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Udaipur airport gets new face with Maharana Pratap statue

By Sahil Makkar, IANS,

Udaipur : Udaipur airport Tuesday got a new face when President Pratibha Patil unveiled a large statue of Maharana Pratap just outside the terminal building here and said it would help in promoting tourism.

Patil, who was enroute to Delhi from Mumbai, made a brief halt in Udaipur at the Maharana Pratap Airport to inaugurate the massive 15 feet tall statue of the 16th century Rajput ruler.

“It will further help in developing more facilities at the airport and also promote tourism in the state,” Patil said while addressing the gathering.

“Our youth should take inspiration, motivation and guidance from the work, valour and morals of Maharana Pratap and should use it in fighting terrorism and naxalism,” she added.

Rajasthan Governor S.K. Singh, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj C.P. Joshi also graced the occasion, which was jointly organised by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Mewar Charitable Foundation.

Governor Singh said: “In the past we have not paid enough attention to the water problem in the state. I hope we draw inspiration from Maharana Pratap to work towards ending water woes in Rajasthan.”

Gehlot said the statue of Maharana Pratap is a symbol of values for which he stood.

“He was a man of great strength and conviction. He heralded the flag of freedom and became a symbol of pride of India. He was an epitome of human pride and self-respect. We must learn from him.”

For the three-tonne heavy statue, land was provided by the AAI. The Mewar Charitable Foundation paid nearly Rs.4 million for the statue.

Arvind Singh Mewar, 76th custodian of the House of Mewar and Chairman and Managing Trustee of Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation, said: “I have not done this for the purpose of earning revenue. It is a true act of philanthropy.

“It is a fitting tribute to the spirit of Mewar and its valour. The design concept reflects the symbolic character of the Eternal Mewar,” he told IANS.