Big Changes to Funding Movement Projects in IndiaOn Thu, 13 January, 2022 - 12:05
As you may have seen in the news, the past few weeks have seen major changes affecting the NGO sector in India. More than 150 large Indian charities, including at least one of our Triratna Trusts, have had their permission to receive foreign funding revoked by the Indian Government.
Most significantly, TBMSG Pune has had its foreign contributions permission removed. This is one of the main trusts supporting Triratna social projects in India. It employs 67 staff, mostly Mitras and Order Members, and also owns the land and buildings on which many of our projects are based.
This decision is being appealed against but, as it stands, we want to let you know how it will affect the Karuna Trust, Future Dharma Fundraising / India Dhamma Trust and The Abhayaratna Trust:
Sadly Karuna will no longer be able to fund the residential education hostels in Nagpur, Kolhapur, Ulhasnagar, Wardha, and Pune, and those projects will now have to rely on funds generated entirely from within India. These hostels currently receive funds from the Maharashtra State Social Welfare Department which means they should be able continue to function, albeit with a reduced number of students.
Furthermore, a number of other partners may no longer be able to receive funds from Karuna because they are managed by TBMSG Pune. These are Bhaja and Bor Dharan Retreat Centers, and Jeevak women’s project Pune.
Where we are not able to continue funding individual projects we will reallocate funds to new projects that address caste-based poverty and inequality. We are looking for ways to continue to support these affected partners through the provision of training and professional consultancy services.
As a whole, these changes affect approximately 10% of our Indian programme and whilst we are sorry not to be able to fund TBMSG Pune, we want to reassure you that our current programme in India, Nepal and Bangladesh remains very robust. We are continuing work with strong Indian partners and, over the past year, we have launched a number of new projects in Nepal and Bangladesh; projects which willI help people from the most marginalised communities as they start to recover from the devastating impacts of the pandemic. Karuna will continue to fund Triratna projects, such as the Aryaloka Computer Institutes, Amravati Schools project, and Green Tara Adolescent Girls’ project.
Padmadaka, CEO and Suddhaka, Head of Programmes.
FutureDharma Fund & India Dhamma Trust
We are also sad to let you know that our work in India has also been affected. One of the movement Trusts we support, TBMSG Pune, have had their FCRA registration renewal request denied, which means that they are no longer permitted to receive foreign funds from 1st January 2022.
This doesn’t affect all the projects we support - we are still able to send funds to the Indian Communications Project and our Indian Movement Coordinator. However, Bordharan Retreat Centre definitely is affected, and the Indian Ordination Teams and Youth Project probably will be.
In the medium term, we have reallocated funds we already held in India, including - with their kind permission - a gift of £60,000 from a UK Dharmachari and Dharmacharini. We are able to continue to support the Indian Ordination Teams for the next 18 months, and we are looking at how to make sure we can continue to support Bordharan Retreat Centre and our Youth Project. In the long term we are looking at a number of creative solutions, including stepping up our support and encouragement of Indian fundraising within India.
Nandavajra (FutureDharma Fund) and Vajratara (India Dhamma Trust)
Because of the remit of the Abhayaratna Trust - i.e. providing help to individual Order Members in hardship, including in India - our work will be affected very little by the recent changes affecting the NGO sector in India. Many of you gave to the Trust’s Emergency India COVID Appeal last year, and we will continue to get donated money to Order Members and their families who are in desperate hardship as a result of the COVID situation, as well as taking a longer-term, sustainable view to help Order Members re-establish livelihoods lost as a result of the pandemic.
So, please be assured that your money will continue to bring relief to Order Members and their families badly affected by the pandemic.
Mahasaraddha, Director, The Abhayaratna Trust