Three Delhi NGOs and 11 others from across the country bag India NGO Awards 2007

This is an initiative “to show that there are many civil society organisations run as professionally as bodies in any other sector.” Named India NGO Awards, the three-year-old initiative, born out of a partnership between The Resource Alliance, a U.K.-based charity organisation, and The Nand & Jeet Khema Foundation, has also been an attempt “to offer examples to other NGOs to emulate.”

Meeting these parameters this year are as many as 13 voluntary organisations out of 131 applicants from across the country. Each has been presented India NGO Awards 2007. While nine of them have been selected as regional awardees, divided into four parts region wise under the heads – small, medium and large, the awards have also got a national section and The NGO of the Year prize. While four NGOs have been selected as national awardees, one of them, Goonj, a Delhi-based voluntary organisation, has also been chosen The NGO of the Year.

Says Rati Misra from The Resource Alliance, “We did a multi-layered scanning to shortlist the NGOs. The basic parameters were their financial sustainability, good standards, their programmes on ground, how have they involved the local communities, etc. We made field visits to those who were short-listed.” Such a thorough process of screening also was an attempt to quash the oft-heard allegations that most NGOs lack credibility, and are often not run professionally, adds Amrita Kapoor of Khemka Foundation.

The winners

Besides Goonj (in small category) and CRY (in large category), the two other national awardees are the Chennai-based The Banyan and Child Line 1098 as joint winners in the medium category. The rest of the regional winners are Dream A Dream (Karnataka), Pragati (Orissa), Society for Promoting Rationality (Gujarat), Deepalaya (Delhi), Raigarh Ambikapur Health Association (Chhattisgarh), SOS Children’s Villages of India (Delhi), Aide Et Action (Tamil Nadu), Bharat Integrated Social Welfare Agency (Orissa) and Centre for Environment Education (Gujarat). While each of the awardees gets Rs.4 lakhs as financial aid, Goonj has bagged an extra cheque of Rs.2 lakhs for having chosen the NGO of the Year.

“Besides the tangible benefits, what these awardees would get is a lot of attention. We have brought out a casebook with their profiles, it will attract philanthropy. Our aim is also to attract corporate funding,” says Misra.