The evening of International Museum Day saw a significant step forward in the endeavour to connect community with the Museum infrastructure of the city. An initiative by aVni Social Enterprise, the event was hosted by Navajivan Trust. It is through the efforts of Avni Varia, the founder of Museums of Ahmedabad, that the museum map came into existence.
This Map is a creative illustration showcasing 26 Museums of the city. It provides the location and route of these museums along with informatioin about the Museum’s content. The Map’s art is inspired from the traditional Ahmedabad art form of Mata Ni Pachedi; this gives a distinct aura to the map, and makes it worthy to be a collectible. The map was launched by Kartikeya Sarabhai, the founder director of Centre for Environment Education and a trustee of Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust. Sarabhai was quite appreciative of the effort andshared his views on the project, ”The project by Avni Varia is an important step in inspiring more people to visit the wonderful museums of Ahmedabad.” In a one on one chat he further elaborated about the significance of museums by saying, “The Museums of India show us over thousand years old rich culture. The distinct part is, a lot of it is still thriving within us in the form of customs and rituals, unlike the Egyptian or Roman cultures whose history is being celebrated but not being survived by local people. The map is a clear door for the private collectors to turn their undisclosed collections into a publicly displayed artifact space, just like how Lalbhai has showcased their private collection at the Kasturbhai Lalbhai Museum, which is not just based on one theme but still has significant cultural value.”
Avni and team still have few more museums to add, which they would eventually in their next edition of the Museum map. On the occasion Avni Varia said, “Most of us are aware of only 2-3 museums of Ahmedabad, but the Map covers 26 museums ranging from Sabarmati Ashram to Conflictorium and from Chharanagar’s Museum of Hope to Vechar Utensils museum of Vishala.” The availability and cost of the Map can be obtained on request.
On the occasion, Navajivan demonstrated their newly developed mobile app, which they will be using for their displays on Mahatma Gandhi. The attraction of this app is the feature of automated audio guidance which would activate upon physical proximity with the artifact.
Photographs : Himanshu Nainani
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