Development of Society and NGO Culture

February 4, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

By

Sattar Rind

The world has changed a great deal in the last few decades, something now perceived by everyone.

It has become more self oriented with social values, at one time carrying some weight in society, having now lost their importance. Pakistani culture in particular has been fragmented at a dangerous level.

It is very much a relative opinion however and one could perceive it otherwise. This is therefore why the great Buddha advised that one should not indulge in the argument as for the ‘truth’, we might have an equal argument to prove the truth as truth and you might have an equal number of arguments to prove the same truth as false.

This however is either philosophy or has nothing to do with the daily life issues that are very simple. The large number of people are living daily life in a constant struggle to meet the daily needs.

Very few have ascribing status in this world and a very large number are living with worrying ideas how to maintain the same status up to the next generation, at least, though still living a comfortable life. However a large majority of the world’s populace are struggling each day for their needs to be fulfilled.

Getting through each day is the equivalent of a great achievement in every and sense and the very next day they again continue with the same struggle for the day’s needs.

The majority of people, in this world or in any case in Afro-Asian countries, are observing the same life. The great mystic poet of Sindh, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai said for these people in one poem that “we the people of contentment we do not have any food to save and what we gather we have only to eat. For next day we are again searching with a satisfaction.’’

Therefore the ordinary people are living their life with a simple philosophy. This however hurts and there is a great helplessness which is indicated by Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai in the same poem, pointing to the rich that they are unable to understand underprivileged people’s lives and even their level of satisfaction in such cases. Thus the deprived and downtrodden people are very much different from the wealthy and well-off people and no match is possible either.

I do not know the exact date and time in history that Non Government Organizations (NGOs) began to work for such people under many names, but most common is social development. Nevertheless I have observed them in Pakistan since 1990. They, over the space of time, have flooded Pakistan and are now reportedly in their thousands.

Every kind of NGO is available to donors’ requirements or as is more often the case, NGOs change their outlook according to donors’ culture or trend. Everyone is claiming they are working on development and especially focusing on the poor of the poorest.

There are NGOs for advocacy on different issues, poverty alleviation, social development, empowerment of women, rights of women and children, child labor, peasant’s rights, awareness, justice, rights of the consumer, education, literacy, democracy, liberalism and many more.

There are NGOs working for animal rights, saving the birds and animals who they think are on the edge of disappearing from the world or country, water issues, environment, forests, rivers, lakes and many other issues that could not be summed up in this very short article.

Most recently a few NGOs have started philosophy classes and those given the lectures are being published and the NGOs are reporting to their donor agencies that they have created more than 200 scholars in a year.

This is what I heard by the head of a NGO when I inquired about the thousand booklets dumped in the office. He proudly informed me that he was also shown an appreciation letter from the donor agency of the remarkable work that had been done.

Interestingly if the NGOs are in their thousands, there are an equal number of words being used based on the donor’s mood or the issue on which they have received the money.

Donors are giving them millions of dollars. The money is flowing in from a number of different international donor organizations for the change of downtrodden human beings. But what I have witnessed since 1991 is that NGO representatives however have become rich and some of them the very richest, but no change in society has been evident. In this respect I would say – ‘simply nothing’.

After the fall of USSR almost all of the left joined the NGOs and established them, now living a life of luxury with expensive houses, travelling by air and driving land cruisers or land rovers, but the people from whom they have received money in the name of donations to change people’s daily miserable life through intervention, are living the same life, what they have for generations.

Amazingly those who are giving the millions of dollars to NGOs are also getting published and advertising  in newspapers and TV channels that if anyone finds any corruption in the NGOs to whom they have given the money for development, may inform them on a toll free phone number.

If they are not ground in reality, they have no evidence. In fact, when an NGO is appraised for a grant, it becomes very clear at the time they are incapable of handling such huge sums of money.

99.9% of NGOs are family oriented. Everyone who is of able breath knows this fact. While I have personal experience of the subject matter, everyone would appear to know everything in this regard.

Since this is a lucrative business and is an easy way to become rich within a few years, this trick is being played from both sides uniformly by the donors and NGOs.

What I am thinking is that donors are not genuinely interested in any change or social development, especially when the donation is being granted by countries. They either have other intentions or are just doing this for so-called public relations and diplomatic reasons.

Or maybe they have something more in mind which could not be known by observers.

The NGO related people are being called ‘civil society’ and one learned journalist in his article termed them ‘Candle Mafia People’, as without breaking the customary action when anything happens against general social norms they come out from their homes and light a candle to protest silently. However what they want to say they do so regularly on social media.

Intricately they attended such a venture reciprocally. Therefore if one could observe them, they would come to the awful conclusion they are the same everywhere with a few dozen people in each city. However some of the time they hire people on food and a few hundred rupees (2 to 3 dollars) per person rent.

This is being practiced especially at a time when they need to show good strength. Many NGOs have their own hired journalist as photographer however, not only to syndicate the pictures in newspapers, but to make sure they get published.

 

 

 

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Sattar Rind

Sattar Rind lives in Sindh, Pakistan. and is an Author with four books to his credit. three poetry and one on politics. As a Columnist he has written for a number of newspapers and magazines since 1991. Sattar can be contacted at the following email address: sattar-rind@hotmail.com

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