Thursday, April 30, 2015

Govts of India, Gujarat top recipients of Ford Foundation grants; its top brass include Infosys' Narayana Murthy

By Our Representative
A reputed Indian news site has reported that the Gujarat government has been one of the important recipients of the Ford Foundation grants, currently put on scanner by the Government of India for its “suspicious” activities. One of the most important recipients of the Ford Foundation grants has been the Gujarat Ecological Educational and Research (GEER) Foundation, which received $122,000 in 2002 to “expand” its joint forest management programme.
GEER Foundation works directly under the Gujarat government’s forest department, and then, as now, was chaired by the Gujarat chief minister. The grant was cleared before Modi came to power in October 2001, it is reliably learnt, the money was received after Modi’s chief minister’s office gave a final nod.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) website quotes a Ford Foundation document to say that in Gujarat there is yet another important recipient of its grant, the Gujarat Institute of Development Research (GIDR). The grant was for $197,759 grant from the Foundation, it says, adding, “The Financial advisor to the GIDR is none other than the Department of Education, Government of Gujarat, Gandhinagar.”
GEER Foundation
GEER and GIDR are not the only Gujarat government-linked organization which received funds. A non-government organization (NGO), which was initiated by the Gujarat government’s state horticulture department, Sahjeevan, which works in Kutch, is in the list of those who received grants.
Earlier, says the news site scroll.in, another organization in Kutch district, Kutch Mahila Vikas Sanghatan, received the grant $75,000 for running a state woman and child programme, meant for “implementing a ‘safe district’ model through programmes that increase police and legal responsiveness and spread awareness among elected representatives on gender-based violence”.
Writing for scroll.in, Mridula Chari says in an article titled “'Anti-national' Ford Foundation has contributed at least $6 million to Indian government schemes since 2010”, that the Ford Foundation is under scanner for “its grants to Teesta Setalvad's organisations, the Sabrang Trust and Sabrang Communications.”
Gujarat Institute of Development Research
Yet another reason being cited by others is the Ford Foundation’s funds to AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal’s NGO Kabir before he joined politics. The BJP has in the past criticized Kejriwal for “diverting” Ford Foundation funds for political activities.
According to scroll.in, “From 2010 to 2014, the Ford Foundation has distributed $50 million to organisations in India”, adding, “A little over $6 million of this, or around 13% of its entire funds, has gone to at least 25 non-profits working to implement government programmes, according to the list of beneficiaries available on the foundation's website.”
“These programmes include key initiatives of the Ministry of Rural Development such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the Ministry of Women and Child Development's Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls”, the site points out.
Screenshot of Ford Foundation site: Narayana Murthy a trustee
As a sign of its strong India connection, the only person outside the western hemisphere who is trustee of the powerful Ford Foundation Board of Trustees is top industrialist and IT wizard, NR Narayana Murthy, founder of Infosys (click HERE).
Murthy has been a known Modi supporter. He was among the first to declare in 2013 strong support for the so-called Gujarat model of development, for which he gave credit to Modi. He did not stop here. In a TV interview, he said, Gujarat riots are “not an issue that should keep Modi from becoming a PM.”

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