On October 31, 2018, Rashtriya Ekta Diwas, the birthday of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel also known as the ‘Iron Man of India’, was celebrated across the Nation.
- President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri paid floral tributes at the statue of Sardar Patel at Patel Chowk in Parliament Street.
- The Home Minister also flagged off the Run for Unity from Major Dhyanchand Stadium.
- The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting telecasted the film ‘Sardar’ on Doordarshan, play radio and TV jingles and ran features on the life and achievements of Sardar Patel.
- The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) organized pledge taking in Indian Missions as well as Essay and Quiz Competitions, debates, short films, photo exhibition etc.
- The Ministry of Railways will organized pledge and March Past at its Zonal and Divisional Headquarters.
- The Ministry of Culture will organized activities including essay, quiz competitions, lectures and symposium at Sahitya Academy and other programmes at Zonal Cultural Centres.
- The National School of Drama will organized a special play on Sardar Patel.
- The Human Resource Development Ministry encouraged students to speak simple sentences or words in constitutionally recognized 22 Indian languages for 22 consecutive days – one language every day.
PM Modi unveils Statue of Unity, world’s tallest at 182m, in tribute to Sardar Patel
On October 31, 2018, on the eve of 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first Home Minister, a 182-metre high Statue of Unity was unveiled by PM Narendra Modi.
- The Statue is twice the Statue of Liberty and is the tallest in the world.
- It was built at a cost of Rs. 2989 crore and is located in Gujarat, 3.2 kms downstream of Narmada Dam.
- The statue was designed by Padma-Bhushan winning sculptor Ram V Sutar and was built by Larsen and Toubro and the state-run Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. It also has a 153-metre-high observation deck.
- It took about 250 engineers and 3,400 labourers to construct the statue in 33 months.
- It stands 177 feet higher than the current world’s tallest, China’s Spring Temple Buddha in the central Henan province.
- The core of the statue is made up of reinforced concrete, but its surface that gives it a distinct design, has been created using 553 bronze panels – each panel has 10 to 15 micro panels which were imported from China.
- 5 other related sites were constructed along with the world’s tallest statue. These include:
- The walkway, the ticket counter, the food court, the four-lane approach highway, and the ‘Shrestha Bharat Bhavan’– a 52-room three-star lodging facility for the visitors.
- On October 31, 2018, Union Minister for Defence Nirmala Sitaraman flagged off ‘Run for Unity’ event on the occasion of Rashtriya Ekta Diwasat Chennai.
- The oath for unity was also administered during the event held at Island Grounds in Chennai.
Minister of Textiles unveiled Fabric of Unity
On October 31, 2018, Textiles Minister Smriti Zubin Irani unveiled the Fabric of Unity on the occasion of the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gurugram in Haryana.
- She also flagged off the Unity March.
- She also administered oath of staff of Apparel Export Promotion Council – AEPC and students of Apparel Training and Design Centre – ATDC.
- As a tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the minister urged the Apparel Export Promotion Council – AEPC to create the textile designs based on the entire history of the then princely states which were united into the Indian Union by Sardar Patel.
About the ‘Iron Man of India’- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel:
- Vallabhbhai Patel, popularly known as Sardar Patel, was the first Deputy Prime Minister of India. He was an Indian barrister and statesman, a senior leader of the Indian National Congress.
- He was the 1st Home Minister of Independent India and was in office from 15th August, 1947 to 15th December 1950.
- He was also Supreme Commander-in-chief of the Indian army during the political integration of India and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947.