Amongst all the different varieties of museums and the happening places to visit in India, the Remember Bhopal Museum fills our heart with sadness and compels us to reminisce about one of the worst industrial disasters in the human history. Remember Bhopal Museum is a repository of all the victims and people affected by toxic gas leak from the Union Carbide pesticide factory in in Bhopal in 1984 and a way to pay our tributes to the lives lost.
Timing: 10 am to 5 pm (Monday closed)
Location: 22, SR Hig Berasia Road, Housing Board Colony, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
Entry Fees: Free
Among many different types of museums in India such as science museums, art museums, archaeological museums, coin museums, technological museums, transport museums, and numerous other kinds, one museum stands out from the crowd which has a separate place in everyoneâ€™s heart. The Remember Bhopal Museum located in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, is a museum dedicated to the worst industrial disaster that occurred in humankind which took away hundreds and thousands of lives. The museum actively involves the survivors to narrate their side of the story about the Bhopal Gas Tragedy and one of Indiaâ€™s longest-running environmental justice movements.
The museum sits amidst the brightly painted houses and other infrastructure of the Begusarai Colony in Bhopal. The dusty white walls of the museum and the faded graffiti-ed slogans are not very appealing to look at but the external condition of the museum does not affect the people whose memories it is a storehouse of. The first memorial was set up in 2004 by some survivor groups at the suggestion of Bhopal activist Satinath Sarangi and they donated mementos of their loved ones to display as â€˜Yaad-e-Hadsaâ€™. Later in 2014, with the efforts of journalist and trained museologist Rama Lakshmi and Shalini Sharma, an oral history-based museum was set up with the input of survivors.
The museum opens into the â€˜Dark Roomâ€™ painted entirely in black and adorned with black and white photos of the location immediately after the tragedy. The memorabilia include the clothes of the victims, belongings brought by their family members that are encased on glass shelves. The room also has several photographs of the victims of lost their lives in the gas disaster. Out of the Dark Room, the room that follows is the â€˜Operation Roomâ€™ which displays the photographs and documents of the rescue operation that followed after the incident. On the other side, the â€˜Health Impactsâ€™ room narrates the story about how the tragedy affected so many lives even those who were not directly impacted, and the coming three generations also. The next room is the â€˜Protest Roomâ€™ which contains photos from the years of protests for fair reimbursement and dignity of survivors and the â€˜Compensation Roomâ€™ archives all the legal documents and compensation details. The rooms also have telephone lines that have recorded audios of the victimâ€™s stories narrated by themselves and English translations of these recordings are also available. The museum is perhaps the first museum of independent India which has been curated with the efforts of survivors and activists to tell the story of a heartbreaking incident and the contemporary peopleâ€™s movement.