one of its top donors), The Hans Foundation and Bak Raksha Trust. A prominent NGO missing in the list of top ten foreign-funded Indian NGOs is Compassion East India, which had declared foreign donations at Rs 118 crore (2014-15) and Rs 111 crore (2013-14). Its main donor, US-based Compassion International, was put on prior permission in March 2016, requiring all its foreign funding to be approved by the home ministry.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Non-government organisations (NGOs) in the state have received foreign funds to the tune of Rs 4,080 crore during the last financial year, an increase of about 60 per cent compared to Rs 2,510 crore received during the previous year. According to the data available from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Ayana Charitable Trust, Believers Church of India and Mata Amrithanandamayi Math continue to top the tally of highest recipients of foreign funds.
While the Pathanamthita-based Ayana Charitable Trust received Rs 1,091 crore, Believers Church of India, which is also based in Pathanamthitta, received Rs 906 crore. Kollam-based Mata Amritananda Mayi Trust received Rs 371 crore. Last Hour Ministry and Love India Ministries, both based in Manjadi in Pathanamthitta, are the two other agencies that received more than Rs 100 crore. While Last Hour Ministry received Rs 230 crore, Love India Ministries received Rs 171 crore. Some of the top recipients are said to be managed by same persons.
Compared to the previous year, Ayana Charitable Trust and Believers Church made considerable increase in foreign fund receipts. Ayana received only Rs 426 crore and Believers Church received only Rs 392 crore during the last year. Meanwhile, there was a slight dip in the foreign funds received by Amritanandamayi Math, compared to last year which was Rs 390 crore, according to the MHA data. As many as 1,525 NGOs had received foreign funds during the 2015-16. While 21 NGOs received funds in the range of Rs 10 crore to Rs 31 crore, about 270 agencies received funds in the range of Rs 1 crore to Rs 10 crore.