Museums and curators have hit upon a marvelous solution for those who do not have access to museums which display the rich cultural heritage of India. Museum on Wheels showcasing a plethora of exhibits reinforcing an appreciation of the sense of the past has elicited the desired response from the student community.
The Museum on Wheels stationed in and around Perundurai town, Tamil Nadu, attracted several students with apparent eagerness to assimilate the country’s historical and cultural facets. The exhibits including coins and stamps, besides materials related to the arts, botany and zoology have been kept in 14 glass cases, Curator J. Mullai Arasu said. Having covered Kancheepuram, Vellore, Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri in the initial phase, the museum is in Erode after completing the tour of Salem and Coimbatore districts, reported The Hindu.
According to The Times Of India, earlier in 2015, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) organized a Museum on Wheels which toured Mumbai. “The idea was simple: If students can’t go to the museum, the museum will go to them,” said Bilwa Kulkarni, education officer at CSMVS. She recalled how, at the first school they visited, it wasn’t just kids but also a number of parents who hadn’t ever visited a museum. “We decided that we’d bring the history and culture of ancient India right to their doorsteps.”
Director-general Sabyasachi Mukherjee said,
Artefacts, audio-visual aids, interactive workshops -we want to make sure our cultural heritage is brought to children in as well-rounded a way as possible. It’s the first such project in Maharashtra.
The team decided to start with the Indus Valley, a topic children tend to be familiar with from their school textbooks. “We want to showcase the civilisation’s art, history, day-to-day life, its trade with Mesopotamia and Babylon, through the artefacts,” said Bilwa, who heads a team comprising education facilities that lead the kids through the exhibits. The displays inside the bus included replicas of artefacts discovered across Indus Valley sites, as well as original pieces from the institution’s collection, dating back thousands of years. Kids were encouraged to touch several of the models.