Victoria Memorial is likely to become completely-user-friendly for specially abled people by April 2019. The announcement was made by Jayanta Sengupta, the curator of the museum to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
The renovation work is in progress. For the visually impaired individuals, there will be signage in Braille for 50 prime exhibits.
According to the PTI report, Sengupta also mentioned that an elevator will be also installed in the museum so that disabled and senior citizens can easily visit the galleries on the first floor. Further, the existing ramp will be extended and few stairs from the ground floor will be removed, so that physically-challenged can reach the floor without assistance.
In the vast museum compound, there are two battery-operated golf carts that were earlier used by security personnel for patrolling the areas but are now utilized by the senior citizens and disabled people to reach the museum from the gate.
“The golf carts are also being deployed for security patrolling at times, whenever needed, but we are principally keeping the vehicles ready to ferry those having problems in mobility to reach the main building. Using such carts are also environment-friendly,” he said to PTI.
Victoria Memorial was formally opened to the public in 1921 but the disabled-friendly features were not kept in mind during the construction. Sengupta mentioned, “When Lord Curzon had decided to construct a grand building with a museum and garden, it did not have all these features.”
It was on January 4, 1906, when the Prince of Wales, later King George V laid the foundation stone of Victoria Memorial. Keeping the heritage part intact, renovation and upgrading of the museum will be done keeping in mind the retro-fitting aspect, he added.