Stacked in old steel cupboards along with 75,000 other books in Vidhansabha Library is the original government gazette that announced the formation of Gujarat under the Bombay Reorganisation Act 1960,which split the the erstwhile state of Bombay into the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.
This birth certificate of Gujarat is gathering dust even as the state is holding a grand ceremony to mark the 53rd anniversary of Gujarat Day on May 1.
The hard cover that binds this 31-page document has weathered with time even as pages of this 53-year-old document,published on June 2,1960,have decayed to dark yellow.
The library,situated on the first floor of Vithalbhai Patel Vidhansabha Bhavan in the Secretariat campus in Gandhinagar,has carried out digitisation of all the Assembly debates,from 1960 onwards,for the record.
However,there has hardly been any efforts to preserve its gazettes and the one announcing the formation of Gujarat is no exception. Leave preservation,this original gazette is even available for MLAs and MPs to take away for use.
Asked if there were other copies of this original gazette,Vidhansabha secretary D S Patel said,This is Vidhansabha copy and is kept in the library. A few other departments may also have a copy.
But several departments,including general administration,office of chief secretary and the Chief Ministers office could not confirm if they had one of its original copies made in 1960.
The condition of 4,000-odd books gifted by Maharashtra to Gujarat in 1960 is no better. There is a need to preserve these books. But for years,these are stacked on the shelves with no efforts towards preservation, said a library official.