Shah Rukh Khan’s NGO, Meer Foundation, has been granted an FCRA license for foreign funding.

Mumbai, June 6, 2024— The Ministry of Home Affairs has given a Foreign Contribution Registration Act (FCRA) license to Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s non-governmental organization (NGO), the Meer Foundation. This license, which is effective May 31, 2024, and lasts for five years, authorizes the NGO to seek and use foreign contributions for particular reasons, such as cultural and social causes.

The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) is a statute created by the Government of India in 1976 to govern the acceptance and use of foreign contributions or hospitality by specific individuals or organizations. The FCRA’s principal goal is to ensure that foreign aid does not jeopardize India’s sovereignty and integrity, security, strategic, scientific, or economic objectives, or public interests. Organizations seeking foreign contributions for cultural, social, economic, educational, or religious projects must either register with the FCRA or acquire prior approval to receive foreign contributions.

The Meer Foundation, situated in Mumbai and founded in 2013, is dedicated to assisting survivors of acid attacks. The organization is a Section 25 business under the Companies Act and is registered as a non-profit enterprise. It has charitable status under sections 12A (A) and 80G of the 1961 Income Tax Act. According to the foundation’s website, its purpose is to promote gender equality and societal cohesion through a variety of programs engaging a wide range of stakeholders.

The MHA, which is in charge of providing FCRA licenses, examines applications on the basis of yearly reports and the proper use of foreign funds. Any deviation from the authorized purposes is considered a violation of FCRA regulations. In 2024, the MHA extended FCRA licenses to 176 NGOs across the country, including the Meer Foundation. These NGOs encompass a wide range of social, religious, cultural, educational, and economic groups.

Donations from individuals of Indian descent with foreign citizenship, including Overseas Citizen of India cardholders, are considered foreign contributions under FCRA criteria. However, this law does not apply to non-resident Indians (NRIs) who retain their Indian citizenship. This distinction is critical for both compliance and regulatory concerns.

In recent years, NGOs have faced increased scrutiny over FCRA compliance. Over 100 organizations, including prominent names such as the Centre for Policy Research, the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust led by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, and Oxfam India, had their FCRA licenses cancelled or not renewed due to allegations of misappropriation of foreign grants.

The Meer Foundation’s newly acquired FCRA license allows it to increase its support for acid attack survivors through overseas contributions. According to an official, the license will allow the foundation to successfully receive and utilize international donations for its social activities.

Shah Rukh Khan’s NGO has been a source of hope for many survivors, and this FCRA license is a critical step forward in its path. The foundation’s commitment to gender empowerment and societal cohesion is projected to be significantly boosted by the influx of international contributions.

The MHA’s rigorous screening procedure guarantees that only organizations with a transparent track record and defined goals are granted FCRA licenses. The Meer Foundation’s achievement in getting this license demonstrates its commitment to its mission and adherence to regulatory standards.

Finally, the Meer Foundation’s FCRA license demonstrates the impact of its work and the faith put in it by regulatory authorities. This breakthrough provides fresh opportunities for the NGO to advance its goal and assist more survivors of acid assaults across India.

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