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Lucknow?s Prajapati giving shape to Sonia?s dream

LUCKNOW?S Shraavan Prajapati ? the famed political sculptor ? has an important job at hand. He is making Rajiv Gandhi?s statue that will be installed in the scenic Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This statue has been Sonia Gandhi?s dream since 1994. Now it is going to be true.

india Updated: Apr 16, 2006 01:24 IST

LUCKNOW’S Shraavan Prajapati – the famed political sculptor – has an important job at hand. He is making Rajiv Gandhi’s statue that will be installed in the scenic Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This statue has been Sonia Gandhi’s dream since 1994. Now it is going to be true.

So, Prajapati’s Old City workshop is buzzing with activity.

The bronze statue is going to be 33 feet tall. It will weigh at least 10 tonnes.
The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation had placed the order for the statue. “It will cost at least Rs 50 lakh,” says Prajapati.

Prajapati had put 18 men to make the model of the statue that is ready now. He will employ 250 men to make the actual statue. Prajapati said Sonia had in 1994 given this job to a lady sculptor in Delhi but for reasons unknown she could not complete the work. So after 12 years of the conception of the idea, Prajapati was called to make it.

“I was called by Sonia and Priyanka on January 14 this year at their residence at 10, Janpath, Delhi. And they offered me the statue work. The photo of the model of statue that I prepared has been approved. Now I am taking the model to Delhi in the first week of May to show it to them and then when I get their approval, I will do the final work. But I am 100 per cent sure that the model will be approved by them. The statue will be ready for installation within six months,” says Prajapati.

Prajapati said when the statue was ordered to the lady sculptor of Delhi it was supposed to be put up somewhere else. But after the tsunami hit the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Rajiv Gandhi Foundation did rescue and rehabilitation work there, it was decided that the statue would be set up in the islands.”

First Published: Apr 16, 2006 01:24 IST