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23 Apr, 2013

First Time in India: Volunteer Guide Programme at National Museum, New Delhi


Ministry of Culture, 22-April, 2013 – The Union Minister of Culture Mrs. Chandresh Kumari Katoch has asked the National Museum to be ready to engage in collaborative programmes with other museums, with a view to increase their expertise, and to develop a pool of highly trained manpower in this sector.

Inaugurating “Path Pradarshak” Volunteer Guide Programme at the National Museum here today the Minister said that she is glad to know that the Museum has speeded up its efforts to modernise and provide better service to visitors. She said, some galleries of the National Museum have reopened and the two more galleries – Thanjavur paintings gallery and the Decorative Arts gallery will reopen soon. Mrs Katoch said, there should be a clear plan of action to renovate and reopen all closed galleries.

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Lauding the newly launched “Path Pradarshak”, the Volunteer Guide Programme for National Museum, Mrs Katoch said, all those who have visited great museums would remember that these museums provide free conducted tours to visitors who may need them. She said, for the first time, a programme of this kind is to be introduced in a Museum in India.

The Minister said the programme is a good beginning and asked the museum authorities to devise more methods to increase their outreach to the community, and to the visitors to Delhi. Similarly, the needs of young children and students who visit the Museum in thousands must be addressed. She said, the National Museum must have a year long calendar of events and exhibitions that will engage the interest and participation of all.

Mrs Sangita Gairola, Secretary Culture, Mr Parvez Dewan, Secretary Tourism and Dr. V. Venu, Vice Chancellor, NMI & DG, National Museum were also present on the occasion.

The aim of the Volunteer Guide Programme (VGP) is to help the visitors to appreciate the treasures of the museum and to stimulate interest in them. The VGP is a general introductory tour, which will be of interest to the first time visitor. The conducted tour will be of 90 minutes, introducing the visitor to the highlights of the National Museum through a brief description of the galleries and 30 objects on display.

Some of the masterpieces included in the tour are Dancing Girl, Mohenjodaro Circa 2700 – 2000 B.C.; Asita visit to Suddhodana, Satavahana, Andhra Pradesh, 1st – 2nd century A.D., Standing Buddha, Gandhara, 2nd century A.D.; Vishnu, Gupta, Mathura, 5th century A.D.; Surya, Eastern Ganga, Konark Orissa, 13th century, A.D.; Mughal Emperor Shahjahan in the marriage procession of his eldest son Dara Shikoh, Awadh, Provincial Mughal, circa 1740 – 50 A.D.; Lamp, Ivory, Delhi, 20th century A.D.; Buddha and the Six Monks, Wall Painting, Miran, 3rd – 4th century A.D., Cotton Coverlet, Golconda, Hyderabad, circa 1640 – 50 century; Shield of Maharana Sangram Singh – II, Udaipur, circa 1730 A.D. etc.

The National Museum has trained 30 Volunteer Guides to escort the visitors at pre-fixed hours, with a specific tour route. On week days, there will be 2 tours – 10:30 am. to 12:00 noon; 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays there will be 4 tours 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon; 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.; 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on week days (except Mondays).

The Guided tours for public will start from 23 April, 2013.