Set your priorities, it'll make a difference

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 Life

It's time we wake up from the illusions

For all those who are looking for a scenic one-off spot to spend a day in sheer peace, let me suggest to you the river island of Varata Bawa Tekri!

‘Where is it?’ you ask.

Oh sorry my mistake! I should have called it by a more common name - Sadhu Bet, this you should know.

Still a ‘no’?

Anyway leave it. By the way you must have heard about our answer to USA’s Statue to Liberty. ‘Statue of Unity’ we call it, of course.

I hear a ‘yes’. Well it is being constructed on the river island of aforementioned Sadhu Bet in Vadodara district which was called Varata Bawa Tekri until recently.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel painstakingly gave shape to our country into what it is today quiet literally. Somehow it is befitting that his statue will be constructed to bring a forgotten part of land on the global map. Come 2018 and Indians couldn’t be prouder. The world’s tallest building will be here. Towering over the present tallest statue, China’s 153-meter-tall statue of Buddha at Spring Temple in Henan, the 182-meter-long Statue of Unity will give India a new identity and pride.

India’s first union home minister - Sardar Patel, also known as ‘Iron Man’ for his resilience to forge together a nation out of hundreds of princely states, was one of the founding fathers of India as we know it. An important and vital part in the tapestry of modern India, he is the ‘patron saint’ of the civil services that has chugged the country forward.

India will spend a whopping Rs 2989 crore in building the Statue of Unity. Though we owe a lot to the man, don’t we have issues which need a fraction of this money to be solved?

This is a state government project essentially so let’s keep the national issues aside for the moment, shall we?

Gujarat is one of the most progressive states in the country so the assumption is that this sort of splurging is acceptable. I mean (c’mon) have you seen the state’s GDP? But let there are some other facts too.

According to a recent survey, 53 percent of rural children and 43 percent of urban children are malnourished, with a state average of 48 percent malnutrition. As many as 1889 schools out of 2318 government-run schools in Vadodara district do not have a proper building according to General Development Control Regulations because of an apparent lack of funds. Also each of these schools, on an average, have four teachers to teach eight classes. The biggest public health facility in central Gujarat, Vadodara’s Sir Sayajirao General Hospital, has a staff shortage of 31 per cent apart from the many failing medical equipments.

Oh but let’s make the world’s tallest statue first!!

Statue of Unity is a classic case of Indian’ness’. A few people are dedicated to an activity of vanity but promise that it is for a bigger purpose, in order to impress a bunch of outsiders who were never bothered about them from the very beginning while neglecting some of their own people even as a greater lot of people sit in uninterested silence.


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