Bill Gates Praises PM Modi for Executing ‘Swachh Bharat’ Mission
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the biggest donor of PHFI, whose FCRA registration was cancelled recently.
Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates on Tuesday shared a blogpost on Twitter, where he showered praises on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the execution of the Swachh Bharat mission.
In the blog post, he writes, “I can’t think of another time when a national leader has broached such a sensitive topic so frankly and so publicly. Even better, Modi backed up his words with actions. Two months after that speech, he launched a campaign called Clean India (“Swachh Bharat” in Hindi), which now includes ending open defecation nationwide by 2019, installing 75 million toilets throughout the country – 75 million – and making sure that no untreated waste is dumped into the environment”.
Along with the blogpost, Gates also shared a 360 video that he has made following his most recent visit to India.
He has said that Modi's hard work is paying off with over 30 per cent of Indian villages being declared free of open defecation. Gates also suggested that other countries must take inspiration from India which "identified it as a big problem and "got everyone working on it".
In December 2014, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Ministry of Urban Development to promote sanitation services in India. The foundation had agreed to set aside $2.5 million every year for a period of five years, for the Swachh Bharat mission.
Gates's praise of the Prime Minister comes just days after the the Union Home Ministry cancelled the FCRA registration for Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), whose biggest donator was the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.
The MHA had accused the PHFI of misusing foreign funding and alleged that the NGO was using the money to work with the anti-tobacco lobby.
Earlier in February, the Centre cut all its ties with the BMGF on the immunisation mission due to the foundation's alleged ties with pharmaceutical companies and the possibility of a conflict of interest. The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAG) would function as a completely Centrally-funded unit, following the withdrawal of ties.
According to News18, Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) – a group affiliated to the Sangh Parivar – is preparing a white paper raising questions about the influence of the BMGF on the health policies of the country. The white paper also intends to probe business links between the organisation and some leading pharmaceutical companies which the government might engage with for the pan-India immunisation drive that is on the cards.
However, this is not the first time the billionaire has praised Modi in his blog. After meeting the Prime Minister for the first time, in a blogpost titled – ‘Meeting the New Prime Minister’, Gates wrote, "Prime Minister Modi has done more to raise the awareness of the need for toilets than any other leader since the country gained Independence, he has been quite outspoken on open defecation, a subject one hears much less about"
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