SJM asks PM to decline Bill and Melinda Foundation award

New Delhi


Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to receive an international award but a RSS affiliate has raised an objection to it.

Modi has been chosen for the prestigious 'Global Goalkeeper Award' by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for his contribution to cleanliness through the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. But the Swadeshi Jagran Manch has urged the Prime Minister against either attending the event or accepting the award.

According to Ashwani Mahajan, the co-convener of the organisation, PM Modi's acceptance of the award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will not only dilute SJM's fight against the US NGO and its policies but it will also be seen as an endorsement of its activities.

"Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for is notorious for illegal field trials. Few people lost their lives due to that. We have been fighting their policies as they are a business that they whitewash as philanthropy," Mahajan said in an interview to IANS.

Mahajan has also been vocal in the past to remove the Foundation's India chief from the Reserve Bank Of India board, citing conflict of interest.

While it is unclear whether Modi will pay heed to the SJM's concern, but chances are unlikely since the award is a recognition that celebrates any political leader who has "demonstrated their commitment to the Global Goals through impactful work in their country and/or globally".

The Swachh Bharat mission aims towards universal sanitation coverage in the country by this year, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. IANS