India’s first children’s dynamic museum was inaugurated this year! We had our partners, Gujarat State Financial Services Ltd., Gujarat CSRAuthority, Zoomkinder Museum, Vienna, Vedhshala (Astronomical Observatory) and Manthan Educational Programme Society, India present. At 4 in the evening, a crowd of school children and some 50 adults gathered at the dome outside the museum. There was excitement in the air as the dignitaries from the abovementioned organizations spoke about their experiences in helping create the museum. Representatives from the government agencies and our partners GSFS and GCSRA were there. So was Ms Elisabeth Menasse who had flown in all the way from Vienna to attend the same, as a representative of our counterpart in Vienna – Zoomkinder Museum.
The nonagenarian Sri Agnihotri Sukhdev Prasad G. Vyas, honourable founder of Vedhshala building where our museum is located; was also present and lit the lamp to symbolically open the museum to visitors. Thereafter, the visitors were allowed to have their first taste of the various exhibits inside the museum. To our delight, both children and adults seemed equally excited about the museum. The floor on soap bubbles named “Bulbule” (Soap bubble in Hindi) was the most popular among the school going children. They enjoyed the pulley system to create a soap bubble bigger than their size. Then they also photographed soap bubbles inside the special photography room. By the end of the evening, the floor was covered in bubbles and laughter reverberated inside the gallery.
Up one floor, the adults seemed to have been fascinated by the Moving Images gallery which tracked the history of the modern camera and film through a series of devices created over a span of 300 years. From the famous experiment of the moving horses initiated by Leland Stanford which showed the rapid movement of a horse by means of 12 pictures moving quickly (12 frames per second) to a real green screen to recreate virtual imagery. Those present enjoyed this journey through time. A lot of effort went into the wooden replicas created after studying the mechanics of them for months. Mechanical flipbooks, mutoscopes and thaumatropes were made.
Finally the top floor featured astronomy. This permanent space dedicated to space sciences started with basic exhibits on stars, planets and the sun. Working models to explain the big bang and the eclipses and seasons were also present. The visitors also toured the Biodiversity Park around the museum that has a small lily pond; medicinal plants garden and a vegetable patch, all in initial stages of growth. Later in the evening, tea and snacks were served at the dome. It was the perfect way to kick start the museum’s opening and we hope to welcome you all there soon!