Civil societies act as a watchdog of democracy. It’s a plural discourse contributing immensely in development activities. Growth of modern state and democracy led to a gradual emergence of civil society which includes NGOs, unions & associations. Civil society has played a crucial role in ensuring effective governance, transparency & social betterment in modern states; thorough agitations, PILs, spreading awareness, relief work etc. Examples of few are-ecological justice and environment protection e.g. Mazdoor kisan Shakti Sangathan in Rajasthan helped farmers during drought condition, Pragya is an NGO in Gurgaon working to educate communities in India and Nepal on the nature of climatic changes and need for adaptation to ecological change by introducing suitable changes in agriculture and other resources.
- Actively promoted education and skill development among downtrodden sections of society particularly in backward regions of our country.
- Fought for rights of minorities; Naaz foundation for Transgender.
- Stood for transparency to ensure a better democracy; Anna Hazare movement for RTI.
- Recently decades have seen a spurt in civil society organizations across the country; Many of them do not server the larger interests of society such as lobbying for industrial groups or foreign nations by advocating a policy.
- Most do not file annual returns on a regular basis; their funding sources are often remaining disclosed or shady.
- Many of them receive substantial foreign funding; but how they spend such funding often remains behind curtains.
- Some CSOs such as Greenpeace have accused by state agencies such as IB for instigating villages in vicinity against developmental projects such as POSOCO steel in Orissa; this ate up 2-3% of our GDP.