Non-governmental organisations, or NGOs for short, are a type of non-profit organisation that is independent from Indian government control and democratic in governance. They work on local and global issues such as poverty, the environment, human rights, education and gender equality. Non-governmental organisations have been around since 1877 but it took until 1947 for them to be recognised by the international community with the establishment of a UN charter. In this website we will explore what NGOs do, how they operate in India and some challenges they face.
Non-governmental organisations are not limited to one issue or field of work and many tackle multiple issues at once. They can be either small, localised groups or large international networks that span across the world. Taken together they provide a service by acting as an alternative voice for people who cannot speak out themselves on a particular issue. This could include protecting specific groups such as indigenous communities from exploitation, lobbying governments into creating legislation which protects them, educating women about their rights so they’re aware of what is available to them in society and organising protests when necessary against companies who are exploiting workers with poor health and safety conditions. It should also be noted that while it is often assumed that non-profit organisation always work for the benefit of society, NGOs are sometimes set up to work in favour of a particular group such as environmental organisations which might have vested interests.
In India there is no overarching legislation that controls how non-governmental organisations can function so this varies from region to region and NGO to NGO. Some regions allow them more freedom than others, with some requiring government approval before registering themselves as an NGO while others rarely ask anything about their activities outside of whether or not they’ve been successful at attracting funding. Many localised NGOs will often focus on one specific issue such as providing education services or working against human trafficking when organising events instead of trying to tackle multiple issues at once like international networks might be able to provide.
Non-governmental organizations often face barriers that make it difficult for them to operate and compete with larger, more established companies such as multinationals. One of the largest issues they face is funding because most NGOs rely on donations from individuals or charities instead of government grants - which must be applied for competitively. Many people also donate less after natural disasters when funds are usually depleted anyway so this can lead to difficulties during periods where there’s a lot happening at once. Another problem facing many Indian NGOs is that they have difficulty accessing local resources due to both lack of infrastructure and government restrictions on what types of projects can go ahead without permission. This means that while international networks might still be able to operate in India, many local NGOs struggle because they lack the resources needed.