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What is an NGO (non-governmental organization)? 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 a member of the organization voluntarily and serve the society. According to the United Nations, any kind of private organization that is independent from government control can be termed an ‘NGO’, provided it is not for profit.
Role of NGOs in Development:
India is a highly populated and predominantly rural country. It is classified as a country of medium human development, ranked 128th in the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Index 2007. Life expectancy is 63.7 years at birth, and four-fifths of the population lives on less than $2/day 1. The adult literacy rate is 61% 2. So, the scope of NGOs working in India is very wide and it is not limited to only economic development but also the quality of life, women empowerment, child development and education and creating awareness among the population. The task of Indian government is so huge and it is not possible to work alone and fix every problem by itself. So to serve the remote area and those people who are left out of the government program has to rely on the NGOs. The total number of NGOs in India is huge and it is increasing rapidly, at present there are more than thirty thousand NGOs working in India. The role NGOs are playing in India is visible and it is being experienced in different parts India especially its contribution to social change and development. Besides this, NGOs are playing a significant role as catalysts in understanding concurrent issues by interacting with various government and non-government stakeholders, especially those whom government inaction affects most, and to bring the issue to the notice of the policymakers. A country like India with a huge geographical area and vast population it is not possible for the government to present everywhere all the time and to look at every issue. As a government, it has its own powers as well as limitations. To make the country forward and improve the development activity government needs the active participation of the people that would not be possible unless they are educated, awakened and motivated. NGOs are taking up this job sportingly and so far they are successful. In most of the cases, it is a win-win situation for the government and the NGOs. The government is able to complete its task through NGOs and the NGOs get the satisfaction of reaching out to the most under-served and catering to their concerned issue. The outcome is the end-users or population receive the facilities/medicines/treatment that they desperately need.

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