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Bill Gates to Honour PM Modi with Annual Goalkeepers Global Goals Award for Swachh Bharat Mission

The Gates Foundation in a statement said it respects the petitioners' views, but Modi will receive its annual Goalkeepers Global Goals Award for providing 500 million people in India safer sanitation.

Associated Press

Updated:September 17, 2019, 7:43 AM IST
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Bill Gates to Honour PM Modi with Annual Goalkeepers Global Goals Award for Swachh Bharat Mission
File photo of PM Narendra Modi meeting Bill Gates (Image: @narendramodi / Twitter)

Seattle: Bill and Melinda Gates will be honouring India Prime Minister Narendra Modi despite concerns being raised over tensions in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370, which gave the state a its special status.

A dozen people, some wearing "Free Kashmir" T-shirts, with the Justice For All coalition delivered 100,000 petition signatures to the Gates Foundation's Seattle headquarters on Monday, asking the world's largest private nonprofit not to honor Modi's Swachh Bharat Mission, a sanitation initiative that improved access to toilets.

The Gates Foundation in a statement said it respects the petitioners' views, but Modi will receive its annual Goalkeepers Global Goals Award for providing 500 million people in India safer sanitation.

"We work on the specific issues where we believe we can have the greatest impact for the world's poorest," the Gates Foundation statement said.

The Gates Foundation's annual event focusing on global inequality on September 24 and 25 coincides with the UN General Assembly gathering and has drawn big-name politicians and celebrities, from Barack Obama to Ed Sheeran.

However, the Gates Foundation confirmed actors Jameela Jamil and Riz Ahmed have dropped out of their event. Jamil, who stars on the US sitcom "The Good Place" hinted at the geopolitical tensions but declined to say specifics in a post on Twitter.

Prime Minister Modi will be in the US next week to receive the foundation's award. He will also attend a rally with President Donald Trump in Houston.

The White House said Trump will use the "Howdy, Modi! Shared Dreams, Bright Futures" event to "emphasize the strong ties between the people of the United States and India" and reaffirm the two countries' strategic partnership.

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