Ms Manjusha Ranjan runs an NGO called Khushi Kalyan Samiti

“NGOs should not be run to siphon Government funds”

Many people contribute towards the upliftment of the poor in their own way. Some who contribute in a big way do get highlighted in the media. But there are a large number of people who contribute from their hard earned salaries for the betterment of the poor. Such little initiatives hardly find a space in our media. We, at India Empire, decided to bring together the amazing works that many individuals have been doing in their day-to-day lives. In this series, we chose Ms Manjusha Ranjan, wife of Colonel Rajeev Ranjan, who runs an NGO called Khushi Kalyan Samiti. In an interview with India Empire’s Sanjay Kaw, she said many Government-run projects exist only on papers and there was no proper mechanism to monitor the funds given to various social organizations
What does Khushi Kalyan Samiti do ?
We run a primary school for the poor in Gwalior. The Government provides us funds to run the school. We also hold regular health check-up camps in different states. We recently carried out about 200 eye operations in Bihar. We provided free medicines to all the patients.

What you have to say about the primary education system ?
It simply exists only on papers. There are hardly any good schools for the poor in the rural areas. If there are schools, you won’t find teachers there. We should give more emphasis to the primary education as it builds the character of the young generation. See, there is a lot of mis-management in the mid-day meal scheme. But no body seems to be concerned about these critical problems.

What role the NGOs are playing in different sectors ?
A majority of the Government-funded NGO projects have become a tool of corruption. One has to pay at every stage to get the work done.

Where from you manage the funds ?
You have to generate resources on your own. My husband spent about Rs 50,000 from his own pocket on the health camp in Bihar. Not only this, he provided food to about 3,000 people also.

How is the health sector doing ?
This is a matter of great concern. There are no basic facilities in many centres in the rural areas. There is shortage of both medicines and trained practioners. There is no electricity in many centres. People have no confidence in visiting these centres. Even our doctors do not want to get posted in the rural areas.

Many NGOs are working in the health sector …
The corruption starts from the top. There are many politicians and bureaucrats who are running NGOs to siphon off Government funds. There is no proper monitoring of the Government funds.

How to check the corruption ?
There should be sincerity from top to the bottom. People should be made aware about their rights. And there should be total transparency in the allocation of funds.

Are foreign funds being properly utilized ?
Yes to a large extent as the foreign agencies are very strict in the implementation of these projects.

Apart from running a school and health camps, what else you do ?
I hold regular meetings with different groups of women where I educate them about personal hygiene. I also make them aware about their basic rights.

What has been the role of the NRIs in supporting social organizations ?
They can play a big role. But the problem is on whom they should rely upon. We must have an autonomous body to guide NRIs and ensure their funds are utilized properly.

Many corporates are carrying out CSR initiatives… Your take…
They are just meeting the Government’s requirement. Majority of the corporates launch welfare schemes for their employees only. But there are definitely a few who are doing a very good job.

July 2012

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