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As Bill Gates Heads to Statue of Unity, PM Modi Shares ‘Iron and Soil’ Trivia With Him


Last Updated: March 29, 2024, 10:56 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Statue of Unity on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's birth anniversary, at Kevadia in Narmada district of Gujarat on October 31, 2023. (PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Statue of Unity on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s birth anniversary, at Kevadia in Narmada district of Gujarat on October 31, 2023. (PTI)

In conversation with Bill Gates, PM Narendra Modi explained how iron and soil from 6 lakh villages across the country was used in the making of the Statue of Unity to honour Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s pivotal role in unifying India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared an interesting piece of trivia about the Statue of Unity with philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates during their interaction this week after learning that the latter is planning to visit the architectural marvel in Gujarat.

The Statue of Unity, dedicated to Sardar Patel, was inaugurated in Narmada district’s Kevadia by PM Modi on October 31, 2018. At 182 metres, it is the world’s tallest statue.

“I heard you are visiting Gujarat and are planning to see the Statue of Unity. Since you are going there, have you read about it?” Modi asked Gates during their conversation.

Replying to the PM, Gates said: “I am very much looking forward to that. I understand that it’s quite grand, much bigger than the Statue of Liberty. That will be fun to see. And also to meet some of the women’s groups there; how they have gotten involved in tourism and see all the work that they do.”

The PM then proceeded to share an interesting fact about the Statue of Unity with Bill Gates.

“I want to share a piece of information on its background. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is renowned for his pivotal role in unifying India. As the Chief Minister of Gujarat, I had initiated a mass movement by asking people to donate an iron tool which has been used in their fields. Each village should give one such tool. We collected iron from farmers in more than 6 lakh villages across India, melted it and then used it in the construction of the statue. Additionally, I gathered soil from each village to create a ‘unity wall’, embedding it with the essence of India’s 6 lakh villages to represent unity. This statue, symbolising our unity amid diversity, stands as the world’s tallest statue,” Modi said.

Earlier in their interaction, the PM identified agriculture, education and health as three sectors where he believes technology can play a big role, and highlighted efforts of his government.

He noted how he used AI in the G20 Summit for translating speeches and also his addresses in different languages in several events. “Technology like ChatGPT should be used to constantly improve oneself,” he added.

Highlighting his use of AI, Modi asked Gates to take a selfie through his NaMo App and then showed him how it could be located through the face-recognition technology.

Modi said he believed in democratisation of technology as it gives everyone an equal opportunity and added that he is taking technology to villages.

To a query from Gates, he said he is fascinated by technology but is not a slave to it. “I am not an expert but have childlike curiosity for technology,” he said.

Speaking of digital revolution in India, the Prime Minister said he believed that nobody should have monopoly over it and it should be driven by the common people.



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