Mangaluru: International Museum Day celebrated

Daijiworld Media Network- Mangaluru (VP)

Mangaluru, May 18: The Canara Educational Institutions celebrated International Museum Day with the theme 'Museums for Education and Research' on Saturday May 18 at the Canara high school premises.

Addressing the gathering, Subhashchandra Basu, convener of INTACH, Mangaluru chapter, expressed joy and said, "During our college days, we did not have mobile phones; the only entertainment we had was through books and museums. My association with museums started back then. Whenever I visit museums, children are brought along with their teachers, and they try to finish the visit within half an hour. This is not the right way to visit a museum; there are so many things to learn from museums. When you engage in hands-on activities, you remember them better. Museums should not just be about displaying artefacts; students should be allowed to touch and feel the exhibits and should be taught about their importance. Students do not need huge infrastructure to learn concepts. We can learn about physics from human anatomy and about biology through gardening. Therefore, museums should not be seen merely as buildings. A student might score well but may not have the ability to answer fundamental questions. Students should take an interest in extracurricular activities and not just focus on obtaining high marks."

Payyanur Ramesh Pai, director of the Mahatma Gandhi Museum, explained the history of the museum and said, "We are happy that people are aware of the Canara Museum. It was started in 1905 under Ammembal Subba Rao Pai, the founder of Canara Institute, and was later expanded by several generations of Subba Pai's admirers. The teachers and alumni believed in taking things to the next level, and the idea of a museum came to a physical science instructor. Every school had a laboratory, either for playing or learning, and slowly artefacts were brought in and displayed for a big event called the 'Science Fair of South Canara' during British rule. Despite the lack of bridges and roads, teachers and students realized the importance of artefacts, and the education department acknowledged this need. In 1919, the museum was completed with funds of around Rs 10,000, which was a huge challenge as most teachers' salaries were Rs 30. In 1934, funds were collected, and a scheme was introduced that etched the names of donors on a marble plate to encourage contributions. When Mahatma Gandhi himself visited the campus, we sought his permission to use his name for the museum, and after his approval, it was named the Mahatma Gandhi Museum. This museum was named while Gandhi was alive, so it is not called a Memorial Museum. After being closed for 80 years, the new management decided to reopen and restore the museum."

Kasturi Balakrishna Pai, umpire and member of the Karnataka Cricket Association, spoke about his time at the Canara Educational Institute and said, "I was the captain of my junior team, and in 1964-65, I was the vice-captain. It was a great opportunity for me to be with some great players. I have nearly 1,000 photos of cricket matches and conducted an exhibition showing nearly 600 photographs last year. I saw my first Ranji Trophy match at Nehru Maidan when I was eight years old, and I personally know more than 99% of the personalities in these photographs."



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