Published: Monday 15 November 2004


The people who run this website prefer to call indianngos.com a social enterprise. And they describe their endeavour as a politically neutral venture. Delve a little further and this faade stands exposed. The site is actually a plea to corporates to fulfil their social responsibility. All kinds of doles are accepted -- the only ones not eligible are alcohol and tobbaco companies and those who employ child labour. Corporate social responsibility -- if ever there was such an apolitical endeavour -- is made so easy: just drop in something into a charity box and go on polluting the air, spoiling water and poisoning and displacing people.

Look at its section on tribals: they have poor standards of health, sanitation and nutrition. This is because tribals are unaware of the development programmes launched by the Indian government. The condescension persists in the section on agriculture. Outmoded agricultural techniques and poor quality seeds are what ail Indian agriculture. So agri-business please come and deliver us from the malaise.

The site is a perfect example of how kowtowing to corporates masquerades as political neutrality. So non-governmental organisations, if you are willing to bend low and seek their munificience, do go ahead.

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