The very first outdoor statue of Sister Nivedita has been installed at the Great Torrington family cemetery in Devon, UK on July 4, at the behest of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and will officially be unveiled on 27th July by Swami Girishananda, Treasurer of the Shri Ramakrishna Mission.
Speaking to Asian Voice, London based Sarada Sarkar, who is involved in the project said, “Our heartfelt thanks to Swami Suviranandaji Maharaj and the West Bengal Government, especially Honourable Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee. We would also like to thank Tushar Maharaj of Sargachhi Mission who made the statue, Swami Jnasudhanandaji for taking care of the paperwork and Swami Girishanandaji Maharaj, who kindly agreed to unveil the statue. Last but not least, our heartfelt thanks to Swami Sarvasthanandaji Maharaj for his continuous guidance in this matter and to Torridge Council, for their help and support and willingness to recognise Sister Nivedita.
“When we got permission for the space in the cemetery I didn't have a clue where the money will come from. I am sure the holy mother would have heard the prayer and the rest is history!”
Sister Nivedita was an Irish teacher, author, social activist, school founder and disciple of Swami Vivekananda, who met her in London in 1895 and took her to Kolkata, India. He christened her as ‘Nivedita’, which means dedicated to God. She died in Darjeeling in 1911, and cremated there. Her ashes were then sent to England, which was received by her brother Richmond Noble and buried with the family in the cemetery.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee unveiled a blue plaque in 2017 at 21 High Street, Wimbledon, London where Sister Nivedita lived with her mother, brother and sister in 1901. Blue plaques, erected by the English Heritage, celebrate important personalities and the buildings they lived or worked in the UK.