Modi’s gifts to be auctioned to fund Clean Ganga mission

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Children play beside plastic garbage along the banks of Ganges River in Kolkata, India, June 5, 2018. Xinhua

NEW DELHI (Xinhua) – The Indian Culture Ministry has said it would auction prestigious gifts presented to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to raise money for the government’s ambitious Clean Ganga mission.

“National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, under the aegis of Ministry of Culture, will organise an auction of prestigious memorable gifts presented to Prime Minister Narendra Modi from all across India. The amount raised in lieu of auction will be used for the Project – Namami Gange,” a government spokesman said.

Culture Ministry officials said the auction would be conducted next week.

The proceeds from the auction of PM’s gifts will be deposited with the Namami Gange (obeisance to Ganga) fund, with more such events planned in other parts of the country.

The fund is part of the Clean Ganga Mission announced by Mr Modi in September and is part of the Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission set up with seed money of Rs 2,037 crore (US$285.2 million).

“The physical auction will be conducted on Jan. 27 and 28 at National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi from 12:00 pm (local time) onwards. The e-auction will take place subsequently from Jan. 29 to 31 for remaining items left after physical auction,” the spokesman said.

According to Culture Ministry officials, around 1,900 exclusive gifts have been put on display for public in National Gallery of Modern Art, Jaipur House in Indian capital New Delhi.

The gift items include paintings, sculptures, shawls, Pagris (headgear), jackets and traditional musical instruments.

The officials have also put the photos of items on display on its website dedicated to PM mementos.

Ganga is one of the most polluted rivers in India. After becoming prime minister in 2014, Modi in a bid to clean the river and contain its pollution announced an ambitious plan Namami Gange project (National Mission for Clean Ganga).

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