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President’s museum in local boy’s care

- Jorhat youth is Rashtrapati Bhavan’s first museum education officer

Jorhat, Jan. 30: Jorhat boy Pankaj Protim Bordoloi has been appointed the first museum education officer of the President’s museum at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

He has been given the challenging task of looking after the state-of-the-art, world-class museum coming up in the converted garages of the President’s estate.

The museum is scheduled to open in March.

Having joined duty three days ago, Bordoloi today told The Telegraph that the new museum would house all the presents and souvenirs received by various Presidents and other collectibles. An audio-visual presentation will also showcase the history of Rashtrapati Bhavan from the time of the Viceroys.

Bordoloi’s job entails engaging the people who visit the museum in such a way that the tour turns out to be a real learning experience.

“A museum is an informal learning centre. Usually, when a group of people visits a museum, only a few of them show interest while the others give cursory glances. My job is to make everyone active participants,” he said.

“I will also be associated with the acquisition, documentation, research and exhibition of the museum’s artefacts,” he said.

Bordoloi will have to plan various activities to pique the interest of the wide variety of guests — from schoolchildren to visiting heads of state — who visit Rashtrapati Bhavan every year. He will be working closely with Saroj Ghosh — the only Asian to be two-time president of the International Council of Museums.

“What is important is that I will be showcasing to the world a slice of India’s heritage. It is here that a part of India’s history is being made and my duty is to make this as interesting as possible,” said Bordoloi who hails from the Kasogoral Sonarigaon area on the eastern outskirts of Jorhat town.

The museum education officer studied at Rebakanta Baruah High School, Kenduguri, and did his higher secondary from J.B. College. He then graduated in history from Delhi University and did his masters in museology from the National Museum Institute, New Delhi.

Bordoloi, now in his late twenties, was working as the deputy curator of Sanskriti Museum, New Delhi, when he applied for the post and was selected from among 70-odd candidates after giving a written exam and two interviews.

The one answer that gave him the edge over the others was the observation about an architectural feature of Rashtrapati Bhavan — the use of temple bells in its pillars.

Edwin Lutyens had designed Rashtrapati Bhavan, which was originally called the Viceroy’s House.