NRI Mayor leads campaign to instal Basaweshwara's statue in UK

A deputation of the Asian community has met the full council of Lambeth to extend its support for the proposal.

"If permission is granted for the proposal by the Lambeth's planning committee, we will raise £250,000 and give it to the Friends of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, a registered charity that has invested in park improvements," Mayor Councillor Neeraj Patil told PTI today.

        Dr Patil said the Friends could then apply for "match funding" from authorities to pay for installation of the statue and improvements to the park near Albert Embankment.
The gardens, also called Vauxhall Spring Gardens, were created in the 1600s.

In a letter to the charity group, Dr Patil, who hails from Kamlapur, which is 10 km from Basavakalyan, the birthplace of Basaweshwara in Karnataka, said the statue will be 3.5 feet tall statue and stand on a plinth.

Dr Patil, a heart surgeon by profession, made it clear that he was not acting as mayor or as a councillor in Lambeth.

"I am acting as a resident of Lambeth. We have had a series of meetings with the Friends where I have told them I am acting as an ordinary resident. If the Lambeth Council approves the proposal, the new statue will be installed outside the apartment block of well-known writer Jeffrey Archer.

Basaweshwara was a 12th century 'Virasaiva' saint, who fought against caste system and gender inequality.

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