Newly constructed Bangladesh Bhaban, scheduled to be inaugurated jointly by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at Shantiniketan in India on Friday, will promote Bangladeshi culture, heritage, history and literature in India.
There will be a modern theatre, display room and a large library for books on literature, history, culture, the Liberation War of Bangladesh and Indo-Bangla relations at Bangladesh Bhaban.The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs jointly worked to decorate the building built on the Visva-Bharati University premises at Shantiniketan in West Bengal.
Minister for Education Nurul Islam Nahid who left Dhaka on Thursday to join its inaugural programme said: “Bangladesh Bhaban will help develop people-to-people contact of the two friendly countries and help cultural exchange as well”.
According to ministry officials, the Bangladesh government has spent Tk 43.92 crore to have Bangladesh Bhahan built by National Building Construction Cooperation, an Indian construction company, on 2.75 acres of land provided by the Indian university.
There is also a modern auditorium with an arrangement of 453 sets, two seminar halls of 320 sets, a library, museum, cafeteria and archive studio in the building. The roof of the auditorium looks like the hood of a traditional boat.
The two seminar halls are located on the ground floor of the building. There is a museum of 3,000 square feet on the southern side of Bangladesh Bhaban on its ground floor for displaying around 6,500 books and replicas of different historical documents and artifacts.
Different photos and historical documents of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Rabindranath Tagore will be displayed at the museum.The museum will also display replicas of historical documents and posters of the 1952 Language Movement and 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh like Shata Shashoner Bangladesher Proshobini, Victory is Ours, Bangladesh Shoshoner Chitra and Genocide in East Pakistan.
Near the main entrance on ground floor, there is a visible courtyard inside the building where there is an open source of natural light. The sound of rain and the environment of monsoon can be enjoyed on the courtyard.
Books like Krittibash Ojha’s Ami Mujib Bolchhi, MR Akhtar Mukul’s Charampatra will be displayed at the 1,300 square feet library, set up on the second floor of Bangladesh Bhaban.
A studio and a faculty room are also located on its second floor while there will be a cafeteria of 1,000 square feet on the left side of the same floor.
Copies of two letters written by Tagore, one to former Dhaka University vice chancellor Sir F Rahman in 1936 and another to the late folklore researcher Professor Mansur Uddin in 1937, and a copy of Nazruls’ manuscript of a song will also be displayed at the museum.
Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed her desire to build Bangladesh Bhaban at Santiniketan. Her desire was also written at the ‘Framework Agreement on Cooperation for development’ which was signed between Bangladesh and India on September 6, 2011.
Following a number of meetings and discussions held between Visva Bharati University and the Ministry of Education of Bangladesh, the concept paper was finalised and the building’s technical deign was formulated. Construction work of the building started at the end of 2016.