Saturday, June 19, 2010

From ABC to XYZ - this post should be anonymous!

For the past few weeks, I have been drawn in, in a potential NGO’s Charter for improvements, comments, suggestions, etc so that it could be made eligible for an application for registration purpose to the government. I found out that in this thread of communication, in which I was included with enthusiasm by the Chair-person, there were quite some ‘cool folks’ babbling. By that I mean people like the Director-General of WWF and some renowned Lawyers and Consultants (and also one of my college lecturers!). Hmm… what was I doing there? Apparently, I was needed. I wasn’t able to attend their meetings though, because of my past studious college life (that I am not missing as yet). But I was pretty much involved in the electronic mode of communication that was and is going on.
Feeling incapable of coming up with something to contribute right away, I decided to take up the role of a 'virtual spectator' in this dialogue. I thought that when they will move on to carrying out activities and formulating project designs, I would definitely be able to spare some usage of my dashing intellect. Sometimes, I paid attention and most of the times, I didn’t bother at all. Why I was losing interest was because I had found out that these bunches of people were stuck like super-super glue to the Charter’s content. Every time I got an invitation to join them in their meeting, the purpose stated was: To discuss the Charter. Every time I checked what was in their e-mail update, it talked about the Charter’s clauses. I got sick and tired of it and I miserably wondered that all those biggies had been laying eggs or what. 
Now I’m just a fresh grad and currently in the process of gaining work experience. I wouldn’t know what clause or rule is right or wrong in the interest of the organization. But I was ready to learn! Yeah… sure dude!
So this time when I got an e-mail, I also got a call from the Chair-person. He said that he would very much like to hear from me this time. (Oops!) I hadn’t even read the mail carefully, but I promised that I would give him my feedback. I said to myself: ‘Chalo Amna, You're an awesome virtual spectator. Now... Time for some action!’
First of all I wanted to write: Dear losers. Then suddenly I thought that I really liked the man and he was pretty old and sounded well-versed (he even pointed out a mistake in my grammar once, in one of my e-mails… sweet) and always addressed me in the most polite manner, so I should not say any such thing. Then I thought of: Dear Dudes who think they’re such Dudes! (Make the D in the Dude sound really stressful!) But that sounded pretty rude too and I cannot do that. So, I wrote: Dear All!
This e-mail actually had a few questions that were looking for some answers. The censored e-mail is sent. I wished to include my actual and uncensored e-mail here. I’m not going to name any names here.

1. Should XYZ be registered as an NGO or an Association of People? The legal difference between the two is not clear to most of us. Some NGOs are doing creditable work while some came under public and Govt scrutiny due to some scandals. ABC Lawyer tells me that registering as an NGO is slightly difficult these days.

My answer: For God’s sake! Since the year 2004, you guys have not been able to decide even the ‘nature’ of this organization?! WHAT.THE.HELL. I’ll try not to be rude but you guys have a lot of free time on you. All this time when I had been getting e-mails of your Charter this and your Charter that, what was it all about? I am so sorry but I do not appreciate such randomness.
Coming back to your question, here is my humble answer. An AOP (Association of People) is very much different from an NGO in that it’s more of a corporate collaboration. An AOP is formed so as to earn profit. It’s like a ‘for-profit’ rather than a ‘non-profit’ kind of thing. As far as I understand the nature of your to-be organization, conservation being the basic objective, it should definitely be registered as an NGO, precisely a Non-Profit Non-Government Organization. And seriously, is this the time for ABC to tell you how difficult it is for an NGO to get registered? You should thank him/her for such prompt guidance!
True, because of a lot of corrupt organizations, it’s really difficult to get a registration these days. I ardently believe that that should not be taken as any hindrance at all. Firstly, you guys are taking too much time in planning things down. I think you should just start acting and implementing on your thoughts and motives right away. At the initial stage, there has to be some investment from the organization's part. You cannot just wait for the government or other private donor organization to provide you with funds so you could start off with your endeavours. Work some activity out on immediate basis, start making records and progress reports, build statistics of your target areas, population and workforce, produce results: show that you’ve achieved your defined goals within the planned period of time. Then present your ‘Golden Charter’ for the damned registration.

2. Should XYZ be raising funds for its Cause? Who should, and should not be the donors?

My Answer: You guys are so worried about funds that it’s not even funny!
After the registration process is done, XYZ can raise funds by making public any upcoming planned project that it wishes to carry out. The project's details, the aims and objectives behind it should be made known, so that agencies, private and government, are convinced to provide and allow funds for it. There would not be a question of who should and should not donate. And there should not be, I think. Your objective is to fulfill your project’s requirements and meet the goals. For that you need money and skilled personnel (who also come with money!)

3. Why there should be no Corporate Members?

My Answer: I'm not sure as to why you have a question of whether corporate members should be allowed or not allowed to become a part of this organization, because I really don’t understand how that could affect it in any way. Are they going to entice you into eating the money and not spending it where it should be spent? Well, that could happen! But a corporate member doesn’t have to be there to instill such heartrending emotions.
Personally, I think if the records and work being done is crystal clear without any loopholes, then there should not be a problem for any cross-section of the society, at large, to become a part of it. To date my learning suggests that making people a part of your organization who belong to different sectors only adds to stronger endorsements and eventual credibility.

I will update with whatever feedback I receive after this. 


SaJ said...

Wow. You sound really enthusiastic bout your work!
On a more humorous note...were we really supposed to read all that? (0_o) ;-)

Amna K said...

ahahah! Well, I wanted to be criticized on the feedback I gave them slowpokes! There is actually information in it for which people could account me wrong.