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Review for Akshaya USA , Aurora, CO, USA

Rating: 1 stars  

In 2014 a case was filed against Akshaya trust alleging human right violations because an inmate from the home escaped alleging rape. The home was asked to submit monthly reports on their operations. Here is the list of human right abuses that occured at the Akshaya home. Akshaya has engaged in several unethical practices. I sincerely hope they clean up their act and learn to be more transparent about their fund raising and operations.

http://humanrightsfoundation.org.in/new/?p=146
These are the findings from the report:
Findings:

Many inmates speak clearly, coherently and with a clear statement that they were lifted forcibly and detained against their wishes, demand that they should be allowed to go.
The Trust Management has brandished several inmates as mentally ill, without any medical examination by qualified doctors.
Akshaya Trust Home does not have any records to mention any claim made by the relatives of any dead persons for performing of the funeral rites.
Akshaya Trust Home is not in touch with the family members of any of the inmates. There is no intimation given to the family members of the inmates after they were admitted to the Home or after their death or after their alleged escape from the Home. 63 inmates have allegedly escaped from Akshaya Trust Home. The particulars of the people who are brought inside the home is not provided to anyone including their family or any public body.
Akshaya Trust Home is registered under section 52 of Persons with disabilities Act 1995 and under the Tamil Nadu Registration of Psychiatric Rehabilitation of Mentally ill persons Rules 2002
The Akshaya Trust Home should admit only treated mentally ill persons who are disabled as per the Disability Evaluation and Assessment Scale (IDEAS) duly certified by a Psychiatrist.
The Tamil Nadu Registration of Psychiatric Rehabilitation of Mentally ill Persons Rules 2002, provides for the procedure for admissions and discharge of mentally ill person in Chapter II, Rule 15 to 18 and the Infrastructural Facilities and services to be provided in psychiatric rehabilitation centres in Chapter IV, Rules 19 to 22, the Organization and Conduct of Rehabilitation Work is described in Chapter V, Rules 23 to 28.
Rule 15 states that all admissions into and discharges from a Psychiatric Rehabilitation Centre of mentally ill persons, should be voluntary and made on the advice of psychiatrist. The Psychiatrist should certify that the person referred is a mentally ill person who requires only maintenance, medication and rehabilitation measures. There is no such certification for any of the mentally ill person as per this rule in Akshaya Trust Home.
Women and Men are not segregated. They live in separate rooms next to each other. There are HIV positive patients, T.B. patients, patients with tumors and mentally ill and disordered patients among the inmates. But they are not segregated according to their diseases.
The Akshaya Trust is not at all registered with the Social Welfare Department. They have just intimated the Social Welfare Department about their existence. The Social Welfare Department Authorities very well know that Akshaya trust is housing elderly people and destitute, who come in to Social Welfare Department’s purview. But the Social Welfare Department Authorities did not send any show cause notice till date to the Akshaya trust insisting registration.
The Akshaya trust home was inaugurated on 9th May 2013. Since then 118 inmates has died. Akshaya trust home claims that all these deaths are nature deaths. They have also got death certificates from the doctors saying that all the deaths are due to cardiac arrest or respiratory arrest.
But the standard death certificate format issued by the Government clearly says that Cardiac arrest or Respiratory arrest cannot be mentioned as the reason for the death. This creates suspicious about the death of Akshaya trust home inmates.
The inmates of the home are physically abused and tortured by the employees. The inmates who wanted to go out were denied permission. It means that inmates brought in to the home were not allowed to go out at any cost. In other words most of the inmates are confined withinAkshaya home premises against their wish, which is against every individual’s liberty to be free.
The V.A.O. and Nagamalai Pudukkottai Police Station officials were informed about the death of the inmates. But none of these officials questioned the trust authorities about the huge number of deaths. Both of these authorities simply accepted all the documents submitted by the trust officials.
The owning’s of the inmates removed from them during admission were not accounted and was also not returned back to them.
Most of the inmates were under sedation and behave like robots.
From January 2014 onwards 57 inmates have died.
The Akshaya home management does not have any procedure or methodology for branding or identifying a person to be a destitute or mentally ill.
The dormitories were locked outside after sending the inmates into their respective dormitories.
Akshaya Trust Home took custody of so called destitutes without obtaining orders from the concerned Judicial Magistrate as required under the Mental Health Act. In few cases the police themselves have picked and handed over nearly 30 inmates to Akshaya Trust home without obtaining orders from the concerned Judicial Magistrate as required under the Mental Health Act.
Till date all the admissions / rescues made by Akshaya Trust are illegal.

Role:  Volunteer
 

Review for Akshaya USA , Aurora, CO, USA

Rating: 1 stars  

Follow-up: To what the board member has published.
Akshaya has been asked to submit monthly reports to the high court about their operations. Akshaya on the law enforcement radar !!! The exhumed body was in a highly decomposed state so nothing conclusive could be made.
http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/madras-high-court-orders-monitoring-of-akshaya-trust/article6407384.ece

Obviously the board members and founder have vested interests because of the huge influx of money flowing into the organization. Great non profits does not need us to review with our real names !! Duh...Common sense. Contact me directly and I can prove to you how I was defrauded by Akshaya. There are several organization serving the mentally ill far less controversial then Akshaya.

===============
Finally the truth about Akshaya Trust comes out !!! Swindling money from foreign donors to supposedly help destitute women in need. But this is what really happens behind the walls. All this within just a year of opening doors !! Holding inmates against their wishes, sedating them, raping them, beating them up !!

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/inmates-of-home-have-an-animal-existence-lawyer/article6144578.ece

I had a harrowing experience volunteering for Akshaya in 2010. Narayanan Krishnan is a con man. I blew the whistle at the right time in 2010 and I was able to get back most of the money I donated. Please don't go just by the visuals that this organization puts up on their Facebook page, the PR work their core group does or the media visuals. There is much more to this organization and Krishnan then what is projected. Talk to people in Madurai and do you research well before you support this org. They have a poor reputation with the local population in Madurai. Please read the review I posted in 2011 if you need to know more.

Here are the news reports.

http://www.thenewsminute.com/news_sections/410
http://www.rediff.com/news/report/inmates-rape-allegation-casts-shadow-over-akshaya-trust/20140707.htm

Would you volunteer for this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

Role:  Volunteer
 

Review for Akshaya USA , Aurora, CO, USA

Rating: 1 stars  

I began volunteering for Akshaya after reading the CNN report. Initially I was also very impressed with the touching videos and pictures. But I was in for a nasty surprise. In a few months, I realized that the organization was not really as transparent as it claimed. There were several inconsistencies in what was said and done in the organization. I saw a lot of lies and misrepresentations.

Narayanan Krishnan had been using his personal ICICI account (account #601601504494) to collect the donations. The account details were on his website until Nov 2010. Not all the money sent to that account is not shown in the books. A donation of $10,000 I had sent to that account was written off as "cash purchases". A registered non-profit with IT exemption must not be using a personal account for donation collection. After I pointed this out to this to Narayanan Krishnan, he removed the account details from his website in Nov 2010 right before the CNN program. However he has collected a substantial amount of money as donation on this personal account and he does NOT issue receipts for the all money received on his personal account. I was refused a receipt for the donation. Fortunately I have an email correspondence from their senior volunteer Mr R.Parthasarathy to prove my claim.

Earlier the Akshaya trust website would mention that there were zero administrative expenses. But the truth was that they have
always had salaried employees. The information was put on their website merely to mislead donors. They removed the misleading statement after I questioned them on that. Here is another interesting discrepancy. The CNN report published last year mentions the cost of his daily operations is $327.
Source:
http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/04/01/cnnheroes.krishnan.hunger/

But when you check out his website today (4/12/2011) he reports his daily operation expenses to be $450 per day.
Source: http://www.akshayatrust.or/donation_foreign_currencies.php
I know the cost of food prices has risen but an increase of
$123 PER DAY in just a year sounds far too fishy !!!

I discovered several other discrepancies in this organization and lost my complete faith in this "CNN hero". I had contributed $62,000 to the Akshaya home shelter. My donations were supposed to be used to sponsor the 5th block of the shelter. I did not receive even a single third party vendor receipt to show me how the money was spent. I received occasional pictures on the progress of the construction. There was absolutely no visibility. I got a rude response when I asked N.Krishnan to be more accountable. His behavior and attitude was most unprofessional and unethical.

I got in touch with several donor families in Madurai and realized that several families had been fleeced. With great difficulty I managed to get my donation money refunded. I wrote to CNN just before the CNN hero's program. They threatened to sue me for defamation and I threatened to sue their US office for financial misappropriation and they refunded my money slowly. They promised to refund all the money before the CNN program. But right after the CNN hero's program was over one of the checks they had sent to me for $45,000 bounced. I can prove all that I have written with my bank audit trail and email correspondences with Akshaya.

It was one of the most painful experiences in my life. A lesson well learned indeed !!! In addition to donating a large amount of money I spent a lot of time volunteering for them only to discover the truth was far different from the reality. Please do your homework before you fall for the media reports and touching story. There is much more to this organization than the rosy media reports.

If you dig a little more deeper you will find out that Narayanan Krishnan and his family live in an opulent home in Madurai and own several properties in India. In India where corruption and tax evasion is rampant property can be acquired far below the market value under the aegis of a charitable trust. I came to know that many more families in Madurai have been misled by this organization. Please, please do your homework before you fall for the rosy reports. I learned it the hard way. Krishnan must have started the organization with a good intention. But all the fame and fortune at such a young age corrupted him. Please contact families in Madurai and get to know the organization and its founder better before you donate to this organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Yes.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make them financially more accountable and transparent.

Role:  Volunteer & Volunteer, Program Coordinator and Donor.