Porbandar : Sixty-two years after Mahatma Gandhi's death, nearly 150 artists from across the country have assembled at the beaches here to mould the sand to depict his life and values in time for Martyrs' Day here on Jan 30.
The serene sandy beach near Kriti Mandir, Gandhi's family home and birthplace, which is now a place of worship for people of all religions, is bustling with activity. Artists are pouring over their moulds with tools ranging from the regular pail and scoop to fancy carving paraphernalia.
Jan 30 is the day when Gandhi was killed in 1948 and is observed in India as Martyrs' Day. "With this event, we want to give youngsters a feel of the life of the Mahatma and his values. We have involved some 150 people - students of fine arts and artists - who have to get the sculptures ready by Jan 30. It is a competitive event and there will be an award function later," Kirti Thakar, Gujarat Tourism's fairs and festivals manager, told the media.
Participants have been given the freedom to select the aspect of Gandhi or his life they want to recreate as well as the size of the sculptures. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as well as Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari will be arriving at Porbandar and will go watch the artists at work after a silent prayer in remembrance of the father of the nation, the official said.
Thousands are expected to come and watch the event unfold. The tourism board also hopes to promote beach tourism in the area with the event and has hired renowned artist Mohan Mohapatra as a consultant to direct the artists.