President confers Indira Gandhi Prize on Bill Gates
New Delhi: President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Saturday presented the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for the year 2007 to Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
Gates received the award on the behalf of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation today, which has been providing grants for public health activities, notably in the areas of HIV/AIDS prevention and communication.
Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said, “The Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development, set up just over two decades ago in memory of one of the most charismatic leaders of the last century, honours those who have made extraordinary contributions to these causes, so dear to her.”
“We are both proud and humbled that so many great men and women and so many distinguished institutions, on whom the world showers awards and distinctions, honour Indiraji and us by accepting this Prize."
Hailing Bill Gates, Dr Singh said, “He is, after all, a unique business leader. Others have also showed the world how to create wealth from knowledge but very few before him have worked as hard and as selflessly as he has to share that wealth with marginalised people and also create knowledge in the process.”
The Gates Foundation started operations in India in 2003 and has committed over USD 200 million to HIV prevention in India, its largest commitment to the campaign in any country.
There are 2.47 million persons in India living with HIV, equivalent to approximately 0.36 percent of the adult population.
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