Thursday, June 14, 2007

let' take a slight peek on how nri's, their funding, ngo's and 'development' gel together.

and let's not talk about 'abstraction' here. abstraction is a favourite word for half baked software architects of indian origin work in clueless american software companies. and we dont want to be favourites of anybody!!

let's talk about specifics. after all the objectives of this blog is specifics of how fake 'development' policies is screwing environment and marginalized people of india.

let's focus on aidindia a little bit. a group of people, who on and above their personal work, are doing amazing work with naramada struggle, athirapally struggle, bhopal campaign, coke issue in mehdiganj and other things like tribal education, tribal welfare, nrega, rti, etc.

now lets shift our lens to one of the god's of aidindia, balaji sampath. to be honest, he is a wonderful individual who could (coulda, shoulda, woulda) made millions of dollars if he had wanted to considering his IIT and PhD backgrounds, but who chose to do path breaking work in educating poor children of rural areas via aid chennai education initiative.

no questions on that. this blog entry is not about balaji sampath wonderful things, which is not in question at all.

but then what it is?

lets shift our lens a little bit more and bring another huge education based ngo pratham into the picture.

pratham corporate 'donors' reads like who's who of india's industries. nothing wrong with that. anybody can get any money from anybody. after all it is a money driven world. no questions about that.

but some of them are real obnoxious in the way they treat environment, marginalized villagers, tribals, farmers, and the environment.

for instance grasim bastardized river chaliyar in kerala until kicked out. in 1999, cseindia, the respected ngo, gave them a one leaf award. worst of all grasim, till day have not compensated correctly, the poor people who got hit by their willful pollution.

let's take another instance, reliance. reliance is a huge corporation. no questions on that. they can fund anybody on that. no questions on that too. but reliance track record is nothing to crow about. from dahanu to orissa ports to sez's (raigad, navi mumbai, etc) their story is maniac growth at all costs. growth without a human face.

hindalco repeatedly has caused grave damage via mining in orissa and also involved in kashipur, orissa threatening many hundreds and perhaps thousands of helpless tribals with displacement.

let's take icici onto account. they are the new success story of 'booming' india. agreed. but their track record aint great too when it comes to funding projects that directly bastardize the environment.

icici has been involved in working extensively with vedanta, a notorious company that cares a damn about tribals, their land, forests and wildlife.

now let's focus our lenses on balaji sampath, aidindia and pratham.

why pratham which supposedly works for the upliftment of poor people hand in hand with companies that bastardize the various crucial pillars namely the land, water, tribals, forests, wildlife, etc.

why is balaji sampath hand in hand with pratham, whether be it on pratham board or getting pratham award.

why aidindia can't see the obvious connection or the disconnection between aid's avowed work with forests, tribals and the balaji's sampath work with pratham and hence access to the funds from the very corporate policies and actions that aidindia is opposing.

the connection stinks. stinks nasty. stinks obnoxiously. stinks with eyes and nose closed. corporate sponsors who care a damn about basic environmental and human laws --> pratham accessing their funds (i assume the funding is huge considering the huge corporatism of these companies) --> balaji sampath working extensively with pratham directly and also with corporates like icici pretty aware of this murky funding and talking about sustainability at same breath--> aidindia which opposes corporatism if the corporates go haywire, sleeping on all these, probably ignoring the feeble voices that asks these questions.

when it comes to development, hard questions need to be asked. whether it is the govt, industries or ngo's, everybody is answerable.

(balaji sampath and their wonderful aid chennai team doing great work in education and other initiatives. but are they sleeping with the enemy with eyes wide open, as this blog points out. are they feeding one hand and slapping with the other hand??)