Jammu and Kashmir has 158 NGOs authorised to collect foreign donations, 17 of them Christian religious organisations, besides 10 Buddhist, four Hindu and two Muslim organisations.
And in the last five years, two of the Christian NGOs, most of them working for the downtrodden sections of society and victims of violence, and one of the Buddhist organisations have received foreign donations over Rs 1 crore. The highest donations have gone to Catholic Social Service Society, which is not registered as a religious organisations.
None of the other Buddhist religious NGOs, nor any of the Hindu or Muslim organisations, received over that amount in that period, government figures show.
The top three received over Rs 36 crore between them. According to the Union Home Ministry, which maintains records of these NGOs under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), Jammu-based Catholic Social Service Society got Rs. 15.26 crore from five foreign countries. According to its website, CSSS works in 172 villages of Jammu region.
Diocese of Jammu-Srinagar St Mary’s Church received Rs. 14.74 crore, the donations coming from nine countries. And Kashmir Evangelical Fellowship received Rs 6.06 crore from Canada, USA and UAE in last four years.
The list of Hindu organisations includes the Amarnath Shrine Board, Ramkrishna Mission and two trusts related to Mata Vaishno Devi. The two Muslim religious groups are Madarsa Taleemul Quran and Salfia Muslim Educational Research Trust. Among the 10 Buddhist NGOs, the one that got over Rs 1 crore is Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre.
The CSSS website lists its target groups as “youths, minority, victims of violence, differently abled people, drug users”.
The 17 NGOs got FCRA registration after they had declared themselves “religious, Christian” organisations. The CSSS is registered as a “social” organisation.
Some of these organisations are based in areas that were earlier heavily affected by terrorism, such as Anantnag, Baramula, Srinagar. But the bulk, 10 of the 17, are based in Jammu, which is a Hindu-majority area.
Says the website of Kashmir Evangelical Fellowship, while calling for donations for terror-affected families, “Our missionary families are called by God and resolute in their commitment to reach their world for Christ in the face of great obstacles and under threat of life from terrorist groups.”
The 17 Christian religious NGOs listed as such include Society of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary (Baramula), North India Pentecostal Fellowship (Jammu), St Paul’s Church (Jammu), Diocese of Jammu (Jammu), Jammu-Kashmir Presentation Society (Jammu), Krist Jyoti Social Welfare Society (Jammu), CMI Service Society (Jammu), J&K Darul Fazal Home for the Zoram Evangelical Fellowship (Srinagar), Perfecture Apostolic of J&K Catholic Church (Srinagar), Emmanueal Mission Hostel (Jammu), Indian Pentecostal Church of God (Udhampur) and Samjee Pappy Kallimes Church of Christ.