Cuttack: Laxmidhar Rana, who has made sculptures of Jawaharlal Nehru, Harekrushna Mahatab, Biju Patnaik and Chakhi Khuntia, among others in the past is now making a gigantic sculpture of ‘Gandhi meeting’ to mark 100 years of Mahatma Gandhi’s visit to Cuttack.
It will be placed on the banks of Kathajodi river on March 23 as Gandhi visited Cuttack on this date in 1921. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will inaugurate the sculpture.
More than 25 artisans of Kathagada Sahi, including the main sculptor Laxmidhar Rana, are creating the structure. The state Culture Department has sanctioned Rs 30 lakh for making the sculpture, an official said. Culture Director Bijay Kumar Nayak said, “It was a historic event involving the Father of the Nation during the Indian freedom struggle and we want to preserve the memory for posterity. The sculpture will be placed prominently on the river banks where everyone can see it.”
The artisans hope to finish the work before March 21. “The Gandhi bronze sculpture will be 10-ft high and 20 ft in width. Gandhi will be seen sitting on a wooden chair, wearing a cloth cap,” Nayak said.
Rana said, “It is a privilege for me to make a sculpture of the Father of the Nation.”
The historic meeting was attended by Gopabandhu Das, Kasturba Gandhi, Nilakatha Das and Acharya Harihar Das and it was presided over by Gandhi. At the meeting, Gandhiji urged people of the state to support the freedom struggle. Cuttack women donated gold ornaments for the freedom struggle at the meeting, said an historian.
“I have tried my best to depict the exact historic event on the sculpture. It took 45 days to finish the statue work alone,” added Rana. “First, mud work was done to make a replica of the structure and a layer of wax put on it and after that, melted bronze was embossed on it. It was left for three days to become cool and get into proper shape,” he added. Rana, 60, is known for his bronze statue work.