NGOs and Development: History and Role in India NGOs are voluntary organization s (VOs). These are popularly known as NGOs because they are free from governmental control in their functioning. They are democratic and open to all those wishing to become member of the organization voluntarily and serve the society.
Therefore, they have assumed a significant space in civil society, which is fast emerging today due to the weakening of the state. NGO is a popular term, which has gained currency at global level and commands respect in society due to its welfare services in society. The organization does seek financial assistance from the government but it operates, at least theoretically, on its own principles and programmes (Punalekar, 2004).
VOs are, in principle, open to voluntary membership. Any one may become member by choice and resign from the organi¬zation at one’s own will. However, Edwin Masihi writes that “it is wrong to label such organizations as free-for-all in that anyone who seeks admission gets it on demand.
On the contrary, these organizations have their own rule of eligibility for admission and only those who meet these eligibility norms are accepted as members, albeit with the approval of the existing members. In that sense, these organizations are voluntary in relative terms only” (Masihi, 2004).
History of NGOs in India:
NGO have a long history in India. In the past, people in this country have been found to have provided help to others in trouble. Since centuries there exists the tradition of voluntary service to the needy and helpless in the country. In the beginning, these services were rendered by people motivated by their religious feelings.
It has been tried to bring the Hemanthankar Jethmal Rango Trust, the chairman of the All Voluntary Association Foundation, into one platform.