Body to help central paramilitary forces given FCRA licence

Updated on Jun 04, 2020 02:09 AM IST

The trust, launched by senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadera and then home minister Rajnath Singh and actor Akshay Kumar on April 9, 2017, has received Rs 332 crore in donations till date, largely contributions by individuals within India.

A large number of non-resident Indians (NRIs), too, had expressed their desire to contribute to the platform to help the families of troopers killed in the line of duty. (Photo by Waseem Andrabi / Hindustan Times)
A large number of non-resident Indians (NRIs), too, had expressed their desire to contribute to the platform to help the families of troopers killed in the line of duty. (Photo by Waseem Andrabi / Hindustan Times)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByNeeraj Chauhan

The Centre’s “Bharat ke Veer” platform that collect funds for families of central paramilitary personnel who are killed in action has been given permission by the ministry of home affairs to receive funding from abroad under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), people familiar with the development said.

The trust, launched by senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and then home minister Rajnath Singh and actor Akshay Kumar on April 9, 2017, has received Rs 332 crore in donations till date, largely contributions by individuals within India.

A large number of non-resident Indians (NRIs), too, had expressed their desire to contribute to the platform to help the families of troopers killed in the line of duty. After the Pulwama suicide bombing on February 14, 2019, in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed, many NRIs and foreign nationals approached Indian authorities through social media platform and embassies abroad, enquiring about ways to donate.

In the absence of a FCRA licence, they had to send their contributions to the embassies or local consulates. In one such example, 26-year-old Viveik Patel of Virginia in the US managed to collect Rs 7.5 crore within four days of the Pulwama attack through a fundraiser for the families of the slain troopers. This money was sent to Bharat Ke Veer through a cheque collected by the Indian consulate in New York as direct transfers from abroad were not allowed.

Bharat ke Veer’s nodal officer, CRPF deputy inspector general (DIG) Vijay Kumar, said: “A large number of NRIs and nationals from other countries understand the plight of families of martyrs who die fighting terrorists or extremists in Jammu and Kashmir, Naxal-affected states or northeast and used to contact us asking how they can contribute. When we didn’t have FCRA licence, we used to tell NRIs to send the money through the embassy or an organization (registered to send money to India). People can now send money from anywhere in the world directly”.

The government last week also authorized the use of the Bharat Ke Veer corpus to help the families of central paramilitary forces personnel who succumb to Covid-19 while on duty.

In the Bharat Ke Veer initiative, which was a brainchild of Akshay Kumar, families of individuals will receive up to Rs 15 lakh, which can be sent by people directly into their accounts. Once the amount touches Rs 15 lakh, the details of the slain trooper are taken off the platform. This financial assistance is separate from government benefits including provident fund, insurance and one-time compensation.

As of now, Bharat Ke Veer has been used to provide finance assistance to families of 304 central paramilitary force personnel (maximum of 201 from the CRPF) out of whom 289 have already got the full Rs 15 lakh. Details of 15 families are currently available on the platform.

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