Residents of Aggar Nagar here have installed in their area, a statue of Shravan, the character from Ramayana, whose love, care and devotion for his parents, has inspired Indians down the generations.
To let the young generation know about Shravan and adopt his values, residents have put up Shravan's statue carrying his visually challenged parents in hanging baskets at Ram Park in B block. The statue is not only being appreciated by colony residents, but also visitors.
Baldev Kumar Aggarwal, president of managing committee of Ludhiana Aggarwala Cooperative House Building Society, which manages Aggar Nagar, says: "The decision to install the statue was taken by the committee members as the young generation can learn a lot from Shravan. The statue has been put up near the society temple in Ram Park as this area see the highest footfall and ensures maximum visibility."
"The decision has proved to be good as the statue is being praised by all," Krishan Kumar, manager of the society said. "We had spent Rs 70,000 on it."
Asked about maintenance of the statue during rain, Kumar said: "It won't suffer damage as it is made of water-proof material. We had taken the monsoon factor into consideration before placing the order for the statue. Besides, a society worker has been entrused with cleaning the statue daily.
'Easy to tell a story now'
Residents of the society are happy that the statue has been put up. Nidhi Gupta, a housewife who lives in Aggar Nagar says: "The statue is not only enhancing the look of the park but is also a great storyteller. Children understand better when they see. Now it will become easy to tell a story about Shravan to them."
Pankaj Jindal, a chartered accountant, however, expresses concern about the statue's maintenance. "It is no doubt an excellent step to install the statue and make the young generation aware of Shravan," he says "At the same time the management needs to make sure that the statue is maintained and does not become an eyesore due to lack of cleanliness."
Jindal said the society should take the initiative to organise an event inviting children and teenagers to educate them about the importance of the statue.
Shreya Goel, a BCom student and resident of the society says, "The complex has taken a commendable step to make people aware of the sacrifice and devotion of Shravan."
"The statue sends a clear and good message to all in the complex," HR Sikka, a senior citizen, says. "Nowadays we hear of cases of children abandoning their parents frequently. Old-age homes are flooded with parents. This small step of the complex will help in waking the conscience of such children."
He adds that he has taken his grandchildren to see the statue and told them the story related to it.
Who was Shravan
In the epic Ramayana, Shravan was born to Vaishnava Brahmin Shantnav and Vaishnav Shudra Gyanvati. One day his parents told Shravan that they were becoming old and wanted him to take them to 40 places of pilgrimage. Shravan could not afford any means of transport as these were scarce and costly. He, therefore, placed his parents in two baskets, took a strong bamboo stick and at its two ends he tied the baskets with strong ropes, and slung the stick over his shoulder.
While hunting in the forest of Ayodhya, King Dasharath heard a sound near a lake and shot an arrow, thinking it would hit an animal. When he crossed the lake he found that his arrow had struck Shravan. Shravan told the king that he had come to the lake to collect water for his ill parents, who were both visually challenged.
He requested Dasharath to take water to his parents. Shravan then succumbed to his wounds and when the king took water for his parents and told them of his tragic mistake, they were unable to bear the shock and died.
The place where Shravan died was named Sarvan; it is is Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh.
Earlier, the story of Shravan was featured in school textbooks in English and Hindi. But now there is no chapter on this character from Ramayana.