Swaraj asks Overseas Indians to donate for development of villages

The Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj has appealed to overseas Indians to donate and contribute toward projects for the development of villages in India, especially Nanami Gange, the clean Ganga drive and Swachch Bharat, building toilets across the country.

"If you have any project in your mind for your village, you can send money to us. State governments have also joined us. If there is a specific project you would like to get associated with but want to contribute only in part, then you can be part of the pool fund in which the minimum amount is 100 dollars. This will enable us to undertake big projects," Swaraj said in a video message.

"IDF or the India Development Foundation is a platform on which the Indian people settled overseas can send money for the development of the country," she said. The minister is the chairperson of the India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians(IDF-OI).

"I hear people saying that you can take an Indian out of India, but you can not take India out of his heart. I have seen this passion during my travels abroad. Everywhere people were asking, we want to do something for our country, but how to do it?" the minister said

"It is to meet those aspirations, we have floated this platform. Two projects have been started by the Government – Nanami Gange and Swachch Bharat. By Nanami Gange we mean to pay obeisance to the holy river by removing pollution from it. And under Swachch Bharat we aim to build toilets in every village," the minister added.

IDF-OI is a not-for-profit trust under Government of India which is established to serve as a credible institutional avenue to enable Overseas Indians to engage in philanthropy to supplement India's social and development efforts. IDF-OI channelises the philanthropic propensities and resources of the Overseas Indian community into national development and social projects. It is exempt from the provisions of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010.

Seven steps to utilisation of donation sent by overseas Indian for developmental project in India
Seven steps to utilisation of donation sent by overseas Indian for developmental project in India. Photo courtesy: https://idfoi.nic.in)

The foundation has focused its efforts on enhancing Diaspora's contribution to India's social and development programme and increase outreach to the Indian Diaspora. This is aimed at enhancing engagement with Overseas Indians and increasing the number and variety of projects.

Currently, the IDF-OI has appealed to its members to contribute to the project that aims to provide best class play school facilities to Anganwadi school children in Mahabubnagar District in Telangana. The main objective of the current Anganwadi centres is to provide nutritious meals to the children below 6 years.

The project will be implemented by the District Administration and Integrated Child Development Department of Mahabubnagar District. The structures will be constructed by engineering wing of Panchayat Raj department. The estimated budget of three units is INR40,50,000 at INR13,50,000 each. The cost includes only the capital cost of construction of the play school the kids.

The maintenance will be done by the Integrated Child Development department of the Mahabubnagar district. Each centre will have dedicated teaching and assisting staff to take care of the kids. The provisions for food will be procured centrally by the District Purchasing Committee and supplied to the centres regularly. On approval and sanction of the project, the construction of the centres will start in one month and will be completed within three months.