Amnesty International, its FCRA connections and some of its Indian players

Amnesty International is in Indian news, and it doesn’t look good for them. This Post will try to utilise the opportunity of the evanescent public interest on Amnesty and will try to explore some of its FCRA connections. This Post will not mention about a Mr. Aakar Patel. Thus, if you are addicted to that name, you can stop reading this Post.

Amnesty-India is not a FCRA-NGO, i.e., it is not registered under FCRA. There are two Companies related to Amnesty in India. These are:

Company

CIN

Directors (from mca.gov.in) (DIN in brackets)

Amnesty International India Private Limited (AIIPL)

U85100KA2013PTC069601

Shoba Mathai (00487078), Minar Vasudeo Pimple (02040411), Amitabh Behar (02555356), Nandini Anand Basappa (06633329) & Biraj Patnaik (07431665)

Amnesty International South Asia Foundation (AISAF)

U74900DL2015NPL279909

Minar Vasudeo Pimple (02040411), Meenu Vadera (02087197) & Susmitha Alva (07255939)

While AIIPL is a Private Limited Company registered in Bengaluru, AISAF is a Non-Profit License Company registered in Delhi.

Observations:

  1. If Amnesty-India is not a FCRA-NGO, where does it get its funds from? What is its relationship to Amnesty International-UK (or equivalents elsewhere)? To answer such questions, one will have to go through the Annual Reports, Financial Statements etc. of Amnesty-India which can be obtained from MCA. However, this requires payment of a nominal fee to MCA which this blogger would like to avoid as it will leave a trace.

  2. Minar Pimple is mentioned as the Senior Director of Global Operations, Amnesty International (AI) on AI’s website.

  3. According to InstaFinancials, Minar Pimple was a Director of Oxfam India (CIN=U74999DL2004NPL131340) during 2004-2010. Oxfam India is a FCRA-NGO (DL/231661035) with enormous interest and disruptive work on the so-called Right To Education among other “Child Rights”. It receives a huge amount of money, particularly from its UK principal, which in turn receives grants from UK Government’s DFID.

  4. Minar Pimple is the Founding member and the CEO (1984-2004) of Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA), Kharghar, Raigad, Maharashtra-410210. YUVA is a FCRA-NGO (MH/83850025). It received Rs. 3.1 Crore of foreign funds in 2013-14. Its donors include: Dignity International, Oxfam India, Katholische Zentralstelle Fur Entwicklungshilfe (Catholic Organization), Janvikas-Ahmedabad, PLAN India (Leslee Udwin is PLAN-UK’s Ambassador), Ford Foundation etc..;

  5. Ministry of Corporate Affairs website shows that Ms. Shoba Mathai is also the Director of a Bengaluru company called Oriental Software Private Limited (CIN=U72100KA1985PTC007300) since 1985. The work of this Software company and profiles of its other functionaries can be seen on their website. Apart from leading private organizations, they also have many Government agencies as their clients. They also mention that international NGOs too are their clients. It is quite discomforting to see Government establishments listed there as clients. More can be said, but we shall leave it to the readers to ponder.

  6. It may also be pertinent to check out the list of Directors in this UK Company called IPARTNER India (Company number 05819852) here.

  7. The following FCRA-NGOs have received contributions via FCRA from foreign offices of Amnesty International:

    1. 2007: Association for Voluntary Action (AVA), Delhi (DL/231650169)

    2. 2008: Creating Resources for Empowerment in Action (CREA), Delhi (DL/231660359)

    3. 2011: Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA), Raigad (MH/83850025)

    4. 2012: Society for Public Relations in Karnataka, Bengaluru (KA/94420384)

    5. 2012: Environics Trust, Delhi (DL/231660713)

  8. The website of Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) states that “BBA activities are run through the registered society, Association for Voluntary Action”. In fact, the Darpan portal of NITIAAYOG too provides BBA’s website for AVA. At the same address as AVA, the following FCRA-NGOs exist: Bal Ashram Trust (DL/231660937), Global March India Foundation (231660984), and Save the Childhood Foundation (DL/231661122).

  9. Amitabh Behar is the current (2014-2016) President of the Governing Body of YUVA. Mr. Behar is also listed as a Director of AIIPL (see Table above). According to this beautiful investigative expose on foreign funded NGOs work on RTE, Mr. Behar also heads the Centre for Budget and Government Accountability as well as the Wada Na Todo alliance, and also the National Foundation for India. Dr. Madhav Nalapat in this article of 9th May 2015, says this about Mr. Amitabh Behar:

    the Ford Foundation now appears to have tasked a former employee, Amitabh Behar, to create a network of NGOs across India under the “Wada Na Todo” (Don’t Break Promises) slogan. Behar has taken over the well-regarded National Foundation of India (NFI), and according to sources in Delhi, has received over $7 million from Ford, besides significant amounts from the MacArthur and Rockefeller Foundations for expanding his activities into directions that appear to veer into the political, exactly as they did in the case of some other donees of the Ford Foundation, especially in Gujarat, a state which seems to have been on the radar of several organisations during 2002-2013. Such a network would have the capability to launch within weeks “independent and spontaneous” agitations on the lines desired by donor agencies, and can therefore get used whenever there is a disconnect between the wishes of the governments backing such foreign NGOs and the Government of India.

We hope and wish that Government of India eradicates FCRA as well as other routes (company route, BAM routes etc..) by which such Breaking India forces operate.

Has this Post answered every question you had on Amnesty India? No. Has it answered mine? Surely not. I just thought I’ll share whatever that can be collated from public domain here. That is all.

UPDATE ON SEPTEMBER 02, 2016: The DARPAN Portal of Niti Aayog provides the name of a NGO which appears to be related to Amnesty. Operating from Bengaluru, it is called “ Indians for Amnesty International Trust” and its chief functionaries are listed as Ananthapadmanabhan Guruswamy and Shobha Mathai. The common names are interesting to note. A screenshot of that page is given below.

darp_amn.png

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Amnesty International, its FCRA connections and some of its Indian players