The Gujarat government Thursday directed district collectors and municipal commissioners across the state to ensure that all schools and colleges across the state install replicas of the Statue of Unity, given to them during the Ekta Yatras ahead of the unveiling of the statue in October, in their premises by December 15.
The directive by additional chief secretary (home) Anand Mohan Tiwari also states that local MPs and MLAs should be invited to the installation events on December 15, the day Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel died in 1950.
The state government had, in October, taken out Ekta Yatras across the state ahead of the unveiling of the 182-metre tall statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Kevadiya Colony of Narmada district. During these rallies, the government had distributed replicas of the statue to all schools and colleges.
While Tiwari could not be contacted for a comment, principal secretary Anju Sharma told The Indian Express that the objective for setting up these replicas at schools and colleges is to “inspire the future generations and inform them about the contributions and sacrifices made by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel for nation building and integrating the 562 princely states into the Indian union”.
The circular, however, added that damaged replicas should not be installed without adequate repair.
The nodal officers of the Ekta Yatra have been instructed to review the state of the replicas. The replicas that have suffered major damage will not be installed.