NGO is an acronym which stands for a non-government organisation. They are voluntary citizen based non profit organisations who work for causes directly or indirectly benefitting the supressed and the deprived sections of the society. These organisations can function on a local scale, a national scale and even on an international scale.
In India an NGO is also referred to as a non profit organisation and as the name suggests profits earned by these organisations cannot be distributed or gained from. They have to be either reinvested or used for the better performance of a social cause.
The source of funding for an NGO may be in the following forms:
- Monetary grants obtained from unilateral as well as multilateral agencies,
- Membership fees collected,
- Interests or dividends obtained from investments made in its name and
- Other miscellaneous sources.
In India, the types of associations which can be classified as an NGO are:
- A registered trust with one or more trustees which can register itself as per the provisions of the Indian Trusts Act of 1982 and
- A company which is registered under section 25 of the Companies Act of 1956,
- A society which has been registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1860,
- A statutory body which has been constituted by a stature consisting of members,
- A charitable organisation made under the provisions of the Charitable Endowments Act of 1920,
- Any other social work organisations which is similar to a society.
However the World Bank classifies NGOs into two groups. They are:
- Operational NGOs having a primary focus on development based projects and
- Advocacy NGOs who are constituted to promote and work for a certain specific cause.
The work of an NGO is not limited by any boundaries. They play a very critical role in the betterment of society as a whole by devising projects which help to develop the society, improve communities and encourage and promote the participation of its citizens in the various developmental causes and projects taken up. Their activities thus deal in causes related to the:
- Environment which deal with making the people understand the importance of nature, its role in our lives and the harmful results which can crop up from its misuse,
- Society as a whole by introducing better thinking, good hygiene, promoting family relations, encouraging respect among its members, providing elder health care etc. ,
- Advocate human rights by helping to stop human trafficking, illegal selling of babies and children, child labour, prostitution, saving the girl child etc. ,
- Promote education mostly among the downtrodden by providing for free education and free aids to ensure children and even adults develop the need and habit for going to schools and obtaining education,
- Protect the dignity of the girl child taking steps to stop their killing in the foetus, ensuring better treatment, etc. ,
- Help to build up self-dependency and financial independence by helping people to learn different types of work so that they can live with dignity, etc.
The work of an non profit organisation is unlimited since it is not limited by boundaries. Also anyone wanting to work for a cause is wholeheartedly welcomed by the people forming and working for these causes. With the society undergoing a gradual degradation in several avenues, it is the NGOs who work as the social conscience thus keeping the society and the world as a whole on the right track.