SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS: NGOs NGOs or NGDOs are basically voluntary organizations other than cooperatives, Self-Help Groups

(SHGs) etc. Voluntary organizations, known for their virtues of human touch, dedication, great initiatives, self-reliance, contextual innovations, flexibility, togetherness with community and ability to reach the masses in the most effective manner are now considered partners of government in its all endeavors concerning needy, poor, children and women and their environment. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have played a major role in pushing for sustainable development at all levels. Campaigning groups have been key drivers of inter-governmental negotiations, ranging from the regulation of hazardous wastes to a global ban on land mines and the elimination of slavery. They hail from north and south and from all points in between - with the contrasting levels of resources which such differences often imply. Some are highly sophisticated, media-savvy organizations like Friends of the Earth and WWF; others are tiny, grassroots collectives, never destined to be household names.

Poverty Alleviation Oxfam India strives to secure the right to a life with dignity for all by actively engaging people and policy makers in the inclusive development of society. NGOs are working to ensure that everyone has access to education, health and social protection; people are able to overcome poverty by earning a decent livelihood with fair trade opportunities; women lead a life of dignity, free from violence; and communities are prepared to deal with the impact of climate change, natural and man-made disasters. Education of poor children Smile Foundation works as a catalyst to change the lives of underprivileged children and youth and give them a better future. Through more than 100 education, healthcare, livelihood and girl child oriented programmes spread throughout India, the foundation facilitates individuals, corporates and institutions to invest in social initiatives aimed at the welfare of poor and needy children. Akshay Patra is an NGO with an entry into Limca Book of World Records; appreciation from none other than US President Barack Obama and its work as a case study at Harvard University! The latest addition to its achievements is— churning out 40,000 rotis for children in just one hour. Akshaya Patra Foundation, which runs the world’s largest school-meal program, has improved its kitchen services by increasing the number of rotis produced to meet the requirement of children.

Women Empowerment Some NGOs like Centre for Social Research (CSR) have focused their attention on women; the task of protecting their rights, empowering them, and understanding issues from a gender perspective. There is a great belief in the capacity of women to be catalysts of social change. Hence, implementing issues like Gender and Social Justice through Eliminating Violence Against Women, Preventing Trafficking in Women and Children and Eradicating the Practice of Sex Selection coupled with initiatives in areas of Education of Adolescent Girls, Gender Sensitization and Training, Participation of Women in Economy, Skill Enhancement and Capacity Building are actively on the agenda of NGOs. Environment Survival International, a London-based NGO, has appealed to the director of the Hollywood blockbuster Avatar, James Cameron, to lend his support in fighting against London-listed mining and metals major Vedanta Resources from setting up its aluminium plant in Orissa. The Water Organisation Trust successfully converted the drought-affected barren land near a village called Darewadi near Pune in Maharashtra, into fertile land using only natural resource management techniques, on a budget of just Rs 80 lakh. Disaster Management Voluntary Organisations (VOs) play a vital role in the shaping and Implementation of Disaster Management Act. They have been contributing immensely towards various development programs, VOs may provide innovative and alternative cost effective models for development. They can mobilize people for constructive community work and often reach the most marginalized and vulnerable sections of society and contribute to the socio-economic development of the country, with much wider outreach. A National NGO Task Force on Disaster Management has been set up by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). Government of India has set up a Core Group on the Role of NGOs in Disaster Management to primarily follow-up on the preparation of the National Disaster Management Guidelines on the Role of NGOs in Disaster Management. Health Issues It is estimated that approximately 2.5 million people live with HIV/AIDS in India. About one million of them are women. While currently there are still more men than women afflicted by HIV/AIDS, women are highly vulnerable to the infection. NGOs have been actively engaged in promoting health and HIV/AIDS awareness among women and young girls. Their key focus over the years has been on reproductive and child health in addition to work on general health. Parivartan Swasthya Kendras - for education & health awareness, and preventive & curative health care services, have been established.

The role of NGOs in health sector includes setting up networking and partnership models for health awareness and healthcare delivery, initiating health and HIV/AIDS awareness programs, looking after the well being of HIV/AIDS patient by providing care, counseling and training, and lobbying for effective implementation of health care policies. CSR Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has acquired new dimensions in the recent years. More and more companies are increasingly realising that it is a good hearted investment, which also brings manifold benefits to the company. The corporate social responsibility blends the objective of social development and environmental protection through ethical effort. The community today needs external agency intervention in the alleviation of many social problems like poverty, health, unemployment, community education, homelessness and eco development programs. By looking upon the needs of the community, the organisation gets an opportunity to understand the social needs of the people and it will enable them to intervene into such social issues and finding solution to the many basic needs. It develops greater trust and confidence on the community of the business organization. Many non-governmental organisations in India are engaged in social development and environmental development activities. These organisations are good enough to support the industrial development by ensuring community participation in the developmental process. The Non Governmental Organisations existing within the industrial location and closer to the community can better act as moderators and facilitators in the realization of their social need and better environmental protection. The industrial expansion is a threat to the people living nearby and it invites protest from many like consumer, investors, activist groups, government regulators and other stakeholders. To develop a better rapport with the community in the implementation of the developmental activities the Non Governmental organisations can play better role with the industry and community. They can help the industrial management in convincing the expansion program to the community and there by develop a proactive and social environmental and industrial development policy. “Sixty seven per cent of domestic companies have chosen non-government organisations (NGOs) as partners to undertake their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects, while 58 per cent prefer government departments for the spread of CSR obligations”, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) says. [Business Standard, Mar 21, 2010] Vineet Nayyar, Managing Director of IT services firm Tech Mahindra has donated3.5 lakh shares, which is worth Rs. 31.78 crore to Essel Social Welfare Foundation. Essel Social Welfare Foundation, an umbrella organization to many other NGOs, supports education of underprivileged children, including the girl child and the visually handicapped. [The Economic Times, March 5, 2010]

Business Regulation NGOs are not only focusing their energies on governments and inter-governmental processes. With the retreat of the state from a number of public functions and regulatory activities, NGOs have begun to fix their sights on powerful corporations - many of which can rival entire nations in terms of their resources and influence. Aided by advances in information and communications technology, NGOs have helped to focus attention on the social and environmental externalities of business activity. Multinational brands have been acutely susceptible to pressure from activists and from NGOs eager to challenge a company's labour, environmental or human rights record. Even those businesses that do not specialize in highly visible branded goods are feeling the pressure, as campaigners develop techniques to target downstream customers and shareholders. In response to such pressures, many businesses are abandoning their narrow Milton Friedmanite shareholder theory of value in favour of a broader, stakeholder approach which not only seeks increased share value, but cares about how this increased value is to be attained. Such a stakeholder approach takes into account the effects of business activity - not just on shareholders, but on customers, employees, communities and other interested groups.

PROBLEMS FACED IN THE NGO SECTOR Despite the good work such NGOs are doing to fill the gaps in social services that stem from poor governance, it is also true that many Indian NGOs are hoaxes. They focus only on chasing down funds from anyone and everryone who might be handing them out. In fact, NGOs has become a four-letter word because some NGOs are nothing more than giant money laundering operations. Of late, it has been noticed that some NGOs are proving to be self-centered instead of masscentred which these ought to be. This has happened because provisions like 35 (AC) and 35 (1 and 2) of the Income Tax Act give 100 per cent tax exemption to rogue money donors from large corporations. These organisations dole out crores of rupees, more to earn tax breaks than to actually benefit a cause. The Indian government's repeated demands to be treated as a developed nation is causing a major problem for Non-government organisations (NGOs). In 2010, A large number of global funding agencies are refusing to fund their activities saying that India is no longer a developing nation.More than 24 international funding agencies have upgraded India from 'poor' or 'developing' country to a 'developed nation' on the basis of the projections of the Central and State governments, and corporate India painting a rosy picture of the country at international fora.

India has a vibrant and fast growing NGO sector. The term NGO may be a ubiquitous term, but it is used to describe a bewildering array of groups and organizations - from activist groups 'reclaiming the streets' to development organizations delivering aid and providing essential public services. Other NGOs are research-driven policy organizations, looking to engage with decision-makers. Still others see themselves as watchdogs, casting a critical eye over current events. It is paramount that in upcoming years, social scientists involve extensive research on all aspects of NGO sector especially in management practices, network governance, NGO-government linkages and the sector’s role in the public policy making process.