India observed Rashtriya Ekta Diwas, also known as National Unity Day, on October 31, 2018 to commemorate the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Iron Man of India.
On this occasion, Home Minister Rajnath Singh flagged off the ‘Run for Unity’ from Major Dhyanchand Stadium. He also administered unity pledge to the participants.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated world's tallest ‘Statue of Unity’ to the nation at Kevadiya in Narmada district of Gujarat. The Prime Minister also unveiled the ‘Wall of Unity’, a wall created with the earth samples collected from various states across the country.
Activities planned for the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas 2018
• The Central Armed Police Forces actively participated in State-level and other field level functions and organised March pasts.
• The Surya Kiran of the Air Force performed aerobatics in the sky over the statue while spreading the colours of the Indian flag in the sky.
• A team of Jaguar fighter aircraft also flew, and a team of MI-17 choppers showered rose petals on the statue.
• The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting telecasted the film 'Sardar' on Doordarshan, play radio and TV jingles.
• The Ministry of Railways organised pledge and March Past at its Zonal and Divisional Headquarters.
• Under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, various events such as Run for Unity, pledge, floral tribute, competitions involving all citizens of Tier-I and Tier-II cities including SMART and AMRUT cities and towns were organised.
• The National School of Drama organised a special play on Sardar Patel.
• Cultural programmes and folk dance performances by artists from Gujarat, Punjab, Assam and Mizoram were also held.
Statue of Unity
• The Statue of Unity is a dream project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This project was announced on October 31, 2013 by Narendra Modi, when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
• For development of the project, Modi launched a country wide campaign to collect iron to build the Statue of Unity and iron was collected from around seven lakh villages across the nation.
• The statue will be 182m tall that is double the size of New York's Statue of Liberty (93 metres) and surpasses the height of Spring Temple Buddha in China (153 metres).
• The project will include an exhibition hall and audio-visual presentation on the life of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
• The main structure will be completed at an expense of Rs 1345 crore, a part of Rs 2979 crore total amount allocated for the project.
• Out of the remaining cost, Rs 235 crore is being spent on the construction of exhibition hall and convention centre; Rs 83 crore is being spent on the bridge connecting the memorial to the main land; and Rs 657 crore rupees will be spent to maintain the structure for next 15 years.
• Around 75000 cubic meters of concrete, 5700 metric tonne of steel structure, 18500 steel rods and 22500 metric tonne of bronze is being used for this project.
About Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
• Born on October 31, 1875, Sardar Patel was a lawyer by profession.
• He was one of the founding fathers of the Republic of India and the architect of modern political India.
• Popularly known as the Iron Man, Patel was addressed as 'Sardar', which means Chief or leader.
• In 1946, during Congress elections thirteen out of sixteen states chose Sardar Patel as their president, who was the more popular candidate for the first Prime Minister of independent India than Jawaharlal Nehru. However, upon Mahatma Gandhi’s behest he stepped down as a candidate and endorsed Jawaharlal Nehru instead.
• Eventually, Sardar Patel became the first deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of India in 1947.
• He is acknowledged for the political integration of over 500 princely states into the independent Indian Union. He united 565 princely states to be part of India.
• In 1991, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel awarded the Bharat Ratna posthumously.
• The ‘National Unity Day’ or Rashtriya Ekta Diwas commemorates Sardar Patel every year on 31 October.
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