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June 6, 2024

Shah Rukh Khan’s Meer Foundation Secures FCRA License for Foreign Funding

Shah Rukh Khan’s non-governmental organisation (NGO), Meer Foundation, has been granted a Foreign Contribution Registration Act (FCRA) license by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). This license, which is valid for five years, enables the foundation to receive and utilize foreign funds for its operations. The Economic Times reported this development, citing sources within the MHA.

Meer Foundation, based in Mumbai, is dedicated to supporting survivors of acid attacks. The FCRA license, effective from May 31, 2024, marks a significant milestone for the NGO, allowing it to seek international contributions to further its cause. An official informed The Economic Times that Meer Foundation, classified as a ‘social’ NGO, is now eligible to receive foreign grants.

Founded by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan in 2013, Meer Foundation operates as a Section 25 company under the Companies Act, functioning as a not-for-profit entity. It holds charitable status under sections 12A (A) and 80G of the Income Tax Act of 1961, which provides tax benefits to donors. According to its website, the foundation is committed to fostering gender empowerment and societal cohesion through various initiatives involving diverse stakeholders.

The Ministry of Home Affairs is responsible for evaluating and granting FCRA licenses. This process includes a thorough review of the NGO’s annual reports and the proper utilization of foreign funds. Any misuse or deviation from the designated purposes outlined in the application can result in a violation of FCRA regulations.

Meer Foundation’s receipt of the FCRA license places it among 175 other NGOs across India that were granted similar permissions in 2024. These NGOs span various sectors including social, religious, cultural, educational, and economic fields.

Under FCRA guidelines, donations from individuals of Indian origin holding foreign citizenship, including Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders, are considered foreign contributions. However, Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) who retain Indian citizenship are excluded from this classification. This distinction is crucial for NGOs as they navigate funding sources and compliance requirements.

In recent years, there has been increased scrutiny on NGOs concerning FCRA compliance. Over 100 organizations have faced FCRA license cancellations or non-renewals due to allegations of misappropriating foreign grants. Notable among these are the Centre for Policy Research, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust, and Oxfam India. This heightened vigilance underscores the importance of adhering to FCRA regulations and ensuring transparency in the utilization of foreign contributions.

The FCRA license is a significant boon for Meer Foundation, empowering it to expand its support for acid attack survivors through international donations. With the backing of foreign funds, the foundation can enhance its initiatives aimed at gender empowerment and social integration. This development also highlights the ongoing efforts of the MHA to regulate and oversee the activities of NGOs in India, ensuring that foreign contributions are used effectively and for their intended purposes.

Meer Foundation’s achievement reflects its commitment to making a positive impact on society, especially in empowering women and fostering social harmony. As the foundation moves forward with the support of international funds, it remains dedicated to its mission of creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for acid attack survivors and other marginalized groups.

Read more latest news on R9 News

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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