London, Dec 19: Leading industrialist Rahul Bajaj has become the largest donor for the Mahatma Gandhi statue to be unveiled at Parliament Square in London in early 2015.
The Bajaj Auto chairman donated 200,000 pounds to the Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust, set up by NRI economist Lord Meghnad Desai to raise funds for the sculpture.
"This is a wonderful gift for the Trust just before the New Year," said Lord Desai, accepting the donation on behalf of the trust. He added, "Rahul Bajaj epitomises the best of Indian industrialists who have seen the transition of India from colonial rule to independence.
When he called me a month ago to express his desire to donate, he was straightforward and impressive". "He was happy to give the donation because he is a true Gandhian and a believer in those values. The Bajaj family has been associated with Gandhiji for a long time. It is fitting that Rahul Bajaj has made this tremendous gesture," he said.
With the latest donation, the estimated 750,000-pound budget target for the project is expected to be completed by January next year with the launch of the statue expected in the first half of the new year. The trust said that small and large donations continue to flow in through the gandhistatue.com website from Gandhians in the UK and around the world. It had also held an exhibition-cum-sale of works by some of India's leading artistes in New Delhi recently as part of the fund-raising drive.