Not many statues of great personalities in the State such as B.R. Ambedkar look like them. Image-making is a tightrope walk as the statue must resemble the person it represents in order to gain public appreciation.
When Jagjivan's Ram statue was installed at Nizam College junction at Hyderabad a decade ago, Dalit organisations took to the streets, complaining that it did not resemble him at all forcing the government to replace it with a new one.
However, B.S.V. Prasad, who runs Saibaba Mega Silpasala at Gollapudi near Vijayawada, has come forward to make the statues of Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy with even facial expressions, for installation memorials planned by the government at YSR Smruthi Vanam at Pavuralagutta where his helicopter crashed, Idupalapaya Valley in Kadapa district where he was buried and near the IMAX theatre in Hyderabad.
Responding to public tenders issued by the government to make statues for the three memorials, Mr. Prasad made prototype fibreglass models and brought them to the Secretariat on Friday. He showed them to Minister for Information J. Geeta Reddy and Minister for Municipal Administration A. Ramnarayan Reddy, members of a Cabinet sub-committee constituted to oversee construction of the memorials.
Rs. 18 lakh
He offered to make each YSR statue in bronze in standing posture (20 ft high) attired in dhoti and full-sleeve khadi shirt, for Rs. 18 lakh, while a Mumbai-based firm quoted Rs. 30 lakh for the same.
Mr. Prasad, a graduate hailing from Jampana near Tenali in Guntur district, gave the State its biggest YSR statue (26 ft high) installed at Yanam. He also made the images of P.V. Narasimha Rao and Agrasen Maharaj (both installed in Jubilee Hall) and Telangana Talli (TRS Bhavan). He says there is heavy demand for YSR's statues from all over the State. Flooded with orders, he works round-the-clock at his ‘silpashala' with a retinue of workers.
Keywords: Image building