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Matter in Issue:
In financial year 2014-15 Srijan Foundation has made a donation of Rs. 20,000 to IndiaSpend in good faith presuming that “IndiaSpend” was doing a noble unbiased work in terms of data collection and it’s publication, which will help in addressing social issues in more concrete terms. But recently we came across some news articles published on well known news media portals questioning the method of data collection of “IndiaSpend” and in particular raising objection on a report titled, “Cow Related Violence” published on the official website of “IndiaSpend”. After taking a careful reading of that report we came to the conclusion that the report was fundamentally flawed and represents only one side of the story in cases related to cow violence. The most unfortunate part of the story is that the same report has also been quoted by international news media platforms like “Washington Post” to paint a highly unwarranted image of Hindus globally. And due to that report (“Cow Related Violence”) not only repute to “IndiaSpend” comes in jeopardy but Srijan Foundation has also been targeted on social media and other platforms for donating to “IndiaSpend”. Although the donation which we have made was in good faith, with no purpose whatsoever to promote any biased reporting against Hindus.
After taking careful reading of the report titled “Cow Related Violence” and analyzing the news articles which question that report. We realized that the said report was fundamentally flawed and painted a highly unwarranted image of Hindus. Therefore as a result Srijan Foundation has raised strong objection to “IndiaSpend” on that report through a mail and ask them to return our donation which we have made to them in Financial Year 2014-15.
Srijan Foundation is crystal clear in it’s approach on this issue, we do not want our name to be unnecessarily dragged into any controversy by getting projected our affiliation with “IndiaSpend”. We stood firmly by our decision of demanding return of our donation from “IndiaSpend”.
Response from “IndiaSpend”.
The response which “IndiaSpend” send us in reply reads as follows :
“Thank you for reaching out and I do appreciate the candidness of your mail.
First and foremost, the reports that you refer to are no longer on our website as we have ceased publication of the violence tracker.
In general, (since you have appended them) we don’t agree to any of these `articles’ mentioned here and believe they are more flawed than the flaws our database was accused of !
Our objective is to point out gaps in data collection or data gathering and we have done that in this case. And now that project is over.
It is not our intent or desire to be anti-Hindu (or be perceived) as anti-Hindu or any religion for that matter.
Finally, if you do believe we should `return’ the donation we will do so.
From an accounting perspective, there is no returning donations as far as we can see since the financial year in question is long over with audited results submitted to both Income Tax and the Charity Commissioner, Mumbai.
What we can do is make a donation to your trust for the same amount and go through the same process in reverse.
Do let us know if that is what you would like us to do..
Am happy to speak on the phone and explain as well. ..”
Note: We have appended the screenshots of our mail conversation on this issue with this note of clarification.