Christian NGOs Receive Highest Foreign Funding in India

Ayana Charitable Trust in Kerala topped the list of NGOs receiving the highest foreign funding with Rs 826 crore.

Christian Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) received some of the highest foreign funding in the country in 2015-16, and two of the top ten organisations are from Kerala.

With Rs 826 crore in foreign contributions, Ayana Charitable Trust in Kerala topped the list of NGOs receiving the highest foreign funding in the country in the last fiscal, The Times of India reported.

The other two Christian charities that made it to the top four are Believers Church India and World Vision India.

Believers Church India and World Vision India, which featured third and fourth on the list, declared foreign contributions of Rs 342.63 crore and Rs 319.26 crore respectively, the TOI report stated.

Ayana Charitable Trust is said to be a rebranded version of the US-based NGO Gospel for Asia (GfA) which is reportedly funding projects in India under the former's name.

The Canadian arm of GfA faces allegations of fraud totalling nearly $94 million – the amount had purportedly been sent to India between 2007 and 2014, but the transactions cannot be properly accounted for.

According to The Star, GfA was founded and is managed by Kerala born KP Yohannan, who currently resides in Wills Point, Texas. The charity's international work is focused on Kerala, especially helping Dalits.

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Bruce Morrison, a Nova Scotia pastor who raised a complaint against the NGO, had told the publication last year, "KP Yohannan has taken hundreds of millions of dollars from western donors and put a majority of those funds in expensive profit-generating properties in Kerala and also let tens of millions of dollars accumulate in Indian banks, while continuing to beg for more on pretences that are simply not true."

The New Delhi-based Param Shakthi Peeth, which had links to the RSS and VHP, came in a distant second with foreign donations of Rs 417.94 crore.

Rural Development Trust from Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh came sixth in the list – it received Rs 208.78 crore.

Public Health Foundation of India, an NGO in Bengaluru, declared Rs 190.82 crore in foreign funding.

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In 2014-15, foreign funding to charities in Kerala saw a dramatic spike. The Deccan Chronicle reported that the state received Rs 966 crore in foreign contributions in 2013-14. In the 2014-15 period, the amount jumped to Rs 2,509, a 160% increase from the previous year.

Both Ayana Charitable Trust and Believers Church India have continued to be the top recipients of foreign funds.