Several senior citizens and members of Bijai (now called Vijay) High School Old Students' Association have submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner, demanding conservation of old building (O Block) of school and its convergence with proposed Dev Sadan and setting up of a museum, district library, school of arts and a meeting place for senior citizens.
“The building is a two-storey wooden structure with gable roof and verandas on all four sides -- a prototype with excellent indigenous features. Although it is in a state of neglect, it stands as a testimony of the era bygone that brought excellence, prestige and glory to the school,” said Anil Sharma, president of the association.
He added that the association has made intense efforts for the past five years through representations, meetings with government and public representatives seeking their intervention to conserve and preserve this historic building, which should have been accorded heritage status.
Eminent agriculture scientist and member of the association, Raju said the state government's reported proposal to establish Dev Sadan for deities in Mandi is being seen as a welcome move by the association for pursuing its efforts to convince the government for societal use of this historic building.
Retired director general of Akashwani, New Delhi, Madan Kumar Malhotra said that the 'O Block' building of the school is lying vacant and not being used for holding classes or for any other purpose since 2004 and the main school has enough classrooms and open spaces for its students and the building would be the most convenient location for the visiting deities during Shivratri Fair.
“The building can fulfil long-pending desire of public to have a museum. It is also a suitable place for starting music, dance, yoga and fine arts classes,” said Malhotra.
He added that the school was established in the name of Anglo-Vernacular Middle School in 1866 and was upgraded as high school in 1921 and named Bijai (now called Vijay) High School as a tribute to the then ruler of the Mandi state and founder of the school, King Bijai Sen.”