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Ganeshotsav: Government for transparency in fund raising
August 07, 2003 01:12 IST
Last Updated: August 07, 2003 03:31 IST
Every year, Ganeshotsav is celebrated with great pomp in the state of Maharashtra.
People spare no expenses to ensure that the celebrations, at home or in public, are on a grand scale.
Some set up huge stages, install huge idols of Lord Ganesh and spend lavishly on decorations.
However, huge amounts of money are required to make this possible, which is why organisers collect funds from the public during the festival.
To lend legitimacy to this activity, organisers float associations, some of which are registered with the office of the state's Charity Commissioner.
Here comes the unsavoury part. Not everyone is enamoured of the manner in which the donations are collected as business establishments are often at the receiving end of innumerable demands for contributions.
The common man is not spared either.
Once they give in to the demands, there is no way that contributors can monitor the manner in which their donations are spent, all of which often leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
To ensure some amount of accountability, the state government has notified that any unregistered association or group of persons intending to collect donations, in any form, for the Ganeshotsav festival should seek prior permission of the Charity Commissioner.
The permission granted by the Charity Commissioner, under section 41-C of the Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1950, is valid only for one year.
Which means that those associations who have obtained permission in previous years must apply afresh this year.
If their application is accepted, it is incumbent upon them to mention the sanction order and other details on all their receipts.
Interested persons or associations should contact the Public Trust Registration Office of their respective district for further details.
Those collecting donations for Ganeshotsav without prior approval are liable to legal action, the government has warned.
The Charity Commissioner has appealed to members of the public to intimate his office [Address: 83, Dharmadaya Ayukta Bhavan, A B Road, Worli, Mumbai-400 018], or the District Public Trust Registration office elsewhere in the State, instances of unauthorised collection of funds.
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