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.
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 Gates Foundation 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. Times of India