Gandhi statue unveiled in Houston’s ‘Little India’

New York, Aug 17 (IANS) A day after India celebrated its 69th Independence Day, Indian-Americans in Houston, Texas paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi by unveiling his bronze statue.

Unveiled at the entrance of “Little India” — an area off Hillcroft Avenue in Texas – the monument is a marble structure bearing a bronze engraving of the Mahatma’s face.

“This is a fitting monument,” news portal quoted Harish Parvathaneni, the Consul General of India, as saying.

The Indian community raised $25,000 to construct the statue and worked closely with the city officials.

The first draft that arrived in July did not look like Gandhi so it was redesigned again, the portal said.

Nearly 125,000 people of Indian origin live in Houston.

“In 1968, there were barely half a dozen Indian families that had made this their home,” Virendra Mathur, trustee and co-founder of a local community centre, was quoted as saying.

Several officials attended the event, including US Representative Al Green (D-Houston), state Representative Gene Wu (D-Houston) and Houston city council member Mike Laster.

“Gandhi is famous for saying, ‘We should be the change that we seek’. It is obvious that this community has taken up this cause,” Green said.

The area in Houston was formally named “The Mahatma Gandhi district” in 2011 and is home to dozens of Indian restaurants, grocery stores, jewellery stores and other businesses.

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