Koraput, March 4 (LocalWire): The district museum of Koraput, a treasure-trove of tribal art, handicrafts and Jain artefacts is a picture of neglect. With cobwebbed ceiling and dusty floor, it looks like a haunted house.
The foundation of the museum was laid in 1976 and even after four decades, the authorities have done little to increase the museum’s collection.
It also doesn’t have a regular staff for the past nine years after its peon retired. A caretaker hired on a Rs 200 per diem salary is the only staff. But, even he has not received his salary for the past six years.
‘Many precious statues and artefacts are in bad shape due to lack of proper care. The district cultural department, which is supposed to upgrade the museum and showcase the tribal art and culture of the district, has done little in this regard,’ said Subash Das, an elderly resident of Jeypore.
‘Koraput being a tribal-dominated district, the museum assumes significance in showcasing the tribal art and culture. Many visitors come to the district to have an idea about this but they go back disappointed,” he added.
Locals have demanded the authorities to shift the museum to a better locality to attract more visitors as presently it is in an isolated place. ‘Located inside the town hall premises, it hardly has any footfall as visitors have no idea about its existence,’ activist Priya Ranhan Panigrahi said.
Admitting the low turn-out and deplorable condition of the museum, district cultural officer Akshay Kumar Sethi said, ‘Though there is no special package to upgrade the museum, a proposal to shift the museum to the town is under consideration to attract more tourists.’