India church builds massive Santa Claus statue

Youth group in Bangalore says all proceeds from visitors of 27-metre tall Santa statue will help poor children.

    India church builds massive Santa Claus statue
    Church plans to use proceeds from visitors to the Santa Claus structure to help poor children [EPA]

    A Catholic church in the Indian city of Bangalore says it has built one of the biggest Santa Claus statues in the world - more than 27 metres tall and weighing about three tonnes.

    Sundar Raj, from the youth wing of St Joseph's Church, said on Wednesday the giant Santa Claus - made out of steel mesh, stucco, and red-and-white wool - was built to attract sightseers and raise money for the city's poorest children.

    Vincent Sumdarraj, another member of the church's youth group, told Al Jazeera about 35 workers were involved in its construction that began on November 1 and cost about $40,000.

    He said he expects 20,000-30,000 people to visit the structure on Thursday after his group launched a marketing campaign.

    Sumdarraj said all proceeds from visitors will go towards helping poor children obtain basic needs and cover education fees.

    "We also want to educate the people of India, especially non-Catholics, on why Santa Clause is important," Sumdarraj said.

    "Many have the misunderstanding that he is some funny old guy who just comes to give presents... But Santa Claus is all about helping poor children."

    Between 2-3 percent of India's 1.3 billion people are Christians.

    About 35 workers were involved in the statue's construction that cost about $40,000 [St Joseph Church]

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.