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A group of sisters comes out of Mother House of the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata last month. Alamy Stock Photo

Indian government renews access to foreign funding for Mother Teresa charity

The government cut off foreign funding to the Missionaries of Charity on Christmas Day and refused to renew its licence.

THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT has renewed permission for late Catholic nun Mother Teresa’s charity to receive foreign funds, weeks after rejecting it, the organisation has said.

On Christmas Day, the Narendra Modi government moved to cut off foreign funding to the Missionaries of Charity and refused to renew its licence under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

Astatement issued following the decision said the reason was “not meeting the eligibility conditions” under the FCRA Act after “adverse inputs were noticed”, without giving further details.

Charities and non-profit firms need to register under FCRA to receive money from abroad.

“The FCRA application has now been renewed,” Sunita Kumar, a close aide to Mother Teresa, told AFP.

The Missionaries of Charity, which runs shelter homes across India, was founded in 1950 by the late Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who devoted most of her life to helping the poor in the eastern city of Kolkata.

She won the Nobel Peace Prize and was later declared a saint.

India’s home ministry issued a statement in December saying it was rejecting the renewal application because the charity did not meet “eligibility conditions” and that “adverse inputs were noticed”.

Last week, Oxfam India said the Indian government had blocked its access to international funds, a move which it said would have severe consequences for its humanitarian work.

Activists have also said that religious minorities in India have faced increased levels of discrimination and violence since Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2014.

The government has been accused of cutting off access to funding of charities and rights groups in the country.

Amnesty International announced in 2020 that it was halting operations in India after the government froze its bank accounts.

© AFP 2022

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