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Gujarat riot victims seek protection from 'money-minting' NGOs

Thursday, 21 February 2013 - 9:00am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA
The families lashed out at such NGOs, which are only paying "lip service" to their cause, and are minting money in the name of helping them. They said they are living peacefully and do not want any help from these NGOs.

Tired of “false promises” made by NGOs that are “making money for themselves” in the name of helping the victims of the post-Godhra riots, a group of Muslim families at Ahmedabad's Gulbarg Co-operative Housing Society have asked the Ahmedabad police commissioner to provide them “sufficient security” to prevent such NGOs from entering their society and organising any programme.

The families lashed out at such NGOs, which are only paying “lip service” to their cause, and are minting money in the name of helping them. They said they are living peacefully and do not want any help from these NGOs.

The riot victims also criticised those NGOs for “breaching their privacy” while they just want to offer prayers to their lost ones.

The families said said that a lot of NGOs and outsiders visit the society, along with national and international media every year on the anniversary of the riots and organises big functions to show solidarity with them.

“Every year after such functions, various schemes for rehabilitation of victims, financial support and support for reconstruction of houses are announced by these NGOs which are never implemented,” said a letter signed by 15 people.

Recounting one such promise, they said an NGO had promised to purchase all the houses damaged in the riots at current market price to convert the same into a museum. “But nothing has happned in the last 10 years and we are living without any financial support or any other support as announced by these NGOs,” the families said in the letter.

“These NGOs are also involved in making documentary films on our society and showing it to international bodies and have obtained huge grants in the name of providing financial and legal support to us,” they said.

“We are living peacefully and do not want any support from these NGOs who have done nothing for us,” the letter said.

One of the signatories of the letter, who wished to remain anonymous, told DNA: “We respect the help the NGOs extended to take the case to a proper legal process. But the society issues are ours only. These NGOs talked about converting such homes to museums but they have been just letting the issue linger on. But some people are now tired and want to sell their flats and move on.”

“We do not want to continue believing NGO's false promises who just wants to keep the issue alive for their own selfish purposes,” he added while refusing to identify anyone among those NGOs.

The families also said since thes NGOs have done nothing for them except “lip service”, they want a a “complete ban” on NGOs from entering their societies. “Now we have understood that they do such things for their own good and publicity,” they added.

The victims also complained NGOs of “breaching their privacy” and “forcing” them to participate in programmes NGOs organise every year on February 28 even when the families just want to silently offer their prayers for their near and dear ones who lost their lives in riots.

They requested Ahmedabad police commissioner to provide sufficient security at the society to prevent these NGOs and outsiders from entering the Gulbarg society and organising any such programmes in and around the Gulbarg society.

“So that we are allowed to pay homage peacefully … we also request you not to grant any permission to these NGOs for organising any programmes in our societies,” the families asked.




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