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Gandhi statue unveiled in Florida town

Washington: A seven-foot tall bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi has been unveiled in a Florida town by former President A P J Abdul Kalam.

The mayor of Davie town, Judy Paul, who joined the former Indian President in unveiling the Gandhi statue on October 2, declared the day as 'World Peace & Mahatma Gandhi Day'.

The 800 pound statue was sculpted by Matt Glenn of Big Statues, Provo, Utah in cooperation with Sculptor's Guild.

As a token of respect to Gandhi, they also contributed toward the cost of the statue, a media release said.

Babu Varghese, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Mahatma Gandhi Square Florida a Corporation organised for the purpose – and an Engineer by profession, designed the Gandhi Square with half an acre of land that houses the Statue.

The square patterns with alternating colored step stones leading to the statue represent the steps Gandhi took in his lifetime struggle to achieve freedom to his people.

These steps are bordered by lighted stone pillars which represent a "pathway of light" leading up to the Statue itself.

Then there are concentric circles with the curved wall behind it as if showing the letter G (for Gandhi) from above in an abstract form. Soon, the stately Palm trees shall be there as they symbolize life, eternity, wisdom and victory.

Babu said: "What an honour for an Indian living in America to design a Gandhi Square here!"

Responding to the warm reception accorded him by the leadership of the town of Davie, Broward County and the State of Florida and the Indian American Community, Kalam reflected on Gandhi's life and the relevance of his teachings in today's world.

Then Kalam talked about "Creative Leadership" which means exercising the vision to change the traditional role from the commander to the coach, manager to mentor, from director to delegator and from one who demands respect to one who facilitators self-respect.

Joy Kuttiyani, who initiated this project, described it as a "wonderful achievement" for the Indian Community. "It was a delightful event" said Piyush Agrawal, an eminent Indian American community leader.

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