How Mumbai's Museum On Wheels Is Making History & Culture Accessible To All

Museum On Wheels
Museum On WheelsCSMVS

A museum is a storehouse of art, artifacts, and objects that give us a glimpse into our rich history and cultural heritage. However, most museums are located in the heart of urban spaces and are only accessible to a certain section of society, who are both privileged, both culturally and economically. To provide universal access, physical as well as intellectual, to a museum’s collection and the information it conveys is a wonderful idea that will bridge the cultural accessibility gap, which is so apparent in our country.

The initiative, Museum on Wheels, has been built with that idea and vision in mind. Operational for the last seven years, it is a unique educational outreach initiative of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai, where well-equipped modern buses travel extensively through Mumbai and the remote interiors of Maharashtra. Currently, the project has two large, air-conditioned buses, custom designed to accommodate traveling exhibitions.

One of the buses of Museum on Wheels
One of the buses of Museum on WheelsCSMVS

The themes of the exhibitions are selected keeping the school curriculum in mind. They are also inspired by CSMVS’ extensive collection of antiquities. These mobile exhibitions are taken to various educational and cultural institutions for deeper and wider engagement of children with our heritage, arts, and sciences. The buses are fully equipped with display cases for objects, models, replicas, and dioramas. They are up-to-date with the latest technological developments as well —Audio-visual equipment and digital media including touch screens and tablets help further engage this tech-savvy generation of children. Also, children are treated to a holistic learning experience as they get to do hands-on work with interactive demo kits, and art and craft activities.

The initiative has opened a channel for these children who do not have access to museums and their offerings. Through it, they have learned to form an appreciation of our heritage and culture and also establish significant connections between our past heritage and its relevance in contemporary society. Museum on Wheels has ushered in a new era of cultural inclusivity and is doing justice to their motto "If you cannot come to the Museum, the Museum will come to you".

Now, to bring one of these exhibitions to the people of Ahmedabad, the Museum of Wheels has collaborated with the Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum, a celebrated institution in the city. The L D Museum has a diverse variety of sculptures, bronzes, illustrated manuscripts, miniature paintings and drawings, ancient and contemporary coins, wood carvings, textiles, and beadwork pieces, covering almost 2000 years of cultural heritage from the Indian subcontinent.

As a result of this collaboration, the iconic collections from two of the most prominent museums in India are open for viewing to the public. There will also be immersive hands-on activities for all ages throughout the day.

Museum on Wheels

Venue: L D Institute of Indology Campus, Ahmedabad

Date: 16th April 2023

Timings: 10:30 am to 5:30 pm

Find out more about CSMVS here.