As Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi gets ready to celebrate his 70th birthday on September 17, 2020, let’s take a look at some of the precious gifts he has received by leaders all around the globe. Also Read - Reassess COVID Situation, Focus on Micro Containment Zones: PM Modi to CMs of 7 Worst-hit States
A Sekonda watch, Mont Blanc pen, and carved sculpture are some of the many gifts received by the PM so far. Also Read - Shaheen Bagh's 82-Year-Old Bilkis Named in Time Magazine's List of 100 Most Influential People
Notably, ministers and officials have to deposit all the gifts received by them at Toshakhana, the official repository of the External Affairs Ministry. Any gifts valued less than Rs 5,000 is allowed to be kept by the recipient but for the ones above Rs 5,000, the additional amount has to be paid. Toshakhana officials claim that ministers rarely take home expensive gifts. Also Read - Rs 517 Crore Spent On PM Modi’s Foreign Visits to 58 Countries Since 2015: Govt Tells Rajya Sabha
Among the numerous gifts PM Modi received during his foreign trips, he took home a wristwatch manufactured by British company Sekonda entered as Sekonda ‘House of Commons’ wristwatch worth Rs 3,500 and one decorative porcelain worth Rs 1,000.
In the past, he took home two dinner sets and a carpet valued at Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000 respectively, after paying the excess amounts.
In June 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was gifted a bicycle by his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte. A picture shared by Modi on his Twitter account shows him sitting on the bicycle and Rutte standing beside him. Modi and Rutte discussed global issues like climate change and counter-terrorism. Rutte praised India for its commitment to renewable energy and to the Paris climate agreement. Soon after his return from the tour, Modi tweeted, ‘Thank you @MinPres @markrutte for the bicycle.’
In December 2015, during his Russia visit, Modi has gifted a page from Mahatma Gandhi’s diary containing his handwritten notes by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In October 2014, during a visit to America, the then US President Barack Obama gifted PM Modi a ‘rare book’ on the Parliament of World’s Religions of 1893, which also had a paper of Swami Vivekananda. Modi shared the picture of the book on Twitter and wrote, “President @BarackObama presented to me a very valuable gift that I will cherish forever.”