Men at Work
also visit the Statue of Unity,” said Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani.
The first step towards connecting the entire nation with the statue was the Loha (iron) campaign, in which an agricultural tool each was collected from around 700,000 villages across India, melted and used. In all, 135 tonnes of iron was donated by farmers to support the project, for which Modi’s slogan was Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat (One India, Noble India).
A Shrestha Bharat Centre is taking shape at the feet of the statue, which will also house a researchfacility for agriculture and tribal development.
A 52-room, 3-star hotel, auditorium, galleries with light and sound shows and a museum on the life and times of Sardar Patel have been i ncorporated i n the project.
“It will soon become synonymous with India. Not only do we plan to hold national and international summits there, but a special area in the vicinity will also be there for other states to have their own bhavans (homes),’’ said Singh.
Modi tried to underline its importance at the foundationlaying ceremony. “The world should know Sardar saab’s immense contribution in building India,” he said. Narendra Modi has built other big projects in his home state.
“We should know out history to get inspired...we built Shaymji Krishna Verma memorial in Kutch, state-of-the-art convention centre, Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, and revived tourism on in Buddha circuit,” he has remarked, maintaining, “Gandhi and Sardar did not belong to the BJP. They had no problem when I built Mahatma Mandir.
But they (opponents) do not like me to build a Sardar memorial. His legacy cannot be divided. It is ours.”