Kalyan Man Sculpts UK’s Tribute to Sikh Soldiers || SIKH VOGUE
- Edited by TOI
- Dec 13, 2019
KALYAN: The UK-based Sikh Soldier Organisation (SSO) installed a life-sized bronze statue of a Sikh soldier in Yorkshire last month, in honour of the Sikh Soldiers who fought in both the World Wars alongside the British army. A Kalyan-based artist who was commissioned for the 6.5-feet statue, created it in his 250 square feet workshop in Bazarpeth, Kalyan.
On November 30, the organisation unveiled the statue in a special ceremony at West Yorkshire, with the support of the British Army, Royal British Legion and the Kirklees Council. The 34-year-old sculptor, Jaydeep Apte’s work was well-received and appreciated by all those present at the ceremony.
More than 83,000 Sikhs were killed and thousands more wounded in World War I and II fighting for the British on foreign soil. Apart from remembering them and paying tribute to their efforts, the statue aims to acknowledge and value the role Sikhs soldiers play in the armed forces.
Kalvinder Bhullar of the SSO said that the sculpture created by Apte was a stunning emotional symbol.
Apte began his journey into the world of art at the JJ School of Arts in Mumbai, where he completed his diploma in sculpting and modelling. He then opened his own workshop in Kalyan, where he has earlier created the statue of Mahatma Gandhi’s son, Manilal Gandhi, for the Dandi memorial in Gujarat, among several others.
Apte was contacted by the UK-based Sikh organisation in November last year for the solider’s statue. He said that the members of the organisation wanted the statue made in India as a symbolic tribute to the patriotism of the Sikh soldiers who fought in the World Wars.
The organisation shared a rough sketch of the soldier with Apte, to give him an idea of what they wanted to see in the statue. He prepared the first clay model of the statue in January, which was then approved by the organisation in February.
After receiving their clearance, he began to work on the statue. The final sculpture was ready in August, said Apte. The organisation received the Rs 60 lakh statue in September, and once the plinth was made, the statue was installed and unveiled.
Apte said that while he and his family had been invited for the inauguration ceremony, due to visa issues he was unable to attend it.