STATUE OF UNITY
When I say “Iron Man”, does a super-hero image pop up in your mind? Let me be clear regarding the one I’m talking about. The Iron Man of India, Bharat Ratna Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is one of the most prominent freedom fighters. He brought together around 562 princely states into the Indian Union without bloodshed and thus the colossal statue built in his memory is called the Statue of Unity.
The Statue of Unity is the tallest statue in the world built at the Sadhu-Bet Island facing the Sardar Sarovar dam in Narmada district of Gujrat. The statue stands 182 meters (597 ft) tall designed by Indian sculptor Ram V. Sutar.
It was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi on 31 October 2018, the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
About Statue of Unity Facts:
- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s statue or known as the Statue of Unity is situated in the Indian state of Gujarat. Sardar Vallabhai Patel (1875–1950), who was the first Home Minister of India. After completion of the construction work, his statue is the world’s tallest statue standing at a height of 182 meters.
- The project was first announced in 2010 and the construction of the statue began in October 2013 by Larsen & Toubro, who received the contract for Rs 2,989 crore from the Govt of Gujarat. The sculptor was designed by Indian sculptor Ram V. Sutar.
- To support the construction of the statue, the Statue of Unity movement was started to support the construction of the statue. This movement helped a lot to collect the iron needed for the statue. By asking farmers to donate their scrap farming instruments. It is heard that by 2016, a total of 135 metric tonnes of scrap iron had been gathered. Out of 135 metric tonnes, about 109 metric tonnes of it were utilized to make the foundation of the statue after processing.
- The statue is located at the shore of the Narmada River facing the Sardar Sarovar Dam. The statue was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31, 2018, on the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
- On 15th December 2013, a marathon entitled “Run For Unity” was held in Surat and in Vadodara to support the project.
- The world’s tallest “Statue of Unity” is a pride of India and a decent honor to the fearless who undivided and integrated India, our precious Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. He was highly respected for his leadership in uniting the 552 states of India to form the single Union of India.
- After studying several statues of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel across the country, a team of historians, artists, and academics choose to proceed with a design submitted by the Indian sculptor, Ram V. Sutar. The expression, posture and pose justify the dignity, confidence, iron will, and kindness that his personality expel. Three models of the design measuring 3 feet, 18 feet, and 30 feet were created at the beginning. Once the design of the largest model was approved, a detailed 3D-scan was designed which model the basis for the bronze cladding cast in a workshop in China.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Statue of Unity?
Advantages of Statue of Unity
- It is the world’s tallest statue which has recently been awarded in Time’s list of 100 greatest places in the world, is located in India and considered to be ‘Pride of Nation’.
- It will boost income from tourism and generate a large number of hotels, transports and other services.
- Increase in the transport, restaurants, accommodation, service sectors.
- It is estimated that this statue will remain as it is for 1000 years which implies that it will contribute to the national income of India through tourism for centuries.
- Local people getting employment.
- The local business has seen lots of progress.
Disadvantages of Statue of Unity
- The government has spent a huge amount of money on this project over other priorities like women’s safety, education and agriculture schemes.
- There are plenty of sectors in India, like health, safety, employment and education where the money could have been utilized.
- Many political parties allege that this was a place of religious significance, so it should not be built on the land.
Was it worth spending a huge amount on the Statue of Unity?
- If I start writing whether the Statue of Unity worth or not, it will go on and on but I hope this little and fair idea of why building this statue is a step in the right direction.
- It will lead to a lot of new employment opportunities every year and PM Modi has promised that thousands of young generation will get employment through this project.
- It’s not just about Inda’s pride of building the tallest statue but it’s about creating employment and revenue for the country. At the same time, it will create new business opportunities for the people living in nearby areas.
- Local businesses have been seen in lots of progress. Earlier nearer restaurants used to remain profitable only during monsoon while dam overflowing.
- Increase in the transport, restaurants, accommodation, and service sectors. This reversely will improve the economy of India.
- Living in a developing country we always aim to think of everything from the perspective of giving everything to poor people, but that does not help after 76 years of Independence.
- As per a report, 480 million people are still under poverty like in India. If the government just donated these Rs 2989 cr in their bank accounts, they would have got peanuts. That’s not a decent amount to give them. Also, when was the last time giving free money helped the poor get out of poverty? Employing more n more people will simply take out people from poverty.
- This is just one project. The government has lots of projects in place to help the poor offering education, medical facilities, toilets, and housing facilities.
- How is it fair to say that projects like these should not be undertaken and instead the money should again be used for education and other purposes? If we do that, we will never come out of that wrong period.
- For the development of the nation, we need to change our mindset and start thinking of initiatives like these from a different angle not from the angle of politics.
With the vast diversity of religion, language, culture, and tradition in India, the Statue of Unity stands strong. It has created job opportunities by attracting tourists but such extravagant amount of money if allotted to research work, health and sanitation, education and basic facilities would have created a difference in the standard of living. Inculcating ideas of the great is necessary and should be done but not at such cost.
What has been done cannot be changed but we can avoid future investment into colossal statues if our children don’t have books to read or we don’t have pot-hole free roads to ride on.
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