THE Manchester City Council on Friday (23) granted planning approval for the installation of a bronze statue on Mahatma Gandhi.
The 9ft high, 800kg statue is crafted by artist Ram V Sutar and it is set to be unveiled outside Manchester Cathedral on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary.
It is an initiative of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur (SRMD), a Gujarat-based spiritual organisation named after Shrimad Rajchandra, one of Gandhi’s spiritual guides. The cost of the project will be met by the Kamani family in memory of their grandfather Bhanji Khanji Kamani (1888-1979).
The project is supported by Manchester Cathedral, Manchester City Council and the High Commission of India.
Manthan Taswala, head of Public Relations, SRMD UK, said: “We are delighted to have received planning approval from Manchester City Council. Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings remain as potent today as when he first said, ‘be the change that you want to see in the world.’
“Following the 2017 Arena attack, Manchester’s unique civic pride displayed the values of non-violence and compassion. We are inspired by the people of Manchester for their strength, decency and community in the face of this unparalleled tragedy.
“The statue of Gandhi will celebrate the universal power of his message. A statue in Manchester will ensure that the heart of our politics and democracy can all be blessed with his ethos.”
Development consultancy Turley provided planning, design and heritage services for the Mahatma Gandhi statue.
Director and Lead for Corporate Social Responsibility at Turley, Bob May said: “It’s great to see planning approval granted for the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Manchester. We thoroughly enjoy working on projects such as this which reflect Turley’s values and commitment to good growth, enabling us to contribute to the communities we are part of and make a positive difference in the places that we help shape.
“We are proud to be involved in this historic project so soon after securing permission for the Emmeline Pankhurst statue in St Peter’s Square, and look forward to seeing the finished statue in place later this year.”