First outdoor statue of Sister Nivedita installed in England
Kolkata: The first outdoor statue of Sister Nivedita in England has been installed at the Great Torrington family cemetery on July 4.
Incidentally, July 4 is the death anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
The statue will be officially unveiled by Swami Girishanandaji on July 27.
Sister Nivedita died at Roy Villa in Darjeeling on October 11, 1911.
She had gone there with Jagadish Chandra Bose and his wife Abala.
Nivedita was cremated in Darjeeling. Her ashes were sent to England, which was received by her brother Richmond Noble. In the family cemetery, Sister's father, brother and her ashes have been buried.
Ramakrishna Mission (RKM) in collaboration with the state government has installed a bronze statue of Sister Nivedita.
The 4-feet statue of Sister Nivedita up to the knee has been built by sculptor Nirjan Dey under the supervision of Swami Vishyamayananda.
The state government has borne the cost of the statue.
The statue was installed by J. Short and Sons, monumental masons whose firm was set up in 1895.
The installation of the statue has become possible due to the initiative taken by Swami Suviranandaji, general secretary of Ramakrishna Math and Mission and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
It may be mentioned that Banerjee had gone to Wimbledon in 2017 where a blue plaque was installed in the house where Sister Nivedita had opened her school. Swami Vivekananda had visited the school in 1895.
Swami Suhitanandaji, the vice-president of Ramakrishna Math and Mission, was also present at the event.
The pedestal of the statue has Benediction inscribed on it, which is a poem written by Swamiji ,on one side along with a biographical sketch of Sister Nivedita on the other side facing a path and the name of the donor, on the third side, which also faces another path.
Sarada Sarkar, a school teacher settled in the UK, got in touch with the descendents of Sister Nivdita.
Selendra Margot Giardin, great granddaughter of Richmond Noble came to Kolkata in 2017. Sarkar, along with some Indians, set up the Sister Nivedita Celebrations Committee in UK and started raising funds for the statue and approached the RKM in this regard.
Swami Suviranandaji in turn took up the matter with Mamata Banerjee and following their initiative the first statue of Sister at a public place has been installed.
Earlier, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had acquired Roy Villa and handed it over to the RKM, which has set up a centre there.
She acquired the house of Sister at Bosepara Lane and handed it over to Ramakrishna Sarada Mission.