Recently the non-government organization named JAAGO (S–8027(48)/08) has received a government grant from ICT department. The news generated an overwhelming feeling of discontent among the political leaders and workers of Awami League. Through his past activities, Korvi Rakshand, the founder of JAAGO Foundation, has proven time and again to be against Prime minister Sheikh Hasina and Sajeeb Wazed Joy, an advisor to the government of Bangladesh on Information and communication technology. Quite a few Awami League workers have showed their dissatisfaction about the matter on social media.
I personally looked into the complaints detailed in these posts and found a bunch of important facts, which I am going to share here. JAAGO Foundation is working as an NGO under the Office of Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms (RJSC). It is registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860, where the registration number remains (S-8027(48)/08). Societies like this do not need to submit their annual accounts/ audited accounts in RJSC, therefore there is no semblance of accountability here. JAAGO members have taken that absence of accountability as an opportunity.
Some may think, JAAGO is still registered in RJSC, so where does the problem arise? If one wants to operate voluntary social welfare agencies like JAAGO in Bangladesh, one has to abide by The Voluntary Social Welfare Agencies (Registration and Control) Ordinance 1961 and must register under the Department of Social Welfare. As JAAGO is a voluntary social welfare agency that works with women and children and abides by the rules and schedules of the Department of Social Welfare, it has to have been registered under the Department of Social Welfare. It is a criminal offence if an agency or organization works under the Department of Social Welfare without registration. The law enforcement bodies can take action against Mr. Korvi Rakshand any time he breaks this law. There can be possibilities of child-trafficking by agencies like this, if not registered.
Let us come to the point of registration under NGO bureau. If a non-profit organization receives funding and grants from other countries, it has to be registered under the NGO bureau. The following link has the list of all registered NGOs, readers can try finding JAAGO’s name there.
The National Board of Revenue Bangladesh does not have any income tax assessment from Korvi Rakshand, the founder of JAAGO foundation. The Board does not know who funded the luxury car he drives, there is no record.
There is another unlawful operational side of JAAGO. Do the schools of JAAGO Foundation teach according to the syllabus provided by the Board of Education? What are they teaching in the name of English education?
The following summarises the questionable legality of JAAGO Foundation’s operations-
1. There is no registration under the Department of Social Welfare
2. There is no registration under the NGO Bureau
3. There is no registration under any kind of education authority
4. There is no record of income-tax assessment
5. There is no audited accounts since 2008
Given these circumstances, I implore the Government of Bangladesh to scrutinize the matters related to the illegal operations of JAAGO Foundation in Bangladesh.
Note: The benagli version of this post can be read here at AmarBlog.com.