Punjab Agricultural University's (PAU) Social History of Rural Punjab museum was started in 1974 with an aim of providing the general public with an insight into the rural culture of the state. However, PAU officials appear to have forgotten about the museum as it has been lying in a depleted state with no renovation in the recent time.
The museum witnesses only a handful of visitors these days and most of the students at PAU are also not aware about it. Requesting anonymity, a student said- "No one ever aware shared any information with us about the museum. Had there been any orientation programme centred around it, we would have known about the museum's history."
Hindustan Times interacted with the residents of the city and asked for their suggestions through which the officials could help bring back the museum's lost glory.
Use of social media
Youngsters from the city stated that the university must take support of social medium to popularise the museum as in today's world, social networking had the strongest influence on people.
"Social networking is one of the easiest methods of reaching to a large number of people and is highly efficient. Even the corporate sector actively uses various social networking platforms to promote their products and services. Similarly, PAU should also make a Facebook page of the museum through which many youngsters will get to know about it", suggested Swaranjeet Singh, president of PAU's Young Writers Association (YWA).
Actor and poet Rana Ranbir, added, "The impact of promotions through social networking cannot be ignored. I also feel the employees who are working at the museum should also regularly share details about the museum on their respective social networking platforms."
A number of residents were of the opinion that the officials would be able to establish a connection between the museum and the public if they held events against the backdrop of its traditional building.
"Many will come to know about the museum if music evenings or cultural programmes are organised at it. Besides this, PAU should also mark its foundation day here or at least a day in the memory of Mohinder Singh Randhawa who gave birth to this museum. All of this will go a long way in reviving the museum's popularity", said Punjabi poet Surjit Patar.
Students from various colleges of the city suggested that exhibitions could also be held at the museum to draw public's attention.
Film Shootings and interviews
Folk Singer Pammi Bai lamented that PAU did not permit shooting of music videos and interviews outside the museum.
Suggesting that PAU should follow the footsteps of Amritsar's Khalsa College, Bai said "Khalsa College has never discouraged anyone from shooting at the campus. They rather invite people to come and shoot which also gives them an opportunity to popularise the college. Veera Zara, a Bollywood movie was also shot there. PAU should also follow the same path."
Official Speak: As the museum falls under college of home science, HT spoke to its dean Jatinder Kishtwaria and shared the suggestions put forth by the residents. "All suggestions are meaningful and we are always open to feedback. We are making plans for upgrading the museum and introducing new artefacts. We have also prepared pamphlets for its promotion."