The recent observation against Delhi Women’s Commission (DCW) volunteers advising women to file false rape cases is not all. There exist multiple other women’s groups who thrive on advising women to file false cases and forcing the government to bring unconstitutional laws. One such NGO is Shakti Vahini that is run by a Supreme Court Advocate.
This NGO works in the field of rescuing minor girls was involved in filing thousands of rape cases (as observed by a Delhi court) on behalf of the girls they rescued. In one such case, Shakti Vahini member ‘tutored’ a girl to file false rape case (news here). In this particular instance, Shakti Vahini went to the extent of filing a petition for rejection of bail application of the accused.
Shakti Vahini ‘rescues’ girls ‘wrongfully confined’ to work as domestic workers in different families around Delhi. But their rescue also included filing false rape cases to extort the family to the maximum extent. As in the Punjabi Bagh case, they tutored the girl to file such a case as she would get more money. They were also involved in filing innumerable other cases like this and it is clear how the NGO had been looting innocent families as their modus operandi.
Also, Shakti Vahini was the NGO that filed a PIL in Supreme Court to ban all Panchayats alleging that panchayats are behind the honor killings. A blog by another NGO, Manushi revealed how Shakti Vahini was working against the Indian polity and was pressing for bringing in an unconstitutional law.
But all these so-called social work, filing false cases and pressing for unconstitutional laws, come with huge backing from foreign organizations that pay for ‘social work’ in India.
[This article is a part of the series Tracking Feminist Funding which is a series to track the money trail of feminist NGOs. All NGO that receive Foreign Funds submits FCRA return with Ministry of Home Affairs in a format called FC-6 forms.
Foreign Donors of Shakti Vahini
Shakti Vahini gets the majority of donations from the USA. US Department of State anti-trafficking program JTIP (previously known as GTIP) has historically sent maximum grants to Shakti Vahini since 2010-11. In 2016-17 this NGO has received a staggering 1.2 crores funds from this program. All funds received by the NGO is for ‘social’ work and that they use to file false cases and PILs to create unconstitutional provisions.
It’s found that since 2009-10 Shakti Vahini has received around 6.6 crores fund from this US program.
Second largest donor to Shakti Vahini is European Commission, that has given grants to the tune of 1.5 crores to this NGO.
US State Department and another US organization, Vital Voices also sent them grants to the tune of 1.7 crores so far.
Overall, Shakti Vahini’s foreign grants look like this –
Country-wise Share of Donations Since 2009
Since 2009, Delhi based Shakti Vahini has received a staggering 11.3 crores from various foreign institutions.
The USA is the country that sent the maximum grant to this NGO followed by Belgium, Australia, and the UK.
We can see from above graphs that approximately 75% of total foreign funds received by this NGO was from the US and approximately 13% was from Belgium (European Commission).
If we look at the trend for their receiving funds, we will find this –
This NGO started receiving more funds from 2014-15. There was an increase of 50% in fund influx. Surprisingly, their website does not have any annual report after 2014-15. So, there is no way to know how they have actually spent these foreign funds.
Anti-Trafficking or Anti-Social?
Even though this NGO is reported to be involved in anti-trafficking activities, filing false rape complaints and pressing for unconstitutional laws not only raise questions about their intentions but when it is seen with the huge influx of foreign money to them, it is seen as a potential weapon used against our social harmony. Their unnecessary interference in the judicial process in the way of filing PILs and umpteen number of cases show a probable method to cripple our legal process. Surprisingly, their quantitative achievements stated in their annual reports (available on their website) for the year 2013-14 and 2014-15 has same numbers. That shows how the NGO may also be involved in misrepresenting data. There is a possibility that these are reported without any work done.
Fighting against human trafficking seems a noble cause unless we know the real stories and the sources of the funds’ inflow and when we know that, the cause taken up by this NGO seems very evil and ill-intended.