Meet the 93-year-old who built the world's tallest statue
Apart from the 182m-tall statue of Sardar Vallabhai Patel, named the Statue of Unity, the 93-year-old Ram Vanji Sutar has created over 8,000 pieces over the last 60 years.
On October 31, on Sardar Vallabhai Patel’s 143rd birthday anniversary, India will unveil the world’s largest statue at the height of 182m. The ceremony will take place in the Narmada district of Gujarat. Called “The Statue of Unity”, it has been created in the honour of India’s first Deputy PM Sardar Vallabhai Patel for his contribution in uniting the nation post-independence.
The credit for the world’s tallest statue goes to 93-year-old Ram Vanji Sutar, who has built over 8,000 sculptures for India in the last seven decades.
Touted as one of the best sculptors of India, Sutar is a resident of Noida, UP. He has been a recipient of both the Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awards. He has also been awarded the prestigious Tagore Award in 2016 by the Union Ministry of Culture.
Sutar’s tryst with sculpting dates back to his college days, where he was a gold medallist from J.J. School of Art of Bombay. His sculptures have not only earned him accolades from across the world, but his work had also reached foreign soils to Russia, England, Malaysia, France, and Italy, The Better India reports.
Born in 1925 in the Gondur village of Maharashtra’s Dhulia district, Shri Ram V. Sutar started his career by serving in the state’s Department of Archaeology from 1954 to 1958 as a modeller. During his service, he restored many sculptures at Ellora and Ajanta Caves.
Later, he worked at the Department of Audio-Visual Publicity, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, New Delhi as a Technical Assistant in the Exhibition Division till 1959. His first sculpture was for the main gate of the Agriculture Fair of Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
Taking this tradition forward is his son Anil Ram Sutar. He holds a master’s degree in Architecture and Urban Design from the Washington University, St. Louis Missouri, USA. Anil’s first stint that made the world recognise him as a sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi, which has been installed in more than 150 different countries, his website claims.
Sutar now owns India’s largest foundry and studio space that spans across an area of 8,000 sq mt and has a capacity of 10,000 kg casting per day. They are located in Sahibabad, Ghaziabad of UP. Named after him, Ram Sutar Art Creations and Ram Sutar Fine Arts, are credited for creating some of the biggest monumental sculptures in the country.
His personal studio encloses an area of 2,000 sq mt in Noida.
Some of his other critically acclaimed work includes a 16-feet Mahatma Gandhi's statue in meditation pose, 18-feet statues of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, Smt. Indira Gandhi, Shivaji Maharaj, Jai Prakash Narain, and Bhagat Singh.