Employee Quits As The Gates Foundation Honours PM Modi With The 'Global Goalkeeper’ Award
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi was awarded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s annual ‘Global Goalkeeper’ award for his Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, a communications specialist and programme officer at the foundation, Sabah Hamid, resigned in protest.
“I believe this is wrong. In my opinion, any organisation that works to improve the lives of the vulnerable, and to reduce inequality in the world, should not honour a person whose decisions inflict irreversible harm on the vulnerable and whose reign has increased inequality in an already unequal country manifold”, Sabah told TRT World in an interview.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was honoured with the prestigious award for his initiative focusing on building toilets for India’s under-developed and underprivileged communities.
The Gates Foundation was under a lot of flak for its decision to award the Indian Prime Minister at a time when he revoked J&K’s special status and allegedly let the humanitarian crisis ensue.
Sabah said that she had raised her concerns and disapproval over the award with her bosses but realised very quickly that their decision was irreversible. The only thing that she felt she could do for her cause was to quit her job at the foundation.
In the interview, she mentioned that although her identity as a Kashmiri did play its part in making her take this step, it wasn’t the sole reason. The ‘hijacked narrative’ about Kashmir which she believes is complicit in normalising the humanitarian crisis ‘designed and implemented by the Modi-led government’, had a deeper influence on her resignation than her identity.