- A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) or Non-Profit Organization (NPO) is a legally constituted organization which is operated by legal persons who act independently from any government.
- NGOs have volunteers and employees working towards ideological, rather than financial ends.
- NGOs wok for a wide variety of causes that aims to bring about the change in the life of people for a greater cause.
- Different NGOs work for different causes in different ways.
- NGOs work for increasing literacy and helping poor people to increase their quality of life, and helping the people who are attacked by environmental hazards, guiding people about their rights and for many other good causes.
- The number of internationally operating NGOs is around 40,000.
- In India number of national NGOs is around 3.3 million.
- After the Independence Mahatma Gandhi made a plea for transforming the ‘Indian National Congress’ to ‘Lok Sevak Sangh’ (Public Service Organization). But this plea was not accepted. Later, Gandhi followers started voluntary agencies to work on social issues. Thereby NGOs were started in India.
- The no. of NGOs increased in the time of 1960s as people felt that the government projects are inadequate to deal with the development of deprived sections of India.
- In 1980 in Sixth Five Year Plan (1980-1985), the government identified new areas in which NGOs as new actors could participate in development. They are,
- Optimal utilization and development of renewable source of energy.
- Family welfare, health and nutrition, education.
- Health for all programs.
- Water management and soil conservation.
- Social welfare programs for weaker sections.
- Implementation of minimum needs program.
- Disaster preparedness and management (i.e. for earthquakes, floods, cyclones, etc).
- Promotion of ecology and tribal development.
- Environmental protection and education.
- In the next Five year plans, a greater emphasis has been laid on the role of voluntary organizations in rural development and poverty.
- International NGOs started around the year 1839. It has been estimated that there were 1083 NGOs by the year 1914. But the phrase ‘Non Government Organizations’ only became popular when ‘United Nations Organizations’ was established in the year 1945.
- The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that all 193 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. The Govt and NGOs together making progress to achieve these goals. The goals are
- Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger,
- Achieving universal primary education,
- Promoting gender equality and empowering women
- Reducing child mortality rates,
- Improving maternal health,
- Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases,
- Ensuring environmental sustainability, and
- Developing a global partnership for development.
The involvement of NGOs in social challenges has a great effect on developing countries. The more financial support and the more no. of volunteers will greatly help in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
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