Bengaluru: City based NGO Janasadbhawana that works with jail inmates is going through financial crunch. Janasadbhawana, started by social activist Faiz Akram Pasha, is on a mission to reform small-time offenders languishing in jails, get them out legally and rehabilitate them in order to promote a peaceful society, whilst advocating for justice in prisons.
The NGO has now turned to crowd-funding to raise money for the noble cause.
As more and more individuals and startup companies are turning to crowd-funding to bring their projects to light, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in India are not far behind. One look at the country’s major crowd-funding sites would reveal the effectiveness of social networking in mobilising mass support for a cause. According to the website Ketto, an estimated Rs 4 crores has been raised so far, on their site by different aid agencies as part of their relief effort for Nepal.
For the uninitiated, crowd-funding is an online phenomenon that allows anybody with a few rupees to spare to contribute toward a cause or project seeking cash. Anybody with an idea can go to one of dozen of specialized crowdfunding websites and appeal to the general public for donations.
Bungaluru-based NGO Janasadbhawana is testing waters with the power of the crowd and technology.
Though Faiz himself has been working for this cause since his days in college, he founded his NGO in 2006, at the insistence of B. S. Abbai (ex-DIG Prisons), who he refers to as his mentor. Since its inception, he and his group of volunteers have helped the release and rehabilitation of over 450 inmates, by paying their pending fine amount and in some cases, also finding them jobs.
Many such ex-prisoners now work as volunteers of the organisation, according to him.
Lack of funds
Although Faiz has received a lot of recognition for his work as a champion of prisoners’ rights, including Dr. Mumtaz Ahmed Khan Award by the Al-Ameen Educational Society, however, like many other activists and social workers, he has no financial backing or support.
According to his fellow activist and Bengaluru Youth Award winner Mansoor Chetlu, “People like Faiz get too many words of appreciation, but what they actually need is support, to continue their work.”
Mansoor, who spoke to TCN, said that he has started a fundraising campaign on NotforProfit.in – A nonprofit social advocacy and crowdfunding website, to raise Rs. 30,000 to help Faiz with his work.
He says the amount will help the organisation to bail out at least three prisoners, and help Faiz with other miscellaneous expenses, which is usually associated with running an NGO.
Advocate Sultan Beary, who has agreed to take up the cases of undertrial prisoners Janasadbhawana is working with, says, “The cases of undertrials is something every citizen of this country should be concerned about. Our inaction reflects our apathy.”