If you have wondered how the ceremony to commemorate Maharashtra as an independent state on May 1, 1960, was, you can soon visit http://dgipr.maharashtra.gov.in for glimpses of history.
The website will have 7.5 lakh photographs and 10,000 minutes of video footage of important events that took place in Maharashtra in the past 50 years.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan launched the website on Saturday.
The Directorate General of Information and Public Relations (DGIPR) has started archiving the photographs and video footage and putting these images up online.
“This is a part of the department’s archives preservation plan under which we have got experts to scan, clean and digitise all the photo and video records we have for preservation,” said Director General of Publicity Prajakta Lavangare-Verma.
“An archiving policy is being chalked out. We will set a system for how it should be done and how we can earn some revenue for parting with such vital information.”
Some of these rare photographs have been exhibited at the three-day ‘Golden Maharashtra Darshan’ exhibition at Shivaji Park beginning May 1.
There are photographs of Jawaharlal Nehru unfurling the plaque of the map of independent Maharashtra on May 1, 1960 with the first chief minister of Maharashtra Y.B. Chavan.
You can see snatches from Chavan’s swearing-in, and even the group picture of the first state cabinet — all in black and white.
There are sections on important historical events, and rare photographs of dignitaries who have visited the state in these 50 years.
The DGIPR has estimated the process of digitising photographs and video footage to cost Rs 1.8 crore. The work is being done by Famous labs.
“We have digitised about 500 of the 7.5 lakh photographs, but the video films need immediate attention,” said Lavangare-Verma.
Verma said apart from serving as an online archive, the website will be a tool of information and even display government advertisements.
“It is a system under which where the advertisements can be directly downloaded through the website at a cost which is paid directly. It saves all the effort of sending matter by post,” Lavangare-Verma said.