Why in News:

The Statue of Unity Area Development and Tourism Governance Authority (SOUADTGA) has recently issued a tender to reinstate the temporarily suspended helicopter joyride services at the renowned Statue of Unity.

Important Points:

  • The statue was erected to honor the memory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, also known as the ‘Iron Man of India.’
  • Located in Gujarat, on the picturesque Sadhu Bet Island, overseeing the Narmada Dam on the banks of the Narmada River.
  • Rising to an impressive height of 182 meters, this statue holds the distinction of being the tallest in the world, surpassing China’s Spring Temple Buddha by a remarkable 177 feet.
  • The construction of the statue was undertaken by Indian construction company Larsen & Toubro (L&T), while the design was skillfully crafted by the acclaimed sculptor, Ram V Sutar, a recipient of the Padma Bhushan award.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel:

  • Born on 31st October 1875 in Nadiad, Gujarat, Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel, known as Sardar Patel, was an eminent Indian barrister and statesman who played a significant role in the Indian National Congress during the struggle for independence.
  • In 1918, Patel gained prominence for leading mass campaigns against the Bombay government’s decision to levy full annual revenue taxes despite crop failures caused by heavy rains in Kaira, Gujarat.
  • Embracing Mahatma Gandhi’s ideologies, he actively participated in the non-cooperation movement in 1920, advocating the use of indigenous Khadi items and boycotting foreign clothes.
  • Patel spearheaded the Satyagraha movement in Nagpur in 1923, protesting the British law that prohibited the hoisting of the Indian Flag.
  • In 1928, he successfully led the Bardoli landowners in their resistance against increased taxes, earning him the title of “sardar” or leader.
  • From 1947 to 1950, Patel served as India’s first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, playing a crucial role in integrating numerous Indian princely states and unifying the country with diplomacy and, if necessary, military action.
  • Remembered as the “Patron saint of India’s civil servants,” he established the modern all-India services system and earned the well-deserved title of the Iron Man of India.
  • Patel held significant positions in the Constituent Assembly of India, including the Provincial Constitution Committee and the Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights, Minorities, and Tribal and Excluded Areas.


  • Since 2014, the nation observes Rashtriya Ekta Diwas or National Unity Day on 31st October each year to pay tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel for his pivotal role in India’s freedom struggle and integration.
  • In 1991, he was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor, in recognition of his remarkable contributions.

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