A young British Asian property entrepreneur who was inspired as a young child by Mahatma Gandhi has donated £100,000 to the Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust, which will build a permanent memorial to the Mahatma on London’s Parliament Square.
Vivek Chadha, an engineering graduate of University College (whose alumni include Mahatma Gandhi), is Director of Nine Hospitality Ltd, a property investor and developer.
Mr Chadha, 26, says he was inspired by the Mahatma from an early age.
“I am interested in particular in how Gandhi emphasized the privilege of giving and practiced compassion in creative ways. The fact that Gandhi concentrated all his energy in the service of others is a great example of how all young people should follow this idea in our day-to-day lives”, Mr Chadha said.
UK-based Indian economist Lord Meghnad Desai, chair of the Trust, said: “It is very important that young people like Vivek step forward and donate towards this noble cause and he joins a very important growing group of British Asians who have responded generously.
Mr Chadha’s is the first significant donation by a member of the British Asian community and the third largest individual donation to the Trust thus far.
Billionaire Indian tycoons Rahul Bajaj and Narayan Murthy had previously pledged £200,000 each to the Trust.
However, Lord Desai says that more than half of all the money raised for the statue has come from the UK whilst 80 percent of the 180 individual donors have thus far been British.
“Many small donations have come to the charity, as people have reached out. More than £90,000 has been received through smaller, mostly UK-based donors who have given anything between £1 to £15000”, Lord Desai added.
The Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust has been able to reach its goal of £750,000 within approximately three months.
However, the Trust says pledged continue to pour in from the UK and across the world.