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An iconic museum on wheels inside the trams of Kolkata was inaugurated on Sunday by West Bengal transport and housing minister Firhad Hakim, commemorating the 75th anniversary of India's independence.

On the occasion, Hakim said that Kolkata is getting the world's first museum on a tram that symbolizes how people's solidarity survived the freedom struggle, partition and the events of 1947.

"India is a country of peace. Bengal believes in harmony and unity in diversity. This museum reflects the ethos of Bengal. It also dwells into the freedom struggle in which Bengal played a major role," Hakim said.

Firhad Hakim
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Firhad Hakim

"The museum on wheels beautifully depicts the efforts of our freedom fighters and also the impact of division of Bengal and Punjab on the national psyche," he added.

The museum on wheels has been curated by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Trust in collaboration with West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC). It will be on display at Esplanade till December-end, an official said, adding that from 1 January, it will move to other parts of the city.

Lord Meghnad Desai and Lady Kishwar Desai were present at the inauguration virtually from London.

"Today we inaugurated an iconic Museum on Wheels inside the historic trams of Kolkata, commemorating the 75th anniversary of India's Independence. This museum on wheels has been created by the Arts & Cultural Heritage Trust along with WBTC and will be on display at Esplanade," Hakim later tweeted.

Museum on Wheels
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Museum on Wheels

Transport Secretary Rajesh Sinha said, "The museum on wheels depicts the Independence movement and the impact of partition on the states of Bengal and Punjab. The museum will be free of cost for entry. It will be a permanent exhibition and move around the city."

Curator Mallika Ahluwalia said the trams of Kolkata have their own rich history and heritage and their mobility can be leveraged to reach out to the people.

"We are thrilled to have this opportunity to display our museum in Kolkata – a city steeped in the history of Independence, freedom struggle and the drawing of borders in Bengal and Punjab," she said.

With inputs from agencies.

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