If Amma is a humanitarian champion then Direct Relief is a super champion. This is how this American organization describes its purpose :
"The mission of Direct Relief International is to provide appropriate assistance to health insitutions and projects which serve the poor and victims of natural disasters without regard to political affiliations, religious beliefs, ethnic identity or ability to pay"Its members spend the whole year collecting millions of dollars and supplies from very big and rich global companies in order to support charitable NGOs and projects worldwide. The link given above lists the documents made publicly available to justify the organization's activities. In 2014 they have thus donated more than 500 millions of dollars. Half a billion dollars spent in charitable projects! This amount cannot be compared to ETW/MAM's budget.
Anyway it seems like the M.A. Math has been benefiting from Direct Relief's support since 2005. For instance in the "Annual Reports" section, the 2008 and 2009 files inform us that the cutting-edge telemedecine van that roams the state of Kerala to bring care to the poor villagers thanks to video conferencing and real-time transmission of medical information from AIMS staff, is a gift from Direct Relief. We can see beautiful pictures of the blue van in the reports.
More interesting, the "Form 990 Filings" section gives the complete list of the donations made to the M.A. Math, through the Income Tax Return forms. Starting from 2009 Direct Relief stopped mentioning the names of their foreign beneficiaries. Why? Nevertheless we can at least know what happened financially the previous years, from 2005 to 2007.
Document "2005 Form 990" (FY2005990.pdf)
Shipment #4222 on 02 February 2005 : $4,161,727 donated to M.A. Math
Document "2006 Form 990" (FY2006990.pdf)
Shipment #4374 on 02 June 2005 : $2,404,618 donated to M.A. Math
Shipment #4771 on 09 December 2005 : $1,099,513 donated to M.A. Math
Tsunami relief grant on 06 September 2005 : $288,895 donated to Healthcare Charities, Inc for Amrita Institute of Medical Science
Document "2007 Form 990" (FY2007990.pdf)
Grant on 27 October 2006 : $14,665 donated to Healthcare Charities, Inc for Amrita Institute of Medical Science
Shipment #5310 on 06 September 2006 : $750,730 donated to M.A. Math
Shipment #5369 on 12 September 2006 : $373,925 donated to M.A. Math
Document "2008 Form 990" (FY2008990.pdf)
Shipment #10157 on 13 August 2007 : $256,028
We cannot help comparing these raw data to the donation reports made in the M.A. Math FCRA. The result is quite unexpected.
Direct Relief gave
|02 February 2005||$4,161,727||---||?|
|02 June 2005||$2,404,618||---||?|
|09 December 2005||$1,099,513||---||?|
|06 September 2006||$750,730||30 September 2006||Rs 750,000|
|12 September 2006||$373,925||24 October 2006||Rs 2,071,456|
|13 August 2007||$256,028||---||No donation from Direct Relief|
Did the M.A. Math declared anything in 2005? We don't know. The FCRA for 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 are missing.
Probably because of the tsunami, Amma's organization collected $3.5 millions from Direct Relief from April 2005 to March 2006. We are sure that we haven't made any calculation mistake because other sources confirm the donation. Direct Relief's monthly report for June 2005 gives more details about the use of the $2 millions grant. Another source talks about $3.9 millions. Maybe because they have added the $288,895 donation made to Healthcare Charities, Inc for AIMS.
If we consider the period ranging from April 2004 to March 2005, the M.A. Math got $4 millions. That makes a total of $7,665,858 donated by Direct Relief in 2005. We thought that the FCRA was mandatory in India to be able to get foreign donations. Have we misunderstood the Indian laws? Are the FCRA made available online for a few years only?
In 2007-2008 the FCRA doesn't mention any donation from Direct Relief. Moreover according to Amma's organization, nothing special happened in August 2007 from a financial point of view. So it seems like Direct Relief sent $256,028 but Amma didn't get a single cent.
In fact we can only check the figures for 2006-2007 and that's a big surprise :
- In September 2006 Direct Relief gave 750,000 dollars to M.A. Math. On the same month the M.A. Math received 750,000 rupees from Direct Relief. Does it mean that according to Amma's accountants one rupee is one dollar? Direct Relief's monthly report for September 2006 confirms the numbers. In real life, 1 dollar is more or less 60 rupees, so the FCRA should report more or less 45,000,000 rupees for September 2006.
- When we divide 2,071,456 by 60 to have an approximate currency conversion, we get 34,524. Therefore the M.A. Math is claiming that in October 2006, it got $35,000 from Direct Relief instead of $373,925.
In a nutshell, the donations for 2006 are underestimated by the M.A. Math. The first donation is 60 times lower, the second donation is 10 times lower than the actual amounts given by Direct Relief. Or is it the latter which is overestimating its grants?
In spite of these financial discrepancies, Direct Relief is still supporting Amma's organization.
International Healthcare Provider support 2014 : $269,927 granted to MAM from January 2014 to November 2014
Rare Disease Program 2014 : $185,225 granted to AIMS on 30 September 2014
International Diseas Prevention & Treatment 2014 : $222,693 granted to MAM on 25 June 2014The M.A Math has declared so far $92,000 donations from Direct Relief in the 2013-2014 FCRA. We must wait for the 2014-2015 one to compare the reports and check if all the grants above will actually be in Amma's account books.
Update April 2015 : if the FCRA links display an error page then please check out the new process to access them.