Chalan Beel museum in dire need of protection

Published : 18 Jan 2022 09:47 PM

Carrying the preservation of the history, heritage and culture of the Chalan Beel region, this Chalan Beel museum is on the verge of destruction. The Chalan Beel Museum is located at Khubjipur village in Gurudaspur upazila of Natore district in the Chalan Beel region. The museum was established in 1978. However, none of the rare antiquities preserved in the museum are there. There is no public gathering in the museum as there are no monuments. Lack of maintenance can be seen everywhere of the museum. No official initiative is being taken to protect this museum which has its own signboard.

It is learned on the spot that an employee named Abu Bakkar is currently looking after the museum. The activities of the museum have been going on for several years with that employee. Abu Bakkar, the employee in charge, said that some valuable artefacts including ancient idols, Saraswati and Krishna idols kept in the museum were taken to Dhaka about 5 years ago for security reasons. Those were not been returned yet.

Meanwhile, the locals say that the Chalan Beel Museum is the bearer of the preservation of the history, heritage and culture of this region. It was made official in 1994. Since then, the condition of the museum has become more fragile. Due to lack of government patronage, the museum artefacts were not properly maintained. As a result, many rare ancient artifacts have already been destroyed due to neglect. Even during this long period, the manpower and infrastructure of the museum has not been developed.

The activities of the museum have been going on for a long time with only one staff member. In this museum, there are rare specimens, such as tulle paper, manuscripts of ancient medieval manuscripts inscribed on tree bark, gold of various periods, and silver. There are copper and metal coins, Holy Quran written by Sultan Nasir Uddin's own handwriting, various types of stone, burnt clay sculpture statues, weapons including swords used by kings, emperors, sultans and Nawabs, relics of Rani Bhabani, altar-pot of Manasa Mangal, poet of Bogra Documents of Rustam Ali Karnapuri and historical monuments collected from different parts of the sub-continent.

Shafiqul Islam, a teacher at Khubjipur High School, said the archeology department had tried to relocate the museum on the pretext of space complexity and non-collection of revenue. But it was not possible in the face of the demands of the locals. There is still confusion over the construction of new buildings.

According to the research, in the first phase, the activities of the museum were started by  placing many rare artefacts of Chalan Beel and sub-continent. Which was a collection scattered among the people of the region. Subsequently, the Norwegian government's project Norwegian Agent (Norat) provided a grant of Tk 1.2 lakh. The museum has been shifted from private to government level to make it more efficient and efficient. At that time, the museum was placed under the Mahasthan Museum located at Bogura Mahasthangarh. One officer and 3 caretakers were appointed for this museum at that time. The museum fell into a dilapidated state as there was no development project for this establishment except for the appointment of a fourth class employee named Akhtar Hossain.

Visiting the museum, it was seen that the upper 3 rooms of the museum have been demolished as they are unusable. Now there are collected specimens in the following 2 rooms. No officers was found in the office. The building has long been dilapidated due to lack of renovations. Next to the museum are Khubjipur Multipurpose High School and M. Hawk Degree College.

Khubjipur UP Chairman Monirul Islam Dolan said the road communication system for visiting the museum has improved a lot. Now the museum is losing visitors due to lack of proper manpower and proper maintenance. Many event took place in the brif period of time in this area of Chalan Beel. This region has been enriched by collecting the history and heritage of Chalan Beel. But the museum has become more uninhabitable since it was under the care of government. The expectations of the locals who handed over the museum to the government were not met. On the contrary, due to lack of development, the museum has reached the brink of destruction.

The construction of the archeological building is underway. However, many samples have been sent for chemical treatment. They will be returned to the museum as soon as the work is completed.