Greenpeace India Commits to “Fight against Injustice”

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May 21, 2015; Times of India

The central government of India is pressing on with its attempts to have foreign funding of NGO activity in India restricted. One of the NGOs, as reported in previous NPQ newswires, is Greenpeace. Greenpeace staff have demonstrated their tenacity and commitment to carry on despite the government’s freezing of the organization’s accounts.

According to the Times of India, Greenpeace staff have committed to keep on working without pay. “The government has made it impossible for us to operate, but our employees are willing to work without pay for one month because they see that the larger commitment has always been to fight against injustice,” said Greenpeace India head Samit Aich.

Another report, this one in business journal Mint, quotes Aich explaining that since the government clampdown, donations to Greenpeace have surged. He said that since April 9th, the organization has received donations from 2,800 new donors. Similarly, in June 2014, when an Indian government intelligence report called the NGO a “threat to national economic security,” Greenpeace India acquired 4,000 new donors.

U.S. foundations have also found themselves facing Indian government scrutiny. The Ford Foundation, which makes grants to Indian non-governmental organisations (NGOs), is on a watch list.The government has also appointed auditors to investigate the finances of the Indian branch of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, according to Reuters.

B.K. Prasad, a senior Indian home ministry official, told Reuters that the NGOs were violating the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, a law that bars overseas donations to activities of a “political nature.” Reuters says the U.S. State Department has sought clarification over the restrictions.—John Godfrey