Question: How can the role of NGOs be strengthened in India for development works relating to protection of the environment? Discuss throwing light on the major constraints.
Answer: NGOs play an important role in addressing the issues that the government and authorities fail to address. The main among them is the environment, which rarely gets attention from the government but is necessary to be addressed regularly.
How NGOs can be strengthened
- More decision making power
Even though giving independent decision-making power is far from possible, NGOs can be given enough power by including them in decision-making committees. Government committees that look into environment protection need to have an NGO that has a significant stake.
Transparency is a virtue that will make NGOs to be genuine and trustworthy. Most of NGOs work as pawns in hands of powerful entities and are not considered seriously. If activities related to NGO such as funding, members, etc is transparent, people will trust these groups.
- Open membership
NGOs should not be a property of a particular individual rather it should be open to membership for all citizens. The officeholders must be annually elected through the election so that every member has a say in the decision of the group. This will enhance its reputation as non-partisan.
- Political issues
Every decision has political implications and NGOs depend on political backing to grow. If there is active political interference in functions of the NGO then its role as an independent participant will come under scrutiny. This will reduce its importance.
- Lack of expertise
NGOs are not equipped to handle the technical aspects of environmental study. This requires experts for guiding policies and decision making. Having scientific support will make NGOs more worthy of consideration.
Thus, Ngo’s role as an environment protection group is very significant and it requires support from the public to make contributions worth remembering.