NGO Full Form | What is an NGO?

Updated:2 Sep, 2022

NGOs are Non-governmental organizations that were initially referred to as such in Article 71 of the 1945 Charter of the newly established United Nations. While NGOs do not have a set or official definition, they are typically thought of as nonprofit organizations that are independent of political influence. NGOs engage in a variety of activities, such as human rights, social, and environmental activism. They seek to advance social or political changes on a large or small scale. NGOs are essential for the growth of society, the enhancement of communities, and the encouragement of citizen involvement.

What is an NGO?

An NGO is defined as "a not-for-profit, volunteer citizen's group that is established on a local, national, or worldwide level to identify and understand issues in favor of the public good" by the UN Department of Global Communications. The term non-governmental organization (NGO) is ambiguous and is used interchangeably with civil society organization (CSO), which is an association established by citizens. Political parties and labor unions may also be regarded as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in some nations. 

They include a huge number of organizations and entities that are totally or completely unrelated to the government and that prioritize cooperative or charitable goals over profit-making ones. They include member groups in villages, independent organizations with regional or national affiliations, and private entities in industrialized nations that assist foreign development. NGOs are organizations that support community organizations, offer food and family planning services, and raise private cash for development. They also include charity and religious organizations. Additionally, they comprise autonomous cooperatives, neighborhood groups, water-user societies, women's organizations, and pastoral associations. NGOs are also citizen groups that affect policy and increase awareness.

Importance of NGOs in India:

In the past seven decades, India has advanced quickly on the socioeconomic front. Life expectancy has increased dramatically, the quality of education has nearly tripled, and access to healthcare has improved for millions of people. Millions of people still lack access to a good living in India due to the country's size, both geographically and in terms of its population, as well as its sociocultural variety. Many individuals still suffer to get necessities like wholesome food, accommodation, and education. The advantages of India's economic development have not all been the same. The widespread economic disparity exists. NGOs enter the picture in this situation. By enhancing the lives of the most marginalized groups, they fill in the gaps left by the government. 

NGOs work on a wide range of projects in India, the majority of which are targeted at enhancing the social standing of underprivileged populations. The job of NGOs has a broad impact on assisting underprivileged and impoverished people advance in life, from directly benefiting people by distributing healthy food to undernourished children and enabling individuals to make a community understand the importance of sending their children to school.

NGOs have previously shown themselves to be change-makers. They will remain to be crucial in assisting broad segments of Indian society to escape the hardship of poverty in the coming years.

Importance of NGOs Worldwide:

The NGOs have knowledge about various countries and they share information among countries and other international organizations like United Nations. NGOs come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and approaches, but they all share the fundamental conviction that moral people working together can make significant progress toward resolving social and environmental issues. NGOs have been at the forefront of international movements to abolish slavery, the ivory business, violence against women, racism, and many other illegal activities.

Types of NGOs:

  1. INGO: It is an International NGO that operates globally.
  2. GONGO: It is a government-organized NGO that provides public services.
  3. QUANGO: It is a Quasi-autonomous government-organized NGO that is funded by the government.
  4. ENGO: It is an Environment NGO that looks after environmental issues.

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