Monday, December 1, 2008

British Charity & Hindu Extremism - 6

Awaaz — South Asia Watch Ltd, 2004


The disbursement of funds by SIUK to organizations abroad is not listed clearly in annual reports or in annual accounts of the HSS UK. Because of the controversy surrounding these organizations and for reasons of transparency, the HSS UK, the VHP UK and the Kalyan Ashram Trust UK, all of which are registered charities, should make publicly available the exact disbursement of funds to Indian organizations. SIUK’s website does provide information on individual donations and updates on the various projects it has funded, but this is not an annual summary of funds disbursed. Similarly the HSS UK newsletter Sangh Sandesh gives information in its ‘Charity News’ section on SIUK’s work, but this newsletter is intended for HSS UK members and not for the general public.

Summary figures from HSS UK accounts for the years 1995 – 2002 are given below. The Gujarat earthquake funds were the largest amount that HSS UK / SIUK has ever raised. A reasonable estimate of the assets of HSS UK would be around £1.5 million. With the exception of Gujarat earthquake funds from 2001, the bulk of funds raised are from donations, seemingly individual donations raised by HSS branches (shakhas). However, accounts for years ending 31 March 2000 and 2001 show that donations from ‘sangh activity’ – which presumably refers to the RSS tradition of annually donating money ‘to’ the RSS saffron flag – were around £21,500 in each of these two years. Accounts for year end 31 March 2002 show £500,000 earmarked for new premises in London. Total donations for the year end 31 March 2002 shows £97,504 of unrestricted funds, and £811,608 of restricted funds for Sewa International (presumably mostly Gujarat earthquake related) and £15,574 unrestricted and £162,395 restricted funds for Sewa Education Aid. This might suggest that about £100,000 was raised by SIUK in that financial year for purposes other than the Gujarat earthquake and Sewa Education Aid.

Public sector grants to the HSS UK are modest, amounting to about £20,000 a year after 1999 (but reaching around £40,000 in previous years.) The HSS UK (including SIUK and the Hindu Marathon) have previously received public sector grant aid or funds from the London boroughs of Brent and Newham, the city councils of Bradford, Coventry and Leeds, as well as support from Nottingham and Derby councils.

Notes. a) – is sum of donations and covenants; b) – is sum listed under ‘grants received’, which would be grants from public sector or other bodies; c) a ‘Norway – India’ fund collection of £130,609. A different earthquake fund collection of £368,651 is shown in 1994. Figures for 1999 are based on 2000 accounts. Sources: Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh Annual Report of Trustees and Accounts for the years 1995 – 2002, excluding accounts for financial year 1999.


In the years 2002 and 2001 VHP UK assets were listed as £1,113,761 and £1,046,963 respectively, of which almost £900,000 were capital and reserves under unrestricted funds. Income through donations was £44,223 in 2002 and £74,705 for 2001, excluding donations for its building fund. For the year 2002, the accounts showed restricted funds for a building of £168,937. The VHP UK has previously received public sector funds from the London boroughs of Croydon, Newham and Waltham Forest. VHP branches in Newham, Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan were also listed as beneficiaries of funds from the Awards for All scheme linked to the National Lottery.

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