Punjab Agricultural University's (PAU) Social History of Rural Punjab (SHRP) museum, the foundation stone of which was laid down by university's second vice-chancellor Mohinder Singh Randhawa on March 1, 1971, stands ignored and the city writers and artistes are of the opinion that PAU is least interested in promoting the same.
They also believe that due to museum's zero publicity, many do not even know if it even existed. Interestingly, the museum was inaugurated by renowned writer Khushwant Singh on April 26, 1974.
Hindustan Times had earlier reported about the plight of the museum, but it failed to move the authorities concerned. An official, who once headed the responsibility of the museum, had even asked HT to drop the idea on writing about the issue, which was published in HT's report on January 29 last year.
The report underlined that the museum was crying for attention and all the displayed items were wrapped with dust.
One year on and the situation is still the same. On Monday, when we spoke to the denizens, they lamented on the status of the museum and also suggested ways on how to popularise the same.
"I feel PAU has been ignoring the museum and that the authorities should advertise it in its monthly magazine in schools and colleges where youngsters can be captivated to it or may be professors can write articles on it, which can be sent to various newspapers," said Kulwinder Kaur Minhas, a Punjabi writer and a social worker.
Noted Gurmukhi calligraphy artist Kamaljeet Kaur said, "I don't think people in the city are even aware if this museum exists. I visited it few years ago but its pathetic state pinched me. Despite huge collection and its inspiring concept, PAU has turned a blind eye towards it. Why can't at least the department of journalism chalk out ways to popularise it and authorities must use funds for its regular repair and care."
Gursewak Singh, a young marketing professional says, "I am working in Ludhiana from last several years and have no idea if this museum exists. It should actually have been a cynosure for all but it is possible only if PAU makes strenuous efforts to foster its publicity."
Jatinder Kishtwaria, dean College of Home Science, who also heads the responsibility of this museum, said through email that PAU has always promoted the museum with zeal. "We regularly invite educational instituitions for visits. During Kisan Melas, we also talk about it. Efforts are also made to draw attention of print and electronic media to write about it and we are also in the process of updating its online link on our varisty website," she wrote.
Visiting Timings: 9.00am to 5.00pm
Entry Fee: Rupees 10 per person; Rupees 5 for a student
Photography: Not allowed