Rashtrapati Bhavan to be a 'people's Bhavan'

Rashtrapati Bhavan to be a 'people's Bhavan'

Futuristic Museum

In a first of its kind initiative, India will showcase over-a-dozen of its Presidencies by creating a world class museum of artifacts and memorabilia in the precincts of the Rashtrapati Bhavan over the next two years.

President Pranab Mukherjee, the brain behind the Rs 65 crore project, on Tuesday laid the foundation stone for the museum building which will be raised by master architects and cultural experts in the historic ‘garages’ section of the Presidential Estate.

This will be the first time India will showcase its Presidential tenures, starting from 1947, in a thematic and comprehensive manner to both domestic and foreign visitors.

The museum, expected to be opened for visitors by October 2016, will showcase past, current and future Presidencies as well as life in Rashtrapati Bhavan, its ceremonies and rich flora and fauna on the lines of such rich repositories in countries like the US and other European nations.

“The museum will become an important landmark and destination for historians, researchers, students and the public. It will be a story-telling museum of modern times,” Mukherjee said after laying the foundation stone here. The President said the team of creators for this museum will converge various state-of-the-art techniques like holographic projections and animatrix to bring about massive visualisation in infusing life to the history of the 80-year-old Rashtrapati Bhavan.

“There will be a display of paintings and documents of all the Presidencies India had seen and the art galleries to be built here are expected to showcase the exhibits of the gifts received by the PMO, the MEA and those lying in the Toshkhanas of the country,” President's Secretary Omita Paul said during the event.

The idea of creating museums is the brain child of Mukherjee who has declared his intentions to “demystify” the first citizen’s residence to the public at large, soon after he took charge of the top office of the country.

The President had in July this year inaugurated a smaller version of such a museum for the public even as he has initiated a programme ‘visit Rashtrapati Bhavan’ for general people on the payment of a nominal fee.

The museum, with a built-up area of about 10,000sq metre, will be made in such a way that it compliments the existing architecture of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.The construction of the museum is being undertaken by public sector infrastructure firm NBCC and its electrical and civil works will be completed in one year-time.

Speaking on the occasion, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said he was happy that Mukherjee has turned Rashtrapati Bhavan into a “people’s Bhavan.”

Calling Mukherjee a “pro-active” President, Naidu lauded him for undertaking the ‘Swachh Bharat’ mission from the portals of the Presidential Estate. “A pro-active President and Rashtrapati Bhavan will be helpful in meeting the aspirations of the people,” he said.

I am thankful to the President for undertaking the cleanliness drive himself, Naidu said adding it will go a long way in imbibing good practices among the people as they follow icons and the work they do.

He said people “cutting across party lines” look at Mukherjee for advice and that he was a “guide and philosopher of the nation.”

He said the futuristic museum will help showcase the socio-economic and political events being organised from the Rashtrapati Bhavan over the years.