Rabindra Kacharibari at Shahzadpur in Sirajganj district is rapidly losing its appeal. Archaeological Department officials allege that some members of the local elite have grabbed a sizeable portion of land in the estate and have set up trade centres and clothing markets in the restricted area. Besides, say the officials, they face hurdles in preserving the memorabilia at the Rabindra Memorial Museum due to inadequate space and a shortage of manpower.
The memorabilia include dishes, bathtubs, hookahs, seals, shoes, wooden sandals, water filter, bedstead, piano, sofa, spectacles, palanquin, harmonium, metal vessels and rare photos belonging to the Tagore household -- all of which are in urgent need of maintenance.
Musical instruments such as the harmonium and piano are damaged, as they are not in use. Meanwhile, the sofa and palanquin have been infested with insects. The rusty dishes and blurry photographs too bear testimony to the appalling state of the museum. Likewise, the dusty books should be kept in bookshelves, say sources. Besides, a library is necessary together with a parking lot for visitors. Nahid Sultana, custodian of the museum, told The Daily Star that many visitors come to the museum every day. However, due to lack of space and a parking lot, the authorities do not allow them to hold picnics in the area. Many parts of the old Kacharibari building has developed serious cracks, which worries the locals.
On the other hand, visitors cannot spend much time in the area because of the absence of a guesthouse and hygienic restaurant. She further said that due to the illegal establishment of trade centres and clothing markets, the estate of Kacharibari is fast losing its original splendour. The visitors who spoke to this correspondent urged the authorities to set up public toilets, a parking lot and a restaurant. They called for the eviction of the illegal land grabbers and the sanction of adequate funds before the upcoming Baishakh 25, birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore.