On a state visit to Switzerland, Indian president Ram Nath Kovind unveiled a statue of Gandhi in the Swiss town of Villeneuve on Saturday.
The statue in Villeneuve on the shores of Lake Geneva, was a gift from the Government of India and commissioned by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. However, the plinth which forms the base of the statue was procured from the Arvel quarry nearby. Gandhi's head faces the direction of the house where he stayed during his Swiss visit.
Gandhi, who led the non-violent freedom struggle against British colonial rule, spent five days in Switzerland (December 6-11, 1931) at the home of his friend, Nobel-prize-winning French writer Romain Rolland. It was the first and only time the Indian leader stepped foot in the country.
President Kovind is on an official state visit to Switzerland from September 11-15. Three agreements were signed between the two countries during his visit concerning technical cooperation on climate change, a science and technology alliance and the renewal of the Hindi chair at the University of Lausanne.