In an unprecedented incident, the Statue of Unity- an ode to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, was put 'for sale'. The original listing had been immediately taken down by the company. In what seems like an obvious joke, the statue worth Rs. 2989 crore was put for sale for Rs. 30,000 crores to seek donation money for COVID-19.
The description read: 'Emergency! Selling Statue of Unity because of urgent money required for the hospitals and healthcare equipment.' Over 29 lakh tourists visited the Statue of Unity, located near the Sardar Sarovar Dam, since it was inaugurated and this generated a revenue of Rs 82.51 crore, the government had told the Assembly in December last year.
On March 17, the Gujarat government banned the entry of tourists at the Statue of Unity in Narmada district, further directed hotels and restaurants to avoid hosting large functions in view of the coronavirus threat. The Statue of Unity at Kevadia, a towering memorial dedicated to Sardar Patel, has emerged as a major tourist attraction ever since it was inaugurated on October 31, 2018.
With India battling the Coronavirus pandemic which has rattled the global economy and put nearly a third of mankind in some form of a lockdown, PM Narendra Modi has set up a charitable trust — PM CARES — where citizens, corporates, organisations and just about anyone else can contribute funds towards the relief effort. The PM is the Chairman of this trust. Other members of the trust include Defence Minister, Finance Minister, and Home Minister.
Donations to the recently launched PM CARES fund from "individuals and organizations that are based in foreign countries" will be accepted, government sources have clarified amid confusion over foreign contributions to such trusts. Sources told ANI that such donations are consistent with India’s policy with respect to Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF) and the Fund has received foreign contributions as a public trust since 2011.
(with PTI inputs)