Gates Foundation Plans To Present India PM Modi With Award Despite Protests From Human Rights Groups, Nobel Laureates
New York Times: As Narendra Modi Heads to U.S., Controversy Follows Him
“As Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India prepares for a big trip to the United States, human rights groups and three Nobel Peace Prize winners have criticized the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its plan to bestow a prestigious award upon Mr. Modi next week during his visit. The Nobel laureates sent a letter to the Gates Foundation stating that under Mr. Modi’s leadership, ‘India has descended into dangerous and deadly chaos that has consistently undermined human rights, democracy.’ … The Gates Foundation, which focuses on health and anti-poverty programs, is honoring Mr. Modi for his ambitious Clean India campaign, centered on an initiative that has built 100 million new toilets in India over the past five years — roughly 40 every minute. … The foundation says it still plans to present Mr. Modi with the Goalkeepers Global Goals Award at a ceremony in New York on Tuesday. … In response to the mounting questions, the Gates Foundation released a statement explaining its decision. ‘Globally, sanitation-related diseases kill nearly 500,000 children under the age of 5 every year,’ it said. ‘Yet despite its importance, sanitation has not received significant attention. A lot of governments are not willing to talk about it, in part because there are not easy solutions’…” (Venkataraman et al., 9/20).