The gifts received by Prime Minister Modi will be auctioned from today (September 14) to October 3 through web portal www.pmmementos.gov.in. The funds generated from this auction will go to Namami Gange for cleaning Ganga. Earlier, in a fortnight-long auction in January this year some 1, 800 gifts were auctioned and this time 2,700 gifts are available to buy in the auction. This gives us an opportunity to notice a model of ‘give it back’ principle Narendra Modi practiced throughout his life even before he became the Prime Minister. So, the self for society is not just a philosophy that the PM offered but he practiced those values for himself.
Donation to Safai Karmacharis
Who can forget the endearing picture of the Prime Minister washing feet of the sanitation workers at Kumbha Mela recently?
Some days later he donated Rs 21 lakh from his personal savings to the corpus for the welfare of sanitation staff.
Seoul Peace Prize Money to Ganga Cleaning
It is apparent that reclaiming the ancient civilizational glory of river Ganga is a top priority for PM Modi. The money gained from earlier auctions of his gifts was also gone for Ganga cleaning as this Time of India report details. In February this year, PM Modi has donated Rs 1.4 Crore Seoul Peace Prize money to Namami Gange fund saying that the river not only the economic lifeline for millions of people but also held as sacred. He said.
“This award is for the people who have always put societal good above individual ambitions. And I am honoured that it is being conferred on me this year when we celebrate the 150-birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.”
Gift to Daughters of Gujarat
Giving it up for the society is not a practice Narendra Modi imbibed after becoming the Prime Minister. When he moved for the national role in 2014, he donated Rs 21 lakh rupees to from his personal savings to create a corpus fund for educating daughters of drivers and peons working with the Gujarat government.
When asked about this in by actor Akshay Kumar in an interview on April 2019, PM Modi provided the context to this. He said,
“Until I became MLA I did not have a bank account except a student account that had no money. When I became MLA I started getting a salary. I don’t know much about these things. A time came when I have to leave. I called the officers and told them I would like to give away the money as I don’t need it. The senior officer advised me not to give away the entire thing since I will be needing money to fight the cases on me in Gujarat. So, I gave away a part of it (21 lakhs). I asked them to spend it on the education of children of peons and drivers in the secretariat. As MLA, I get a plot from the government. I gave it off to the Party but it was contested and the matter is with the court now. Whenever the court clears it, it will go to the party.”
History has very few leaders for whose call the whole nation rallies around. It depends on the personal integrity of the leader who practices what he preaches. Even to this day, many Indians observe one day fast known as Shastri Ji Upavaas. The context, as many of us know, that in 1965 during India – Pakistan war the then PM Lal Bahadur Shastri had appealed the nation to fast for a day. But before he gave that call, he tried it in his family first.
In our times, we have seen people bare the initial inconveniences of demonetisation because they knew that PM Modi had clean intentions. More than a crore people voluntarily gave up their gas subsidy when PM said he wanted to use that money to give LPG connection to poor. Swachh Bharat campaign evolved into a mass movement.
If you still wondering as to what gives such a persuasive power for PM Modi’s calls to the nation, the auction of gifts received by Prime Minister Modi provides you an opportunity to make a sense out of this particular exercise.