With demonetisation being the most talked about topic in the last fortnight, an idea of developing a memorial-cum-museum exclusively on currency is shaping up in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). The museum would show how currency in India has changed over time as well as Indians’ knowledge of trade and economic practice throughout history.
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The concept, floated by Anil Gore, a city-based mathematics teacher and member of the Marathi Sanvardhan Samiti of PMC, has caught the attention of mayor Prashant Jagtap, who has forwarded it to the heritage department of the PMC to make it possible.
“It is an excellent concept to have a museum dedicated to currency. There is a potential to bring it into reality as it would enable in providing the ancient knowledge on currency and trade to citizens,” said Sham Dhawale, Executive Engineer in-charge of PMC Heritage Cell.
He said the museum can help in making people understand the historical importance of currency in the country and also how it has changed over time.
“The main task would be to collect the ancient currency for the museum. The civic body will have to provide an appropriate place for the purpose to make it possible,” said Dhawale, adding that the civic administration would make all possible efforts to bring the concept into reality as it would likely increase tourism through the collection of historical denominations.
The museum would provide necessary knowledge on Indian history through currency display and will be helpful for the education of the youth, he added. Gore said that it was the demonetisation decision that engendered the idea of a museum on currency in his mind.
“The hobby of collecting currency was common for long. There are many citizens in the city having old currency as a collection made by the family members of past generations. The collection is just kept as it is as a memory of the ancestors,” he said, adding that this collection, if brought under single roof and displayed for all, would be very useful for the future generations to understand the history of currency and trade that prevailed in the country.
The present generation does not know what to do with the collection made by their family members in the past, Gore said. “The currency has no commercial value today. It is likely that the collection would get lost or destroyed. There are many in the city who have old currency and the PMC can procure them from citizens for the museum while those having it can donate it to the civic body with an assurance that it’s in safe hands and would be used to impart knowledge to the public,” he added.
The citizens have currency that is not merely coins or paper notes but those of wood and other material used in the ancient era, Gore said, adding that there have been many rulers and every rule had its own currency which, if available, can be exhibited in the museum.
The present decision of demonetisation by abolishing Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes might be the biggest ever in history, he said. “The PMC has been first in implementing many innovative initiatives and projects in the country. The creation of a memorial-cum-museum for currency should be one where people would gain knowledge of trade, culture, politics and economics,” added Gore.