Millennium Post

RKM joins hands with state to put up Sister Nivedita's statue in UK

Kolkata: Ramakrishna Mission (RKM) in collaboration with the state government will install a bronze statue of Sister Nivedita (1867- 1911) in the United Kingdom on May 26 to commemorate her 150th birth anniversary, which was celebrated in 2017.

The statue will be installed at the family cemetery of Sister Nivedita in Great Torrington, Devonshire. This will be first statue of Nivedita to be installed at a public place in the UK.

RKM also plans to install another statue at Cannizaro Park in Wimbledon but the clearance from the UK is awaited.

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. It will be 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 will have Benediction, a poem written by Swamiji, inscribed on one side along with a biographical sketch of Sister Nivedita on the other side facing a path and the name of the donor, which is the government of Bengal on the third side, which also faces a path. Swami Sarvasthanandaji, minister in charge, Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre, Bourne End, UK, will be present at the function.

Sister Nivedita died at Roy Villa in Darjeeling on October 11, 1911. She had gone there to recover from her ill-health along 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.

It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took the initiative and finally 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.

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 took up the matter with Mamata Banerjee and following their initiative the first statue of Sister at a public place will be installed on May 26.

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