| A statue of Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi at Madhuban Chhauni Chowk in Motihari. Picture by Ajit Kumar Verma |
JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP Sabir Ali has sanctioned Rs 5 lakh from his local area development fund to protect neglected statues of Indian personalities in the town.
Sabir said the utilisation of the fund would be his way of paying tribute to the great personalities.
“Those who installed the statues never cared for the honour of the Indian heroes,” he added.
“There are around a dozen statues lying in neglect in the town. Apart from the vagaries of nature, bird droppings pose a challenge for the upkeep of these structures, as these contain uric acid. Even stray animals litter the areas,” said JD(U) leader and party state vice-president Amarendra Singh.
Construction work of the statue covers would begin after January 15.
According to sources, this was the first time a leader of any political party has taken up the matter and resolved to provide protection to statues of eminent Indians.
Residents, too, lamented the lack of upkeep of the statues in the town.
The present state of affairs has come as a shock for 107-year-old Kapildeo Narayan Singh, the general secretary of the District Freedom Fighters’ Association.
“Gandhiji would have never imagined that East Champaran would land in the hands of politicians interested in glorifying themselves rather than paying tributes or having a sense of gratitude for the great Indian heroes.”
Retired college principal Ram Pravesh Sharma said: “It is sad to see the neglected state of statues in the town. What was the need to install these when no one could take care? It’s a humiliation for the leaders. Leaders of different political parties are not serious about paying respect to the stalwarts.”
Gandhi Sangrahalaya secretary and former state health minister Braj Kishore Singh said: “It is a race for dominance among leaders of political parties. Instead of paying tributes to the great heroes, they are busy with their vested interests. If they cannot honour them, the leaders should at least issue instructions not to humiliate the personalities.”