FCRA Licence of Sadbhavana Trust, NGO Empowering Marginalized Women, Cancelled by Union Government

FCRA Licence of Sadbhavana Trust, NGO Empowering Marginalized Women, Cancelled by Union Government
FCRA Licence of Sadbhavana Trust, NGO Empowering Marginalized Women, Cancelled by Union Government

The Sadbhavana Trust, a non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Delhi dedicated to empowering Dalit and Muslim women, has faced the cancellation of its Foreign Contribution Registration Act (FCRA) licence by the Union government. As a result, the trust is no longer able to receive or utilize foreign grants. One of the cited violations for the cancellation relates to the trust’s failure to open an FCRA bank account in the designated State Bank of India branch in New Delhi, according to officials.

Established in 1990 by a group of social activists committed to supporting laborers in Mehrauli, the Sadbhavana Trust collaborates with other NGOs to enhance the well-being of rural women in economically disadvantaged areas of India, as stated on its official website.

The cancellation of the Sadbhavana Trust’s FCRA licence follows a similar fate experienced by the Young Women’s Christian Association of Delhi, making it the second women-focused NGO to face such consequences in two weeks. Additionally, CNI Shishu Sangopan Griha and Program for Social Action (PSA) are among two other NGOs that recently lost their licences.

Earlier in July, a group of 80 retired civil servants expressed their concerns to Union Home Minister Amit Shah regarding the cancellation or suspension of FCRA licences of several NGOs dedicated to the betterment of marginalized sections in India. In an open letter, the former bureaucrats emphasized the importance of a cooperative approach rather than an adversarial one, stating that not every expression of dissent or difference of opinion should be considered a violation of the country’s integrity or against public interest.

The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) is an Indian legislation enacted in 1976 to regulate the acceptance and utilization of foreign contributions or donations by individuals, associations, and organizations in India. Administered and enforced by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the FCRA ensures that foreign funds are utilized for legitimate purposes without compromising India’s sovereignty, integrity, and national interest.

Under the FCRA, organizations seeking to receive foreign contributions must be registered. The registration is valid for five years and requires a proven track record of at least three years in the chosen field, demonstrating a commitment to India’s socio-economic, cultural, or educational development.

While the FCRA imposes certain restrictions on the utilization of foreign contributions, such as preventing activities that could disrupt communal harmony, affect national security, or engage in political activities, concerns have been raised regarding its implementation and the potential impact on NGOs working to uplift marginalized sections of society.