From Dream to Reality – Unveiling of Tagore’s Statue in Houston


HOUSTON: On Friday, September 13, a life size statue of Rabindra Nath Tagore was unveiled at Ray Miller Park on Eldridge Parkway by the Consul General of India Parvathaneni Harish, before an enthusiastic, energetic, inspired crowd who were present to witness history unfolding.  The Tagore Society of Houston had the honor to create Tagore Grove and place a full figure bronze statue of Tagore at Ray Miller Park located in the Energy Corridor. This is the sixth full figure statue of the poet that has been erected outside poet’s birth place, Kolkata, India and first in the US.

The TSH, led by President Ruma Acharya (DeSarkar), visualized a memorial for Tagore  in the heart of Houston, known for its diverse international population, with his message of universalism and world peace, so very appropriate for such a city.


After sustained efforts, the Harris County Commissioner Pct. 3, Steve Radack approved the erection of a full figure (6’4”) bronze statue at the northwest corner of the Ray Miller Park. The statue stands inside a fenced enclosure with an arbor with flowering vine behind. The fenced enclosure is surrounded by 20 rose bushes as well as three Weeping Willows and nine Magnolia trees to create the kind of natural setting which Tagore envisioned as the route to environmental education and sustainable living based on preserving nature. The setting will serve as a place for peace and introspection.

The unveiling ceremony was eloquently emceed by Sanchali Basu and began with Acharya introducing special guests and dignitaries who came to celebrate the historic event. Among them were Harish; City of Houston District G Councilman, Oliver Pennington; Harris County Pct 3 Parks and Recreation Director Steve Dorman and all the way from Washington DC, keynote speaker and an expert on Tagore, Dr. Anandarup Ray  who is also the son of  the Late Litterateur Annadasankar Ray, an authorized custodian of Tagore’s works and assets and a compatriot of Tagore.


Acharya detailed the steps and the story of this $45,000 project becoming a reality from a dream inspired by the drought a few years back when Houston parks lost many trees. Tagore Society wished to donate trees to the parks and the dream of Tagore Grove was born, aligning with Rabindranath Tagore’s vision of the preservation of the environment and extensive writings on man’s relationship with nature.

Acharya thanked all individuals whose donation of finance, time and labor made this project and this event possible, and specifically the two grand corporate sponsors, PFP Industries of Houston and Techno India – headquartered in Kolkata, India. The owners of each of these companies are staunch believers in Tagore’s philosophy and vision.


Consul General Harish unveiled the statue and went through a symbolic and traditional Indian ceremony of lamp lighting and tree plantation. Throughout the unveiling ceremony , the TSH youth orchestra provided soothing back ground music playing songs composed by Tagore.

Harish elaborated on the relevance of Tagore’s travels, writings and visions of international brotherhood of man in the world of today and of the city of Houston in particular being a melting pot of different cultures. He also spoke of the close relationship between Tagore and Gandhi, two very different thinkers of nationalism yet respectfully influenced by each other’s philosophies and visions.

Penington spoke of the need and effect of such monuments in the city, to show what this multi-cultural city stands for and inspire to work better together. Dorman , representing Commissioner Radack, spoke of the joy of working with Acharya on the project, her dedication and diligence and that he was looking forward to taking care of the maintenance of the grove.

Ray elaborated on the many faceted talents and the staggering size and diversity of the works of Tagore. He emphasized not only on the writings of Tagore but actions on education aligned with the environment and rural development in his founding of Santiniketan and Sriniketan. Tagore believed it was only through education that India would gain true nationalism and independence.

The program ended with a group song, a patriotic composition by Tagore – Jodi tor daak shune keo na aashe tobe ekla cholo re… (If they answer not to thy call then walk alone…) and thanks to the guests by TSH Secretary Partha Ghoshal. A boxed light dinner and soft drinks were served at the end of the program.

The Tagore Grove is dedicated to all the communities in the City, as a symbol of universal peace and love. The grove will be open to public and TSH welcomes all to visit the site and pay tribute to a cultural genius and a global icon, who transcends time.