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Mission Objectives and Guiding Principles

The National Foundation for India was set up as a non-profit charitable trust that would mobilize public opinion and generate resources for supporting development action. The founders recognized the right of every Indian to lead a life of dignity and self-respect in adjust and equitable society. They also recognized the need to improve the capacities of both individuals and communities to improve the quality of their lives and to enhance their ability to negotiate from a position of strength, a strength that would come from being educated, enjoying good health, and having the capacity to be engaged in productive work. In the last few decades, voluntary organizations and community groups have emerged as strategic players on the development scene. Many of them base their work on the emerging needs of the community. However, unlike other organizations that focus their efforts on sectoral programmes, the Foundation supports long-term development initiatives that arise out of the felt needs of the people. The Foundation recognizes that the process of development is as important as the outcome. Within the above-mentioned framework, the Foundation is committed to working towards a synergy of different inputs that are necessary for a people-centred development strategy.


(1) Gender Equity and Justice

NFI supports for the Urban and Rural poor to NGOs/VOs. The grant may be given to NGOs/ VOs either having FCRA or not depending upon the activity and source. The Programs for which grants may be given are the following:



Over the past few years the Gender Equity and Justice programme has been addressing the problem of discrimination against girl children, adolescent girls and women. Community-based interventions have been supported to address both visible and invisible forms of atrocities exploitation and discrimination.


The broad issues of concern of the Gender Equity and Justice programme are :


Geographic Scope : Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Chattisgarh.


Some Examples of sanctioned projects –



(II) Public Affairs and Urban Governance


Programme Philosophy

The increasing gap between the growth of cities and the available civic services affects the quality of life of citizens, particularly those who are underprivileged and marginalized. The Public Affairs and Urban Governance programme of NFI supports work that can improve the quality of urban governance and civic life of ordinary people. The focus is on small townships and municipalities, since the government and the donors, due to their weak political presence, often neglect these entities.


Geographic Scope : Delhi, the National Capital Region, Kamataka and Rajasthan.


Some Example of : On-going Grants


(Ill) Remedying Regional Imbalances


Programme Philosophy

The programme for the North East is committed to strengthening voluntary action for development and peace in the region. The Foundation recognizes that conflicts have hindered development in the region. It therefore supports initiatives that promote conflict resolution as well as undertake development work.


Geographic Scope : Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura.

Some Example of : On-going Grants


(IV) Development Communication


Programme Philosophy

The Development Communication programme uses the media in creative ways to promote the concerns of the marginalized. It also aims at developing communication initiatives that go hand in hand with the development interventions of the Foundation in its key theme areas of Gender Equity and Justice, Public Affairs and Urban Governance, and Remedying Regional imbalance.


The programme also seeks to shape the discourse on development based on the experiences of civic actors involved in bringing about social transformation.


Some Example :

Charkha is a communication initiative started by social activists with the following aims : to expand the space for social and development issues in the mainstream media through news reports, features, and edit articles; to train and establish a network of grass-roots journalists; and to impact communication skills to NGOs working on development issues. Currently there are five Charkhas running in different parts of the country – Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Jharkhand, and Karnataka.


(V) Voluntarism and Philanthropy


Programme Philosophy

The programme aims to build bridges between the world of poverty and deprivation and world of privilege in terms of education and access to resources that could benefit the poor.


The NFI Internship Programme

The NFI Internship programme is now in its third year. This year 22 students were placed with around 16 NGOs spread across the country. A two-day orientation programme was held before and after the placements. A host of development professionals and activities interacted with the interns and counseled them regarding their internship.


Some Example of : Ongoing Small Grants

Support was given to make a documentary film to promote voluntarism among the youth in Maharashtra.


Core funding was given to enable RIM to coordinate its countrywide programme of voluntarism for social transformation. The volunteer is expected to catalyse local efforts for social change.


Support was given for bringing together youth from South Asia for a seminar on the ‘First South Asian Conference of Economics Students’ in Delhi. This conference brought together young scholars from academic institutions in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and India.


NFI supported MARG with a one-time grant for a legal literacy programme aimed at youth volunteers in Delhi.


(VI) Institution Building and Governance


Programme Philosophy

The aim is to enable NGOs to gain professional competence and promote democratic and egalitarian agendas internal to their organizations.


Some Example of : Ongoing Small Grants


(VII) NFI Awards for Partnership in Local Governance

This award was instituted to acknowledge the role of NGOs in strengthening Panchayati Raj institution to improve the lives of underprivileged sections of the society, especially women, through building partnerships between the government, the voluntary sector and the private sector, to document exemplary partnerships, to disseminate the leanings to encourage replication of such partnerships with required adaptation, and to provide support to help upscale such efforts.


Bharat Ratna C. subramaniam Fellowship for Community Leadership, Sustainable Livelihoods and Food Security.

The Fellowship was instituted in recognition of the late Shri C. Subramaniam’s seminal contribution to the areas of food security and sustainable livelihoods. Shri C. Subramaniam was also the guiding spirit behind NFI. The objectives of the Fellowship is to enhance the motivation and understanding of grass-roots voluntary sector workers and community leaders in the field of food security and sustainable livelihoods and to create a network of individuals and institutions to deepen the sector’s understanding of sustainable livelihood and food security issues.


For further details please contact :


National Foundation For India

Core 4A, India habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi-110 003

Ph.: 011-24641864/5, 24648490-92, Fax: 011-24641867

Email : [email protected] , Website:


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