Bronze bust of Mahatma Gandhi to be unveiled in Mississippi

October 8, 2021

WASHINGTON: The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the Consulate General of India, Atlanta, along with Indian-American community members, have come together to unveil a large bronze bust of Mahatma Gandhi in the front lawn of the Coahoma County courthouse in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

The bronze bust, which is a gift to the City of Clarksdale and Coahoma County from the ICCR and the consulate general in Atlanta, is being installed as a tribute to the man who led India to independence 75 years ago, and whose teachings have influenced many world leaders and intellectual thinkers, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein, US Congressman John Lewis, co-founder of Apple, Inc. Steve Jobs and several others.

The bust will be presented during a ceremony on October 8 by India consul general Dr. Swati Kulkani.

The ceremony has been planned for the week of Gandhiji's birthday and during the celebratory 75th anniversary of India's independence. The event is sponsored by the Crossroads Economic Partnership, a collaboration of the Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Authority of Coahoma County; PeopleShores, a social enterprise; and Indiaspora, a non-profit organization of global Indiana diaspora leaders.

Clarksdale and Coahoma County, located in the heart of the Mississippi delta region, near the Mississippi River, is a region that has suffered depopulation and a loss of jobs in recent decades. An influx of new industry, job opportunities and people, during the past four years, have begun to reverse the community's fortunes.

Indian-American Community

Jon Levingston, executive director of the Crossroads Economic Partnership, said: "Having recruited PeopleShores to Clarksdale, which was founded by Indian-American Murali Vulaganti, I have seen first-hand their commitment to training their employees not only with technical skills, but most importantly, essential life skills. Their care and thoughtfulness in providing employees new educational and job opportunities are helping to break the generational cycles of poverty that have gripped our region for decades."

"There is also a fully staffed medical clinic in the PeopleShores building to address without charge the healthcare needs of those citizens who have no health insurance. Their leadership in this endeavour and their embodiment of the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi makes this gift even more meaningful and resonant for us," he added.

Gandhiji's bust, commissioned and supplied by the ICCR, under the aegis of the Ministry of External Affairs, was designed by the famous Indian sculptor Ram Sutar.

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