New Delhi: An inter-ministerial committee was set up Wednesday by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to look into the alleged violations by three institutions, all connected to the Congress’ Gandhi family.
The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF), the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT) and the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust (IGMT) have come under the scanner for allegedly “violating the legal provisions of money laundering act, Income Tax Act and foreign contribution act”.
The special director of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) will head the committee, while the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will be part of it.
Here’s a look at the history of the three trusts, and how they work.
The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation
The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) was set up in June 1991 and is aimed at increasing opportunities for the underprivileged and the deprived citizens — particularly by launching multiple literacy programmes and initiatives.
Chaired by interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the foundation has former PM Manmohan Singh, and party leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and P. Chidambaram as its trustees. The RGF made headlines last month when the BJP launched an attack on it for “taking funds from China”.
The Congress had reacted sharply to the allegations, saying all its funding is in the public domain and asked the ruling BJP to “stop staying in 2005” and instead focus on today’s crises.
The foundation set up a think-tank, the Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies (RGICS) in August 1991 to research and write papers on issues of public policy and governance. The think-tank also regularly organises conferences and lectures on politics, economic reforms, and international relations.
Some of its most reputed speakers in the past include former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela and political scientist Edward Said.
RGF has also supported two key scholarships for students: The Rajiv Gandhi Travelling Scholarship Programme that includes 139 travelling scholarships for students studying in UK universities to visit India as part of their undergraduate and graduate studies, and the Cambridge Scholarships, which included 60 annual bursaries awarded to Indian students to pursue a second B.A. (honours) degree at Cambridge University.
In 2013–14, the foundation entered into formal agreements with the states of Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh, in addition to the existing agreements with Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Meghalaya and Uttarakhand to help the schools for underprivileged students implement ‘transformative learning’.
In the same year, the foundation received a grant from the Gates Foundation to initiate a pilot project in the Barabanki and Rae Bareli district libraries.
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The Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust
The Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT), registered as a not-for-profit organisation was founded in 2002 and is also chaired by Sonia Gandhi; it has Rahul Gandhi as a board member. Development sector expert Deep Joshi, who won the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2009 and a Padma Shri in 2010, serves as the Trust’s CEO.
The trust primarily focuses on two causes: Women’s Empowerment and affordable eye care.
For women, the trust has launched the Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojana (RGMVP), through which it works to mobilise Young Women’s Self Help Groups (YWSHGs) and train young women in financial management and livelihood activities such as bank linkages, stitching, embroidery work, and stuffed toy manufacturing.
The trust’s website claims that the RGMVP is the “largest social mobilisation programme for women’s empowerment in Uttar Pradesh with its work impacting 42 districts”.
RGCT established the Indira Gandhi Eye Hospital and Research Centre (IGEHRC) in 2006 as a means to address the need for quality and affordable eye care in the country.
There are presently four IGEHRC hospitals in the country: 2 in Gurugram, 1 in Amethi, and 1 in Lucknow.
The trust claims it has helped 3.1 million patients to date as part of its affordable eye care initiative.
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Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust
The third institution under scrutiny is the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust (IGMT), which was founded in 2001 and has mostly dabbled in the education sector.
The trust first founded the Indira Gandhi College of Arts and Science in Kerala’s Kothamangalam and then went on to launch multiple other “B.Ed, dental and engineering colleges,” according to its website.
K.M. Pareeth, a local leader and businessman based out of Kerala, works as the Trust’s president.
The Indira Gandhi Memorial in New Delhi’s Akbar Road, which is essentially a museum dedicated to the life and times of former PM Indira Gandhi, is also part of the Trust.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi is said to be overlooking the working and management of the memorial.
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What a disgraceful
The article is a very weak & sorry attempted whitewash.
The real story is the expose of Congress corruption, the slush funds in Rajiv Gandhi Family Trust, the secret MoU between Congress and China Communist Party and the siphoning of Indian tax payer funds into the personal coffers of Rahul Gandhi, Madam Gandhi & the Vadras.
This is the real story – but of course, The Print prefers a whitewash.
That is because The Print does not follow what it preaches, objective journalism.
It appears you know everything. why don’t you give evidence!!!
Manmohan singh provided 100 crore to RGF in budget. Why?
It appears you know everything happening in these trusts, can you please provide evidence so that this can be closed out at the earliest
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