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Sushma Swaraj asks NRIs to help in ‘Clean Ganga’, ‘Swachh Bharat’

Opposition leader in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj with BJP MP Shawanaz Hussain addressing a press conference in New Delhi on April 30, 2013. (Photo: IANS)

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday asked Indian-origin people and expatriates abroad to come forward and contribute to the government’s flagship programmes of ‘Clean Ganga’ and ‘Swachh Bharat’.

Swaraj, who is in the Maldives on a two-day official visit, said those contributing to the programme can see how their donation is being utilised through the India Development Foundation, an initiative of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

“You have come out to earn livelihood and you are earning good. But you also have to pay your debt to the motherland,” Swaraj said addressing the Indian community in Male. She said that most have studied in India and have played on its soil.

“This is an opportunity for you to set apart a portion of your earning for Clean Ganga. Please take a vow that if the school of the village where you came from does not have toilets, you will make one,” she said.

Swaraj said any person of Indian-origin or NRI staying abroad wanting to contribute to Clean Ganga and Swachh Bharat can do so through India Development Foundation and even monitor its progress. She said the person donating will be provided details about the progress and would also be mailed pictures.

“You can check it up with relatives or friends back home,” she said.

Speaking on other issues, Swaraj stressed that India is making its voice heard in the international fora and the world is listening. She game the example of International Yoga Day in this context.