Gates Foundation Prize for Modi’s Failed Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
By Rakesh Raman
As Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has blindly handpicked India’s authoritarian Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi for Goalkeepers Global Goals Award to be presented to Modi at a ceremony in New York today (September 24), the Foundation is being censured for its bad choice.
Nobel Prize laureates as well as academic scholars from all across the world have urged Gates Foundation to revoke its decision to award Modi because of his dreadful human rights record and ongoing human rights violations under his regime.
In a letter written to Gates Foundation, Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate, 1976; Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman, Nobel Peace Laureate, 2011; and Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Laureate, 2003; have detailed human rights violations committed by Modi.
They have asked Gates Foundation not to honor Modi with the Goalkeepers Global Goals Award which is supposed to celebrate an elected official who has promoted sustainable development goals. Gates Foundation is awarding Modi for Clean India campaign (Swachh Bharat Abhiyan).
Moreover, 37 development academics and practitioners have condemned the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation over its intention to give the award to Modi.
An online petition which has collected more than 100,000 signatures on Stop Genocide website asks Gates Foundation not to reward fascism by giving its prize to the “Butcher of Gujarat, Modi” for his role in Gujarat riots of 2002 and ongoing human rights abuses in Kashmir.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
While India continues to be among the dirtiest countries of the world, Modi has been patting on his own back for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) that he had launched in 2014 when he became the PM.
Modi’s expensive Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has failed to clean even India’s capital New Delhi let alone the rest of the country.
After 5 years of Modi’s tenure as the PM, India is not only dirty, but it has also become the most polluted country of the world. A new IQAir AirVisual report, which covered 3,000 cities of the world, has revealed that Gurugram (a.k.a. Gurgaon) a suburb of the Indian capital New Delhi is the most polluted city of the world while 22 of the top 30 polluted cities are in India.
In order to create a hype around the failed Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Modi had roped in President of India Ram Nath Kovind – who is in fact a mouthpiece of Modi – to join the cleanliness rhetoric which is aimed to hoodwink the gullible Indian voters.
Kovind had launched Swachhta Hi Seva (cleanliness is a service) campaign, which is another version of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Kovind termed it as a mass Shramdaan for toilet making and cleaning of public places. But it did not work.
Although the Modi government had decided to spend a whopping Rs. 62,000 crore of public money on the Swachh Bharat urban program, the truth is that the program has failed to clean even an inch of the country. And Modi has spent most of the money on advertisements and public relations (PR) campaigns to promote Swachh Bharat which exists only in newspaper and TV ads.
The chattering classes believe that Modi is trying to deceive the public by holding such wasteful razzmatazz around Swachh Bharat, Yoga, and other theatrical displays because he has failed on all other socio-economic development fronts.
In the past 5 years of Modi government, the country has suffered a major setback from which it will be almost impossible to recover. Education standards are deteriorating, joblessness has spread like a pandemic disease, corruption is at its peak, environment is damaged, and human rights violations are increasing under Modi’s rule.
Since Modi is not a properly educated politician, he has completely failed as the PM of the country in all those areas which need intellectual competence. Clean India program is among those areas in which Modi failed despite squandering huge public money. Now, he is trying to show it as his achievement by mere sloganeering while India continues to be a dirty country.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also creates and publishes a number of digital publications on different subjects.
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