IDUKKI: Statues of Mahatma Gandhi are a common sight across the country. On Sunday, the Government Higher Secondary School in Bison Valley on Gandhiji’s 153rd birth anniversary got one too.
However, what makes this statue different is the fact that it is made by a head-load worker, Babu Parthan.
Its installation is a dream come true for Babu, 46, who had always wanted to build a Mahatma Gandhi statue in his village, which does not have any statue of the Father of the Nation. That it is in the same school from where he passed out in the 1990s is an added bonus for Babu. Not a known sculptor, Babu used his creativity for the first time to build the life-size statue.
“I learnt the basics of carpentry from my uncle Ramesh. Since sculpting is connected to carpentry, I gave it a try and managed to succeed,” Babu said. He said the statue, unveiled by Devikulam MLA A Raja and installed in the courtyard of Bison Valley GHSS, would let students learn and remember Gandhij’s message of tolerance, peace and non-violence besides encouraging them to prepare themselves to serve the nation.
It took Babu three years to complete the work of the 6.6-ft-tall statue. “With the financial support provided by some of my friends, the work was completed in phases,” he said. He said his hard work and not money was his biggest investment in the work. “Still, around Rs 4 lakh was spent to build the statue, which is made of cement and marble powder for durability,” he said. Babu is also an active member of the literary and cultural organisations functioning in the locality and has published some of his poems in periodicals.