Museums, zoos, science centres take the online route
While some are hosting live streaming of animals 24x7, others are allowing people to take virtual walk-throughs of the museum galleries.Updated: Apr 29, 2020 02:09 IST
With no visitors because of the Covid-19 lockdown, science centres, zoos, and museums across India are opening up their galleries and enclosures through virtual means for the people to see them while staying at home.
While some are hosting live streaming of animals 24x7, others are allowing people to take virtual walk-throughs of the museum galleries. Others are organising sky observation programs, where visitors can log in to observe celestial events like the Super Pink Moon, which appeared on April 8.
Last week, the Alipore Zoo in Kolkata, the oldest in India, launched an app to help people take virtual tours. People can have panoramic view of the zoo, check photos and videos in enclosures with a voice-over option to know more about a particular animal they are interested in.
The Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Chennai was the first in India to start live streaming of animals in their enclosures almost two years ago. Its webpage is now getting almost 60,000-80,000 views daily. “The page views have increased several times because of the lockdown. We now have live streaming of 14 species. There are 180 cameras installed in the zoo and animal enclosures. For the lockdown, we have added an extra feature in which we focus on one animal at a time. Say for example, an elephant enjoying a shower,” said Sudha Ramen, deputy director of the zoo.
Even though the pan-India lockdown had started on March 25, almost every zoo and museum had closed down much before that.
The Indian Museum, the oldest and largest multi-purpose museum in India, is going to launch a virtual walk-through very soon, said its director-in-charge Arijit Dutta Choudhury. The museum has a mummy which is 4,000- year-old. “For now, people can see some of the most important collections, some of which are a few thousand years old,” he said.
And it is not just the galleries and enclosures. Science museums and centres are also holding live shows and competitions too. “The lockdown came as a new challenge for the National Council of Science Museums which has a network of 25 science museums and centres spread across the country. We decided not only to make people aware of coronavirus but also started organising various online programs and activities to connect with the visitors,” said SN Singh, spokesman.
Since the lockdown began, various science museums and centres have opened their galleries online. There have been panel discussions on Covid-19, celebrations of commemorative days.