US announces $500,000 to any NGO that promotes religious freedom in India

US announces $500,000 to any NGO that promotes religious freedom in India
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WASHINGTON: The US has announced a grant of nearly $500,000 for a non-governmental organisation to come up with proposals to develop early warning systems for “reducing religiously-motivated violence and discrimination” in India. The US State Department also announced a similar grant for Sri Lanka.
The Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, in its notice of funding opportunity, said through its $493,827 India programme, it seeks to “reduce religiously-motivated violence and discrimination in India”.
The State Department said the NGOs applying for the grant should come out with proposals to develop and implement early warning systems to mitigate large-scale violence and implement conflict mitigation programmes between minority and majority groups.
The applicants also need to come out with ideas for successful programme activities to counter hateful or discriminatory public messages with positive messages.
They should also have proposals to educate civil society and journalists about legal protections for religious freedom, particularly for members of religious minorities; document and report religious freedom violations to authorities; and educate law enforcement on human rights standards.
Among other proposals could be ideas to engage law enforcement to better protect rights of religious minorities, including preventing incidents of discrimination and violence and holding perpetrators accountable, the State Department said.
The State Department did not respond immediately to a set of questions on the necessity of such a grant amounting to nearly $500,000.
Recipients of grants for India and Sri Lanka would be announced after screening of applications. According to the information available on the State Department website, the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor supports over 28 democracy, human rights and labour programmes in South and Central Asia (SCA).
Current funding for these programmes in South and Central Asia exceeds $17 million.

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