Nepali labourer’s statue stands tall in Pithoragarh

Was killed during ’72 student movement

Pithoragarh (India), May 1:

The metaphor of the hard-working Nepali labourer — clutching a rope harness, bearing a sack on his back, sporting a faded Dhaka cap and clad in tattered daura suruwal — has found embodiment in a statue here of Shobhan Singh, a Nepali labourer who laid down his life for Indian students.

The statue is a rallying point for Nepali labourers working in this part of India. Singh’s statue accurately portrays the tirelessness of the worker who strains under the burden of heavy loads, be it luggage or construction materials, but makes it to the journey’s end.

Singh reached here more than 35 years ago in search of work.

His statue stands on the premises of Pithoragarh State University and inspires his compatriots to work harder.

He has been honoured for his contribution to the students’ agitation in 1972 for a state university here.

While leading the agitation, Singh fell victim to a police bullet. His statue was installed in 2004.

Former president of the university’s students’ union Pushkar Raj Joshi said, “We had installed Singh’s statue to honour the sacrifice made by a Nepali citizen for the students’ cause. So what if he was not a student, he is an embodiment of Nepali national pride and we have honored him.” The statue was installed during Joshi’s tenure.

President of the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal Kashi Singh Eri had unveiled the statue after its installation.

Joshi, a native of Gwalek village development committee of Baitadi district of Nepal, was an independent candidate from the district’s Constituency No 2 during the April 10 constituent assembly polls.

He said that an Indian national, Sajjan Lal Shah of Nainital, had also died during the 1972 students’ agitation.