A life-size statue of Tamil poet and savant Thiruvalluvar will be installed in Tamil Christian Church in Middle Village, Queens, New York in May this year.
The statue is donated by VGP World Tamil Sangam headed by businessman and Chairman of VGP Group of Companies and VGP Golden Beech Resorts in Chennai VG Santhosam, according to a press release from Prakash M. Swamy, president of America Tamil Sangam. To date, Santhosam has installed 31 statues of Thiruvalluvar in India and in different countries including Australia, Malaysia, South Africa, France, and Sri Lanka.
Thiruvalluvar was a Tamil poet and philosopher, best known as the author of the Tirukkural (Sacred Couplets) – a collection of couplets on ethics, political and economical matters and love, considered masterpieces in Tamil literature. “It is compared in India and abroad to the Holy Bible, John Milton’s Paradise Lost and the works of Plato,” the press release said. Thiruvalluvar is thought to have lived sometime between the 3rd century BC and the 1st century BC.
At a function held in Dr MGR Janaki College of Arts and Science in Chennai on March1, the statue was formally handed over to Swamy who is assisting with the installation of the statue in New York and is co-sponsor of the event to be held in May by Dr VG Santosam, the press release said. A similar statue will be unveiled in Toronto in May, according to Swamy, and the statues are being shipped to New York and Toronto from Chennai.
The idea of installing Thiruvalluvar statue in New York was conceived when America Tamil Sangam honored Dr Santhosam at an event held in Tamil Christian Church in New York, where the statue is to be installed.
At the event in Chennai, Santhosam was felicitated by Swamy, A Aboobucker, chairman of the Haj Association of Government of India, Dr VGP Rajadas, Vijayaraghavan, director of Tamil Nadu Government Tamil Development Department, Dr Apitha Sabapathy, dean of Dr MGR Janaki College of Arts and Science, Karpoora Sundara Pandian, former secretary to MGR and Jayalalitha, Satchidanandam, a Tamil scholar from Sri Lanka and Dr. Moses Michael Faraday, former dean of Madras Christian College and representative of Tamil Christian Church in Chennai.