Archive for March, 2012

The NGO ‘Bijness’

March 13, 2012 1 comment

There is nothing that (most) NGOs will not do for money – and media attention.

Wedding images by | Click for image.

Wedding images by | Click for image.

Known as “village of sex workers,” Wadia, the small village in Tharad taluka in the border district of Banaskantha in north Gujarat close to Rajasthan border, is all set to change the course of its life. In a village where most of the grown-up women were known for taking to prostitution to feed themselves and their male family members depended on them, the young girls are refusing to follow the traditional business and settle in normal life by marrying and rearing a family.

A dozen girls whose engagements were finalised on Sunday were of 12 to 17 years of age. Since they were not of marriageable age, the marriages could not be solemnized. “But we did not want the opportunity to slip off, so we at least arranged for the engagement ceremony so that the future commitment remained in tact,” said Mittal Patel, the co-ordinator of the Vicharti Samudaya Samarpan Manch, the voluntary organisation working for the welfare of the nomadic tribes.

It was the first time a mass marriage was organised in the village and soon it turned to be a festival. “Not only today[Sunday], the villagers were singing and dancing in preparation of the marriage festival for the last two days and the entire village turned in an unprecedented festive mood on the occasion,” Ms. Patel said.

The Manch had been working hard among the members of the Saraniya community, a nomadic tribe migrated to Gujarat from Rajasthan during the Moghul period, for the last five years or so to bring normalcy in their lives and help erase the village’s image of prostitution.

Saraniyas, who were experts in shinning and shaping swords, had left their native villages in Rajasthan with the army of Rana Pratap in his fight against the Moghul emperor, Akbar. But after his defeat, neither Rana Pratap nor the Saraniyas returned to Chittorgarh to prepare for the next round of battle. The Saraniyas later settled in Wadia village. (via The Hindu : States / Other States : Wadia women turn over a new leaf.).

Manufacturing news


12 girls agree to get married – and AP, (Associated Press) a giant news ‘manufacturer’ gets interested. Washington Post, Huffington Post, MSNBC.COM use use this feed to create news.

Indian NGOs are getting nearly US$ 2 billion in ‘aid’ each year – which is more than the official aid that India itself gets. Or more than what Sub-Sahara gets. More than Pakistan and Egypt get from USA.

I am also wondering now how many of these marriages were for real. Were those brides and grooms ‘incentivized’? What and how much was the incentive?


To get a handle on the NGO-bijness, let us go Ghaziabad.

A report commissioned by GoI, authored by Prof.KK Mukherkee, (former head of department of social work, DU) and Suttappa Mukherjee on prostitution in India, coincided with the global scare on the AIDS ‘epidemic’. Mukherjee who had previously estimated in 1990, Indian urban prostitute-count between 70,000-100,000 zoomed their number to four million – as per an IANS news release. Giving different figures ranging from 2.8 million to 4 million, this estimation seems to be badly off the mark.

Roughly speaking, Indian population went up from 90 cr. in 1990 to 115 cr. in 2012. Less than 30% population growth in 22 years – and the growth in prostitute-count up by 4000% – from 100,000 (urban-count only) to 40,00,000 (national count).

So, what changed?

Was it Viagra?

Indians and India, did not change much.

Sexual abilities and appetites could not have gone by so much. Except India has a little more money now. But what has changed is that there are megabucks to be made in the NGO ‘bijness’. And you cannot get megabucks by being factual or cool.

NGOs have to make for ‘explosive’ problems. Unless an NGO can make out a doomsday scenario, they don’t get money. At least not Big Money.

Big Money comes from Big Lies.

The Mukherjee-duo run a prostitution ‘prevention-rehabilitation-conversion’ centre – Gram Niyojan Kendra, outside Delhi, at Ghaziabad, with activities to ‘uplift’ tribals in Bharatpur. NGO-activistas like KK Mukherkee would like to nail-and-jail commercial sex buyers.

Those who are in the ‘industry’ think otherwise.

However, Khairati Bhola of Patita Uddhar Sabha differed. The move to make clients punishable would make the lives difficult for sex workers and it could force the profession underground. This would also give police a chance to fleece the clients.

The story so far

India has many tribes and towns that have commercial sex as their main economic activity. The Amalapuram-Peddapuram complex, near Andhra Coast, or the Bachra and Bedia tribes in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan. It is common, oral story that well-trained actresses, Waheeda Rehman and Jaya Prada, came from the Peddapuram-Amalapuram complex.

I wonder why so many people are involved in ‘saving’ these girls and women. Why are these NGOs and officials so keen on imposing their ‘morals’ on these peoples. Wherever there is forced prostitution, the State has a case to intervene.

In any other situation, why bother?

Strangely, there is little information on this. Few books (actually no book on google) talk about this. Media does not know how to present this. Should the media talk with moral superiority, or should it titillate.

For instance, this small note below in Wikipedia was deleted.

The Bachara are a tribe of people in the western part of Madhya Pradesh in central India.

They are known for the tradition of child prostitution, with families making their first daughters, as children, into prostitutes to support the family. The tradition is centuries old and is still practiced today.The documentary film Highway Courtesans was made in 2004 about this tribe. Their customers mostly are the truckers passing by the highway.Bachara women and their customers are subject to frequent extortion by the police for money.There have been very little efforts by the government for the welfare and upliftment of the tribe.They are looked upon with contempt by the other communities of the area.

What little that is known comes from oral knowledge.

‘Problem is we have too many leaders’: Sonia on UP debacle

March 8, 2012 6 comments

The lack of grace in defeat by the Congress is an indicator why its has not won a national election on merit for more than 30 years now.

Can calculations replace vision, imagination? Leadership blames - workers, organization, other 'leaders'. |  Cartoonist Keshav of The Hindu  |  Click for image.

Can calculations replace vision, imagination? Leadership blames - workers, organization, other 'leaders'. | Cartoonist Keshav of The Hindu | Click for image.

SONIA Gandhi today said that the Congress’s performance in the assembly polls would do no “damage” to the UPA government.

Sonia ruled out any possibility of PM Manmohan Singh stepping down as a result of the defeat. Asked about the Congress’s PM candidate in 2014, she said: “This is 2012.”

Sonia spoke to reporters after two and a half hours of one-on-one meetings with Congress general secretaries or incharges in states that went to polls, and with other senior leaders.

“The Congress party has got support below its expectations. We accept it with all humility,” she said.

“Rahul has already told you about UP. Our party organisation is weak in UP.”

On the party’s poor show in Amethi and Rae Bareli, Sonia said: “There have been such defeats earlier. It seems people were not happy with the sitting MLAs. The new candidates won.” Asked if the Congress was lacking leaders, she remarked: “I would say rather than lack of leaders, too many leaders, that is our problem.” (via ‘Problem is we have too many leaders’: Sonia on UP debacle – Indian Express).

It has taken some 15 years, but the CEC has been defanged. Salman Khurshid gets away  |  Cartoonist Kirtish Bhatt  |  Click for source image.

It has taken some 15 years, but the CEC has been defanged. Salman Khurshid gets away | Cartoonist Kirtish Bhatt | Click for source image.

What contempt?

After years of unquestioned loyalty, by all and sundry Congress ‘leaders’, Sonia Gandhi has so much contempt for them?

After not winning a national election for 32 years on merit (Rajiv’s victory of 1984 tainted by sympathy), Congress still blames the organization and party workers.

If a 150 year old party, does not have organization, who will? Way back in the 1970s, Congress was the only party with any kind of organization.

In the 1977 election, Congress was head and shoulders above every other political organization. Indira Gandhi used the same organization to make a brilliant come back in 1980 election.

If between 1984-2012, there has been a collapse in the organization, we know who is to blame.

But, now Sonia Gandhi blames these ‘too many leaders!’

Even if Sonia Gandhi’s allegations are true, there was no one to stop her from sacking, removing, inducting any one of her choice.

Sonia and Rahul's leadership is impeccable. The workers and other 'leaders' are to blame.  |  Cartoonist S.Nagesh in  |  Click for image.

Sonia and Rahul's leadership is impeccable. The workers and other 'leaders' are to blame. | Cartoonist S.Nagesh in | Click for image.

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