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US-based doctor launches fund raising campaign for Statue of Unity

To help realise the dream of constructing the “Statue of Unity”, a US-based medical practitioner of Indian origin has started a fund raising campaign aiming to collect USD 250,000 for the project devoted to Sardar Patel.

Chicago-based Indrajit J Patel, the man behind this initiative, has deployed a novel idea to help reach the target through selling silver coins with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s face on it.

“We want to create funds and the awareness for the ‘Statue of Unity’. We have made coins from one kilogram of silver and we are selling those to raise funds,” Patel told PTI on the sidelines of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas event.

Patel, who heads an umbrella body of 33 diaspora associations in Chicago, today started the campaign by unveiling the coin here.

“Anyone who wants to participate in this campaign will have to donate one kilogram of silver to us and we will give him 50 coins. He can then sell those coins and give us the money, which will be used towards building the ‘Statue of Unity’,” he added.

Patel said he aims to raise USD 250,000 for the Prime Minister’s pet project through the sale of silver coins.

The ‘Statue of Unity’ project was floated by Modi on October 31, 2013, the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel, India’s first home minister who was instrumental in getting all the princely states to join the Indian Union post Independence.

In October last year, the Gujarat government had issued a work order to engineering firm Larsen and Turbo (L&T) to construct the 182-metre tall statue of Sardar Patel. The entire cost of the project is around Rs 2,979 crore. The ‘State of Unity’ would be double the size of New York’s ‘State of Liberty’ (93 metres). It can be noted that a similar people’s funding campaign was crucial in erecting the Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari many years ago.

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