US-based non-profit organisation Safe Horizon, which claims to have rescued Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade’s maid Sangeeta Richard from the clutches of misery and harassment, is known for its deep pocket, the fat pay checks of its senior executives and its zeal for scouting for “victims” who can be the faces on its posters during fund raisers.
The NGO is representing Sangeeta, who, it claims contacted Safe Horizon after fleeing Devyani’s residence.
Safe Horizon’s financial statement for the year 2012 reveals that the NGO invested over $10,500,000 (Over `65 Crore) in bonds, mutual funds and shares. The NGO which claims to work in areas like domestic violence, criminal justice and human trafficking is funded by big corporates like AGT International, AVON, US government agencies, Philips Van Heusen Corporation and Capital One Bank.
Its expenditures are more intriguing including an average $161,000 or `1 Crore on lobbying every year. It pays its high flying CEO more than $339,000 or `2 crore per annum. A US based group Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE) claimed money paid by Safe Horizon is more than what a member of the US House of Representative receives as annual salary.
“The federal government spends $1 billion a year for programmes to curb domestic violence. But these programmes lack accountability and transparency, giving rise to bloated salaries, mismanagement and outright theft,” SAVE claimed.
A political commentator Carry Roberts who exposed several frauds masterminded by US NGOs wrote in ‘Renewamerica’ that “victims of battering are in short supply these days. So when no victim is known to exist, the solution is obvious: fabricate one.”
“Like other abuse shelters, Safe Horizon makes a grand show of being perpetually hard-up for cash.....But how many would-be donors know Safe Horizon resembles Citicorp or Bank of America, far more than a grass-roots organisation dedicated to providing succour to persons down on their luck?” Roberts wrote, adding that Safe Horizon rakes in nearly $56 million every year and pays skyscraper salaries that would put many bail-out bank executives to shame.
US state attorney Preet Bharara was peeved that Indians were not talking about hapless and real victim Sangeeta, who is now at the mercy of the US Department of Justice and Safe Horizon. Perhaps Bharara is not aware of the conflict of interest between Safe Horizon and the US Justice department. In its financial statement, the NGO claimed it received money to the tune of $ 952,000 from the Justice Department which will announce the judgement on the plea of the NGO it funded.