By Team ADU
New Delhi. 14 March 2019. For someone who turns 80 today it is an amazing zest, zeal and passion to have put all effort into making a museum. This could be our gateway to maritime history in the Indian Capital city of Delhi for all Indians living far from the long coast line of the nation. Through the exhibitions programme they aspire to bring new and diverse perspectives to maritime issues, and highlight their relevance to the present day. The aim is also to bring rare artefacts from around the world to this museum to tell local, national and international stories of the Indian Navy.
Dedicated to the preservation of Indian Maritime History the museum is an effort to get the history of all navies under one roof by the Indian Maritime Foundation and relentless effort by Commodore Ranjit Rai, Naval Veteran who not only gave the basement of his home in Defence Colony in New Delhi but also his time and fabulous collection of naval artefacts.
The Indian Maritime Foundation (IMF) was established in December 1993 by a group of officers who have served in the Indian Navy, the Indian Merchant Marine and other professions. They have dedication and a high sense of commitment to this cause of public service they have embarked upon. The IMF is a non profit organization, registered in Pune as a charitable trust. It has branches in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.
It is planned as a future utility Maritime Museum and Commodore Rai wants to add an Air Force and Army section to it. The aim is to get the younger generations to understand and take pride in it’s armed forces and get motivated to join them. Schools will be contacted to encourage visits of all classes. Charts displaying details of recruitment in all the 3 services will be displayed.
He showed the video on the computer with recorded commentary and was happy that there is no expenditure on a commentator and visitors get an insight into the Indian Navy and the museum. A funding model has to be evolved and our eventual aim is that Ministry of Defence adopts it and we can shift to a bigger place, said Cmde Rai.
The museum was formally inaugurated by the senior most Naval veteran Vice Admiral IJS Khurana in the presence of MLA Mr. Madanlal. The message from President IMF Commodore Rajan Vir who couldn’t come due to a medical contingency, was read out be Cmde. AJ Singh, Vice President of IMF. The icing on the cake was the presence of Naval Attaches from many embassies and high commissions who not only lauded the effort but also showed keenness to support the yeomen task in whatever way possible.