LRPF has written to Ministry of Home Affairs seeking strict action against Oxfam India for its smear campaign against Healthcare system in India
On one hand, doctors, police, healthcare workers, sanitation staff, corporation workers, with support from center and state governments are all working to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic and have done much better than most developed countries in controlling the deaths. On the other hand, political parties and NGOs like Oxfam favoring one party are indulging in demoralising the citizens of the country in order to gain political mileage and show present government in poor light.
Oxfam India has indulged in showing India in poor light several times earlier in order to seek funds from public. They have done the same during natural calamities like earthquakes, floods and also during man-made crisis in order to seek funds. Oxfam India has also indulged in political activism in the past and one example of the same was when one of the board members of Oxfam India, Gagan Sethi, was one of the members of the NAC that drafted the anti-Hindu Communal Violence Bill during the UPA era.
In 2019, Amitabh Behar, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Oxfam India, wrote an article on the Left online portal NewsLaundary eulogizing Congress party's Idea of India and offered several ideas to the party. In the same article, Behar had invited Congress to form an ‘alliance’ with civil society and reach out to such organizations to ensure the revival of the party.
The same Oxfam is now showcasing healthcare in India as under-prepared and ill-equipped to handle the Covid-19 scenario. Oxfam India has floated adverts and posts on social media in its campaign to indicate that India is overwhelmed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the government has to be urged to act. For example, one of its campaign posts on Facebook says "Not a Single Bed in the City - Covid19 Threatens to Overwhelm India's Health Care system. Support Oxfam India to Urge the Government to Act".
The post indicates that the healthcare system in India is ill-equipped to handle the scenario, and the government is not doing enough along with saying that government has to be 'urged' to act by Oxfam India.
Legal Right Protection Forum (LRPF) has now complained to the Ministry of Home Affairs over the political activism of Oxfam India and has sought stringent action against it. The LRPF has said that Oxfam India by indulging in political pogram is aiming to destabilise public order and morale during the pandemic.
LRPF in its complaint shows that since 25th June 2020 onwards, Oxfam India’s official Facebook Page was seen running a Social Media Fundraising Campaign titled 'Not a single bed in the city' - Covid-19 Threatens to Overwhelm India’s Health Care System. Support Oxfam India to Urge the Government to Act.', which promotes a nefarious narrative among the masses aiming to spread disinformation and panic. The link to the campaign page is here: https://www.facebook.com/oxfamindia/posts/10158217666299566
Screenshot of the OXfam India's nefarious campaign post on Facebook
LRPF says that at a time when every citizen is going through tremendous psychological and emotional distress, Foreign funded organisations like Oxfam India are adding fire to the fear and are thus stretching the emotional tipping point of the masses. "Oxfam India is not only devising propaganda and panic among Indian citizens but at the same time, are involved in a fundraising campaign by exploiting fear among the masses", it says.
Given the antecedents of Oxfam India and its current atrocious campaign, LRPF has requested the MHA to:
1) Immediately take cognisance of the plan and political pogrom of Oxfam.
2) Initiate criminal cases for encouraging Public disorder.
3) Investigate the financial accounts of Oxfam India and its subsidiary or affiliate organisations.
LRPF's complaint has been acknowledged by Shri G. Kishan Reddy, Minister of State, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, GOI. In his response to the LRPF's complaint, MoS Kishan Reddy has said that the complaint has been forwarded to concerned authorities for further necessary action.