One of India’s wealthiest men has announced a massive £200,000 donation to built a permanent memorial to Mahatma Gandhi in London’s parliament square.
The gift by Rahul Bajaj, chairman of India’s iconic Bajaj Group, was revealed on Friday by UK-based Indian economist Lord Meghnad Desai, chairperson of the Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust.
“This is a wonderful gift for the Trust just before the New Year”, Lord Desai said.
“Rahul Bajaj epitomises the best of Indian industrialists who have seen the transition of India from colonial rule to independence. When he called me a month ago to express his desire to donate, he was straightforward and impressive.
“He was happy to give the donation because he is a true Gandhian, and a believer in those values.
Mr Bajaj is the scion of the renowned Rajasthani Marwadi Bajaj family behind the eponymous conglomerate that makes the iconic Bajaj two-wheelers.
According to Forbes magazine, Mr Bajaj is worth $3.4 billion and has been at the helm of the Bajaj Group since 1965.
The donation is the single largest made to the Trust which was reported to be struggling to raise the full £1 million for the project as late as November.
Lord Desai however, had insisted he was confident that the funds would be raised the statue unveiled as scheduled at the end of January 2015.
Last week, British-Asian business tycoon Dr Rami Ranger and Gopal Krishna Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, were both appointed to the Trust in a bid to speed up the fundraising process.
The 9-foot tall statue, created by acclaimed British sculptor Philip Jackson, will be the second Gandhi memorial in London and the final memorial to a historic figure on Parliament Square.