Union Panchayati Raj Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar on Thursday appealed to the Indian diaspora to tie up with local bodies in the country to make their philanthropic benefits reach the poor.
Addressing the delegates at the ongoing Pravasi Divas, he said if philanthropy could be established through village panchayats, then the impact of such works will be tremendous.
Terming it a "dollar-effect," the minister said that for every dollar an NRI invested, it would generate 7 dollars of purchasing power parity for the people living below the poverty line in Chennai.
Expressing concern over 836 million people living below poverty line in the country, he said NRI's could intervene to alleviate their sufferings.
Aiyar said his ministry has just completed a study on how women in the rural areas could be empowered through Panchayat Raj institutions, which have turned around 5,000 years of discrimination against women in rural India.
For a million women elected to local bodies, 5 million women have been defeated and this is standing testimony of women empowerment as it takes place no matter they win or lose.