Rashtriya Ekta Diwas, also known as National Unity Day, was introduced in India to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on 31st October. This day was inaugurated by PM Modi Ji, on 31st Oct, 2014, to coincide with the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.
31st October, National Unity Day, promotes harmony and solidarity among diverse communities within a nation. It serves as a reminder of the importance of unity, tolerance, and understanding among citizens, regardless of their differences in race, religion, or culture.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was a key figure in the Indian independence movement and the country's first Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs.
Sardar Patel's full name is Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel, and he was born in Nadiad, under the Bombay Presidency in British India, present-day Gujarat.
His efforts in integrating princely states into a united India were monumental. His commitment to national unity transformed a fragmented land into a diverse and cohesive nation.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, often referred to as the "Iron Man of India", had a vision for a strong and self-reliant nation. His vision was deeply rooted in the principles of unity, integrity, and inclusivity.
His dedication to building a robust India echoes through generations. Let's pledge to uphold his ideals and contribute to the progress of our beloved country.
The Statue of Unity, a colossal statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, was initiated on 31st Oct 2013, in Gujarat, India and inaugurated on 31st Oct 2018, by PM Modi Ji. It stands as the World's Tallest Statue, symbolizing the unity and integrity of the nation.
It symbolizes the unity of India, as Sardar Patel played a pivotal role in unifying the 560 Princely States into a single nation after India gained independence from British rule in 1947.
The Statue of Unity stands at a staggering height of 182 meters (597 feet), which is nearly twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty in the United States.
The statue faces the Narmada Dam and is located on a river island called Sadhu Bet near Rajpipla on the Narmada River.
The total cost to build the Statue of Unity was estimated to be around ₹2,989 crore Indian Rupees (approximately USD 430 million) as of the completion of the project in 2018.
The construction of the Statue of Unity was undertaken by Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T). Over 3000 workers, including 300 engineers from L&T built the statue within three-and-a-half years under the guidance of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust.
Around 210,000 cubic meters of cement were utilized for its foundation and structure. The statue itself is adorned with 1,700 metric tons of bronze cladding, showcasing intricate detailing sourced from various parts of India. Internally, the statue's framework and reinforcements required 18,500 metric tons of reinforced steel.
To facilitate the movement of visitors, the statue is equipped with two high-speed passenger lifts that travel at a remarkable speed of 4 meters per second. These lifts are designed to carry 26 people at a time, with a total weight capacity of 2,400 kg.
These impressive figures underscore the monumental scale and engineering precision that went into it.
From the Statue of Unity's gallery at 153 meters, visitors are treated to a spellbinding panorama. The majestic Narmada Dam sprawls beneath, its waters glistening in the sunlight, surrounded by verdant landscapes. Beyond, the ancient Vindhya and Satpura mountain ranges stand tall, adding an ethereal touch to the scene. This vantage point offers a mesmerizing blend of nature's grandeur, captivating all who gaze upon it.
The Statue of Unity become a major tourist attraction in India. Visitors can explore the statue's interior, which includes an exhibition hall, museum, and a viewing gallery offering panoramic views of the surrounding area. Visitors can also enjoy a spectacular light and sound show at the statue's base, which depicts the life and achievements of Sardar Patel.
Over 30 years, the Statue of Unity, primarily bronze with a steel frame, may develop a patina and surface erosion due to oxidation and environmental exposure. Corrosion in the steel frame and discoloration from sunlight are potential effects. It typically leads to the bronze acquiring a green or brown hue, altering its original colour.
Factors such as pollution, sunlight, and moisture can further influence these colour changes. Regular maintenance, including protective coatings, is crucial to preserve its grandeur.
Building a statue of this size was a remarkable engineering feat. It was designed to withstand earthquakes, high-velocity winds, and other natural disasters.
The Statue of Unity is made of a combination of concrete and bronze cladding. The bronze used for the cladding was sourced from various parts of India. As a part of an outreach programme for the project, the Gujarat government had asked Indian farmers to donate their used farming equipment to collect iron needed for the statue of Sardar Patel. Eventually, about 5000 tonnes of iron is believed to be collected.
The construction and tourism around the Statue of Unity have had a positive economic impact on the region. It has created job opportunities and boosted local businesses. The very name Ekta Mall, symbolises unity in diversity, a hallmark of Indian culture.
Several tribal villages were relocated to make way for the statue and its infrastructure. Efforts have been made to improve the living conditions and provide education and healthcare facilities to these displaced communities.
"Manpower without unity is not a strength unless it is harmonized and united properly, then it becomes a spiritual power."
- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Let Sardar Patel's wise words remind us of the power of unity. Together, we can overcome any challenge and build a prosperous future for our nation.