This is to bring to the notice of Diaspora that during the visits of Prime Minister and other senior leadership to foreign countries, the Indian Diaspora has expressed keen interest in participating in the social and development programmes; and flagship initiatives of the Government, such as Swachh Bharat and Namami Gange.
2. So far, there were no platforms or institutional mechanisms to channelize contributions of Indian Diaspora to such programmes. There were also concerns about accountability of the organisations receiving funds, transparency and reporting mechanisms. To facilitate such contributions/philanthropy by NRIs/PIOs to India, the Government had set up in 2008 the India Development Foundation for Overseas Indians (IDF-OI) as a not-for-profit Trust chaired by Hon'ble Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs. Following the merger of MOIA with MEA, IDF-OI is now under MEA and is chaired by Hon'ble EAM.
3.This is to inform that IDF-OI has gathered a pool of nearly 100 social and development projects pertaining to Swachh Bharat, sanitation, education, women’s empowerment and sustainable livelihood after consulting the States. The revamped website of IDF-OI includes detailed information about these projects. IDF-OI has already initiated efforts to connect with the Diaspora through social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
4. Following aspects about IDF-OI mechanisms are being brought to the notice of NRIs/PIOs in Madagascar:
(a) IDF-OI has received exemption from MHA under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA 2010) owing to which it has necessary permissions to receive contributions in foreign currency.
(b) IDF-OI does not charge/deduct any administrative charges from the contributions it receives from NRIs/PIOs. Except the bank transaction charges the entire amount received from NRIs/PIOs is transferred to the project implementing agency.
(c) To enable oversight of implementation of programmes funded by overseas Indian donors an agreement will be signed between IDF-OI and project implementing agency.
(d) Implementing agency for the programme will send regular feedback reports, photos and statement of utilization of funds to the donor. These will also be posted on IDF-OI’s website.
(e) At the site of project funded by the NRI/PIO donors will get an acknowledgement with a signage which states that “The project has been funded by Shri......... through IDF-OI”.
5. As a result of revamping and outreach efforts IDF-OI has already received the following contributions from overseas Indians in the last six months:-
(i) Rs.72 lakh for construction of community toilets in Kerala.
(ii) Rs. 25 lakh for the Namami Gange project.
(iii) Rs. 1 lakh for the Namami Gange project.
6. IDF-OI is setting up a Payment Gateway through its website which will enable NRIs and PIOs to contribute even small amounts ranging from a few dollars using their credit cards or debit cards online to projects of their choice offered by IDF-OI.
7. Indian community, NRI/PIOs are invited to contribute directly through IDF-OI for welfare schemes of States. Further information can be sought from the ODF-OI website www.idfoi.org.