Role of NGO in Nation building

 The term ‘NGO’ stands for the ‘Non-Governmental Organization’ that refers to a structure that works to fill the gaps in the functions of the Government; for the welfare of the people of the society and the nation. However, Government tries its best to fulfill its different roles such as; policy development, regulation, facilitation, management and internal sustainability but still there always remain scopes for some loopholes and vulnerabilities to take place in the process of advancement. This process of improvement is not only limited to the economic growth and prosperity among the people but it also implies the growth and inclusion of few other significant factors, which not only facilitate the development, but also help in manifesting a sustainable growth of the nation, such factors include; social growth, social justice, awareness, empowerment of the citizens, equality, preservation of human rights, uplifting the underprivileged and disadvantaged sectors of the society, promotion of education, women welfare, health sector and promoting humanitarian causes among the citizens of the society.

The non-governmental organizations play a very vital role in actualizing the process of advancement of the country by becoming an operational adherent of the civil society. However, there is no such standard definition that can define such organizations, but still it could be best defined as a setup that is working for the civil society with the “not-for-profit” approach. This not-for-profit idea is the prime agenda of these institutions with which they become functional for the society and its people, there are approximately 3.3 million NGOs existing today in India with having significant objectives of community development, community welfare, relief, disaster management and rehabilitation, development in education, health sector, women empowerment, promoting voluntary work spirit, sustaining the system and governance and uplifting the deprived sections of the civil society.

The Beginning of the Non-Profitable Organizations

It was the era of 17th & 18th century since when the non-profit organizations witnessed a growth and popularity in India that still continues in the present time, and what confirms this continuity are the philanthropic objectives administered by these organizations. Particularly in India, the Indian Government has had sponsored and aided financial assistances to them in order to make their functioning easy and accessible and this could be perceived in the Sixth, Seventh and the Eighth Five Year Plans respectively, when NGOs were given acknowledgement, facilities, extension and space for a better implementation of their functions and objectives. But it is also a fact that much before their inclusion in the governmental policies, the concept of self-help associations or traditionally based organizations already came into existence and by the end of 19th and beginning of the 20th century NGOs were already established as proper organized structures. Since then, the non-profitable institutions have been working to sensitize and to draw government’s attentions towards many of the social, cultural and communal issues of the nation.

Types and Motives of Non-Governmental Organizations

There are different kinds of NGOs which differ according to their motives and operations, such as:

  1. National NGOs (including Red Cross, YMWCA, YWCA).
  2. International Organizations, (including CARE, UNICEF, UNDP).
  3. Community Based Non-profitable institutions.
  4.  Citywide Organizations.

The operations and motives of the aforesaid organizations are different from each other’s and have a separate aim, some of them have humanitarian focus that work as the beneficiaries for the needy and unprivileged people of the society and community; they provide facilities, clothing, free education, free medical treatments/medicines, accommodations, relief and rehabilitation programs during the natural or manmade calamities. Then there are some which have their focus on providing free services to the deprived people like, educational services, family planning, awareness programs medical services that are meant particularly for the poor sections. The main motive that every Non-governmental organization majorly works with is the; empowerment of the unprivileged people of the country, this focus encourages the non-profit organizations to empower the poor and the underprivileged people in the social, political and economic areas. They work for improving the lifestyles, and to make those people self-sufficient and lastly, there are some other organizations whose focus is upon raising the participation of the people of the country by organizing self-help projects which further provide the lagged behind people; a social and economic security.

Few other organizations could be named here which are working immensely well with their broad focus on Child’s development, Employment and Women Empowerment, Senior Citizens, such as Teach For India, Goonj, Pratham, Akshaya Trust, Smile Foundation, Udaan Welfare Foundation, Deepalaya, HelpAge India, Uday Foundation. These NGOs stand out alone on the basis of their generous functions. Some are working for educating the illiterate children belonging to slum areas; some are involved in eradicating poverty from the country, some of them focus upon developing and providing employment opportunities to the deprived and poor women who can become economically independent so others are involved in reviving the lives of the senior citizens. Developing skills and giving training programs are also among the prime functions of NGOs in the country.

NGOs at the local level try to mobilize the people as well as the available resources and work as the supportive agent in attaining a stage self-sustainable development for the society and the community. With the motives of uplifting the unprivileged and alienated parts of the society they actually work as the intimidator who in a way enable the people of the society to become self-reliant they promote productive activities, leadership, flexibility, empowerment and services especially among those; impoverished, deficient, illiterate people who have been lagging behind due to the impact of industrialization and consumerism.

Role in Nation Building

NGOs have been playing a very active role in the developmental process of our country because there are certain areas in this very process which always need extra attention and consideration and that is also why these setups have been emerged as the pioneer planners, catalysts, facilitators and coordinators. Actually we cannot become judgmental with regard to the adequacy of these non-profitable organization because their contribution in processing the growth and the equilibrium in the society and the nation is commendable, despite of a major dependency upon the governmental policies and funding, a good number of such institutions are still working for the welfare of the deprived and the poor people. Whether it is related to education, employment, housing, women empowerment, social justice, communal development, promoting youthfulness and public spirit the nonprofit organizations have done a remarkable job in all the spheres.

Nation building is a process that demands security, conformity, balance and prosperity of the people of the country; although India is a developing nation and gradually progressing but the undeveloped and unprivileged sections of the society cannot be ignored at all. Without a  proper planning and management of these sections India cannot fulfill the dream of becoming a completely developed country, the gap between the privileged and the unprivileged would have to be reduced(the prime focus should be upon reducing the gap between “haves & haves not”). Nation building is basically a very broad term and demands collective endeavors, how is it possible to experience a state of balance and improvement in the country when the community and the society are facing problematic issues, particularly those issues which require solutions? When each and every person of our nation is able to work in harmony and is empowered then only we can say that the country is evolving. This is where we admit the relevance the non-governmental organizations which are profoundly working at the varied levels of the community and the society. In the recent times non profitable organizations have brought up some of the significant transformations that have undoubtedly been proved helpful for our country.  So, let us now look into the efficacy of these organizations at different levels.

Efficacy for the Society :  the origin of the non-profitable institutions was actually aimed at the welfare of the society; so many social issues are persisting in the present time which needs deliberate solutions and explanation. Our Indian society has been plagued with many social complications such as; Social crimes, prostitution, juvenile crimes, female feticide, domestic violence, child labor, child and women trafficking, disabilities, discrimination and etc. and until these issues are resolved the society cannot progress at all. There are so many significant and leading NGOs that have not only sensitized these social issues but have also worked hard to bring transformation and changes in the social dogmas and patterns. They have raised the public spirit and awareness among the people against these worrisome and alarming social issues. Through the means of campaigns, awareness programs, sting operations, Rehabilitation programs, self-help lines, counselling programs; these organizations have endeavored to help and support the victims and the needy people. Not only the social issues but Environmental issues have also not been out of the reach of these non-governmental organizations, they have been running various programs and campaigns in the different areas and states for conserving the environment and the wildlife of the country. At the time of natural calamities or manmade hap hazard, all the nonprofit organizations come together to give shelter, help, and support and to facilitate reestablishment to the people affected by the same. These setups have also not ignored the vital area of the society and that is the public health, thus, in the health sector they are running many health awareness programs and also working towards the eradication of few of the dangerous diseases like Tuberculosis, Malaria, and The leprosy. A program named the Jeevan Dhara Program has been especially promoted for the facilitation of safe drinking water, sanitation, immunization and public health in the country. Some of the good and reliable NGOs have also made honest attempts to bring modifications and strictness in the laws and policies related to many social issues such as anti-trafficking, juvenile justice, domestic violence, forests and environment, rehabilitation of the people with disabilities, and these modifications have been regulated with participatory movements, research and development, seminars, conferences, workshops, public hearing and social audits.

Efficacy for the Youth : the foremost thing that comes to my mind while writing about the efficacy of Ngos for the youth is that that they have succeeded in raising the spirit of Volunteering and Social Service among the youth. Now days we see numerous of youngsters and adults who are coming up in front, joining hands and getting associated with the philanthropic motives of the non-governmental organization, as soon as the activities of these organizations are getting vivid the number of volunteers (youth) is gradually increasing. And I think, the reason behind this is that these nonprofit institutions have tried their best to make the youth aware of the persisting issues of the country and not only this but they have also succeeded in connecting the youth at the practical level. Through the means of different social service programs and campaigns these organizations have motivated the youth to raise their high morals and values, in fact the youngsters studying in schools and colleges are getting to know the importance of social service and charity, they also try to expand their practical knowledge and experience by participating in the programs run by those institutions. There are some of the leading NGOs which have proposed varied certificate programs for the youth in which they also award a Certificate to them for volunteering in their campaigns and projects. This is certainly a great idea to encourage the youth for not only raising their participation in social working but also to gain new experiences and insights, when the youth will work at the foundation level they will directly come in contact with the prime issues, their knowledge would be updated and moreover, they would be inspired to resolve the issues and to help the society. The youth should also take inspirations from the famous social activists who have advanced their great thoughts and actions in the favor of the society, who have also fearlessly tried to raise the issues in front of the general people so that our society can embrace change and revolution. A society with such generous youth who believes in social service and volunteering can surely dream of a harmonious and a developed nation.

Efficacy for the Nation: the aforesaid points clearly show that NGOs are certainly a significant role player in the process of nation building, at one hand they are trying to draw our attention towards the social issues then on the other hand also trying to execute the practical solutions against the same, helping and motivating the deprived and needy people is also one of the important tasks these organizations are implementing. In precise, making a better and a safer community for the people is their top priority. NGOs in India are playing the role of a moderator, whose incredible endeavors are bringing direct changes in the lives of the people they are the hopes of the unprivileged people and the underdeveloped sections of the society, there are many areas particularly in the slums and remote areas where the poor people regularly get various aids, facilities and help; given by these organization. At least not at a huge level right now but slowly and gradually change will come in their lives so that they along with other citizens will be able to create a prosperous nation. Thereafter, the society and the nation must utilize the association, contributions and the credibility of Ngos in a right manner.

One very important thing that I want to mention over here is that although nonprofit setups are found to the functional characters but still the people and the governance have to keep a check and be aware of the fake and the unworthy organizations which in the name of Social Service and Charity misuse the aids and the funds of the government. Such fake organizations keep their financial books updated with various expenses and expenditures (utilized in charity and welfare programs) but in reality they fill their pockets with those aids and funds and leave the needy people absolutely deprived. In the last few years, we have observed that in the name of charity and services few of the newly organized NGOs are emerging being oriented with the motives of acquiring self-profit, their intentions have been focused on their selfish impulses. They are just trying harder to make their own pockets heavier by fooling the innocent people and taking advantage of their innocent intentions. Not only this but there are few of the small groups also emerging who are sort of bluffing the people and gathering a whole of funds from them in the name of patriotism and charity. The feeling of social service and nobility is just missing in their operations and objectives and they are doing nothing, except cheating the society and the Government. Thus, such organizations and groups should be banned and strictly audited so that the honest and genuine nonprofit organizations do not get defamed and distrusted. It is the duty of the civilized and educated citizens of the country to support the genuine organizations and not to get fooled by the unworthy and fake ones.

Now, as a conclusion I just want to mention that non profitable organizations are truly a collateral part of the government and their contributions are vivid in different areas of the country. Their contributions, actions, responses, agendas are only in the favor of the welfare of the people, which help the society and the undeveloped sections to flourish and to improve for a whole betterment of the nation. Ngos work at the foundation level and in my opinion they are doing the right job at the right scale because for a nation to grow and to become stronger it is deliberately needed to correct and manage the things that are flawed and unfitting at the lowest level and this is exactly what these organizations are doing. They are trying to fix up the issues, flaws and inadequacies persisting in the lowest sections of the society so that those sections can get in alignment with the developed sections and can further create a flawless society. And besides this, these setups are also spreading awareness and good spirit among the people so that each one of us can become better human beings, realize the value of service in our lives and become supportive for the country in every way.

posted by Jyotsna Gandhi


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