37 development academics and practitioners condemn the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation over its intention to give the Goalkeepers Global Goals award to the Indian prime minister

As international development academics and practitioners we are dismayed that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) intends to give its Goalkeepers Global Goals award to Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on 24 September despite widespread global condemnation (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation under fire over award for Narendra Modi, theguardian.com, 12 September).

We recognise the considerable efforts made by the Indian government in tackling India’s sanitation crisis. Yet while Modi has brought the issue into mainstream political discourse, evidence suggests there remains a massive gap between the rhetoric and reality of the achievement of universal sanitation under his watch. Open defecation still prevails, alongside problems concerning sustainability and equity, especially for sanitation workers, and rights-based access.

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