Termite infested and exhibits crumbling, a small and lesser known children’s science museum in a corporation school building in south Delhi’s RK Puram Sector 6 is on its way to becoming a relic itself.
The Children’s Resource Centre Museum was inaugurated in 1987 by then Union education minister. In February 2013, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) renamed it Nirbhaya Museum in honour of the December 16 braveheart. In shambles then too, the civic agency promised to earmark Rs 20 crore for its renovation.
Three years later, the museum’s condition reveals a tale of empty promises.
An old model of a Tyrannosaurus at the entrance leads one to the dingy and shabby six rooms. The rooms are divided into sections — Body and Health, Transportation, History of Man, Ecology, India’s Energy Resources and Earth and Origin of Life. Nearly all displays look archaic and in need of a major overhaul. The empty reception is also in shambles.
The staff covers up the spots on the walls damaged by termites. The roof has lost patches at many places.
“On February 6, 2013, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation announced it will name its science museum for children in RK Puram after my daughter. We were called to the civic centre and announcement about the renaming and developing the museum was made. However, nothing has happened,” said Badrinath Singh, Nirbhaya’s father.
He said Delhi’s three mayors also promised a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each. “We have not received a single penny from them,” Singh said.
With the promised sum not coming in, the staff is preparing detailed project reports (DPRs) to woo government agencies and corporate for funds.
“Ever since upgrade has been proposed, museum activities have increased…Corporates and government agencies will fund only if it (DPR) is there. We have also approached ONGC and Indian Oil. I have also done presentations on the revamp road map,” said museum’s assistant curator Dhruv Prasad Soni.
Leader of the House in the SDMC, Subhash Arya, said releasing the funds was taking time. “We will approach Union ministers for funding this project through corporate social responsibility,” he said.
On the assured compensation not being given to the gangrape victim’s family, Arya said, “I will look into the records of whether the compensation has been given or not. If not, we will go and give the money to the family,” he said.