Art of Living foundation head Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Parmarth Niketan Ashram chief Swami Chidanand Saraswati were among the new board members of a government-established body to facilitate contributions by overseas Indians for social projects in the country.
Welcoming the new members, including Indian-American Bharat Barai, at the eighth meeting of the India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians (IDF-OI) in New Delhi on Friday, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj sought their support and guidance in encouraging and enabling overseas Indians to make contributions, an official release said.
Swaraj is the chairperson of the IDF-OI, a not-for-profit trust set up by the government to facilitate contributions by the overseas Indian community to social and development projects in India.
The board members discussed ways to ensure contributions by overseas Indians to implement the government’s two flagship programmes – Swachh Bharat Mission and Clean Ganga initiative, the foundation said, adding they also discussed strategy to enhance contributions.
The foundation successfully completed three Swachh Bharat Mission projects in Amritsar in Punjab and Vijayawada and Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, which are benefiting thousands of people, the release said.
The IDF-OI is currently implementing eight projects in Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim and Telangana, and has several projects available for funding across the identified sectors, it added.
Senior officials from the ministries of home affairs, external affairs and finance were among the participants.