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HOLIDAY lIST

The museum will remain closed on the following days:

September- 25/9/22

October- 1/10/22, 2/10/22, 9/10/22

 

 

Galleries

History of the House

Restoration Efforts

NIHAR

Sister Nivedita Heritage Museum

Galleries

The slideshow above shows the galleries and exhibits at the museum that bring alive Nivedita’s extraordinary life and her contributions to Indian society.

The 16 Bosepara Lane building itself is of great historical value. It’s the very house where Nivedita spent her first days in India.

Plans are on the anvil to convert the building next door at 17, Bosepara Lane – where she shifted her historic girls’ school, and later lived – into a knowledge hub and women’s empowerment centre.

 

A virtual tour of the museum 

History of the House

History of the House

The slideshow above depicts the historical importance of the museum site. Architecturally, the house was, in Nivedita’s words, “a rambling specimen of the true old Hindu style of building.” It was host to giants of 19th century Bengal, and witnessed events that shaped a nation.

To see the archival photos in our collection, please click on the following link,

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aLAX1MKs2YKnMbwRSk65Uahte1n9Rc-3/view?usp=sharing

Restoration Efforts

Restoration Efforts

When the house was handed over to the Ramakrishna Sarada Mission in 2013, it was in an advanced state of disrepair with important features plastered over and hidden.

Samples from the house’s walls and foundation were carbon dated to determine age accurately. Features and elements that dated back to Nivedita’s time or earlier were isolated and restored. Those that were added later were removed. Archival photographs were used to visually verify historical accuracy.

Sections too damaged to restore were recreated with under the guidance of highly qualified specialists to period-correct specifications by skilled artisans trained in traditional methods, utilising techniques and materials in use at the time of the house’s original construction in the mid-19th century.

Modern technological know-how was utilised, out of sight, to support and secure the structure from future weather damage.

View a video here, or for an in-depth read, see বাগবাজারে দুটি বাড়ি, ভগিনী নিবেদিতার ঐতিহ্যপূর্ণ ভবনের সংরক্ষণ, The House of Sister Nivedita - The Story of Restoration, published by Sri Sarada Math and available at Sister Nivedita Heritage Museum & Knowledge Centre.

RKSM Sister Nivedita Heritage Museum & Knowledge Centre

FUNDED BY 
MINISTRY OF CULTURE, GOVT. OF. INDIA &
TCS FOUNDATION
RKSM Nivedita Institute of Human Advancement & Research (NIHAR)

LAND PURCHASE FUNDED BY TCS FOUNDATION

RKSM Nivedita Institute of Human Advancement & Research (NIHAR)

 

NIHAR

Be free and work for the freedom of the universe

 

Sister Nivedita (Miss Margaret E. Noble), inspired by the great vision of Swami Vivekananda about India and her women, dedicated her life and services to the causes of empowerment of women. To this end she reached Kolkata in January 1898. Undaunted by the enormity of the challenges, she opened a school for Indian girls in the same year. The school was blessed by Sri Sarada Devi and the inaugural ceremony was graced by the august presence of Swami Vivekananda. Nivedita devoted her whole life in the service of humanity and national awakening and rendered painstaking services by extensive and practical social work, ocean of creative writings and mesmerizing oratory that inspired the intellectuals globally. Her service  manifesteditself through the promotion of arts, spirituality, Indian history, culture and science. In all her works, she has reflected her deepest concern for the pathetic conditions of mankind,particularly women, prevailing inthe late Nineteenth Century. She showed the way out not by precepts but practice until she breathed her last in 1911. Swami Vivekananda said, “India will ring with her”.

 

The historicity and emotional connections to her life that Sister Nivedita left behind within the walls of the residences in Kolkata, where she lived and worked during her life in India, is an integral part of our national heritage.  A fitting and lasting memorial to her great sacrifice in the service of our nation being so long overdue, we established a ‘Nivedita Heritage Museum’ at 16 Bosepara Lane--a location saturated with her memories as it were. The museum has been conceived not only as a part of the initiatives to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of the Sister, but more importantly, to serve as a lasting national repository of information. It will also serve to inspire present and future generations about Indian culture and heritagethrough integration of Sri Sarada Devi’s wisdom with unparalleled dynamism of Sister Nivedita.

 

Much of Nivedita’s works and contributions are still not known to people at large. Thus the Mission also initiated a centre around this newly acquired historic site that will conduct research work on Nivedita’s contribution in different fields to India in particular and to the world at large. This institution intend to dig out the treasure of Sister Nivedita’s actions especially for the enlightenment & empowerment of women by extending vocational options for them through extensive hand-on training on different areas where the society is in need of quality service in present time since it has been lying ‘un-mined’ in Sister’s works for over a century.

 

“I would like much to make No. 17 a real University Settlement….” (Letters of Sister Nivedita, Vol. I, January 28, 1903).


“You see, when we who understand Swamiji, and remember Him are dead, there will come a long period of obscurity and silence, in 150 or 200 years, it will be found to have transformed the West.” (Letters of Nivedita, Vol.II, April 11, 1906)


“My thoughts will be worked out by unnumbered generations, and I would rather be penniless, than cease to be an idealist.” (Letters of Nivedita,Vol. II, April 3, 1909)


The driving forces for the proposed institution (NIHAR) are grounded in the contributions of Sister Nivedita to Indian society influenced by the motto “be free and work for the freedom of the universe”.  Grounded on that foundation (already displayed in the Heritage Museum at No. 16), we propose to develop the knowledge centre at the location of house no. 17 and the adjacent properties already acquired by the RKSM.

 

The key contributions of Sister Nivedita can be summarized as follows:

  1. Her service to the poor and needy;
  2. Her work among women;
  3. Her support to the cause of national education;
  4. Her contribution to the field of national awakening.

 

Inspired and enriched by Sister’s dedication, contribution, and commitment to Indian heritage, and her clear understanding, perception, and vision of contemporary needs, we have attempted to perform a needs analysis of present time and identified a set of objectives that ultimately converges to a set of goals in terms of our vision and mission.  By thus continuing on Sister’s footsteps, we have developed a conceptual/motivational framework of several factors that flow in a mutual sequence of rationales: Foundational (Sister’s key Contributions/vision) à Needs for the presentà Mission.

 

In our vision, the proposed institution will be a vibrant new venue that will serve the Nation as a whole, and the women of India in particular, by:

 

                   I.      Nurturing and fostering the ideals as lived by Sister Nivedita;and, 

                II.      Enabling the nation to learn, understand and to move forward with implementing and   integrating the ideas and ideals for which Sister Nivedita gave her life.

 

The three essential components of a dynamic society can be identified as

  1. the aged, who provide the continuity over a lifetime for values and wisdom, 
  2. the youth, who are the active agents for sustenance and progress of life at present, and
  3. the children, on whom lies our future.

 

The overall mission has therefore been defined in terms of a comprehensive as well as an integrated system of developmentwhere there will be two-way connections and interactions among all these three demographic tiers of society.  In our view, such an approach would help to both participate in, as well as contribute to, the global environment without compromising our national identity, heritage, culture and values.

Accordingly, our specific mission goals can be summarized as follows:

 

  • NIHAR will serve as a vehicle for promoting women’s education and life skills in the footfalls of Sisters Nivedita, Christine, Sudhira and the likes.  To ensure the appropriate transfer of skills in handling everyday challenges of life along with professional skills, NIHAR will also offer courses on personality development based on an understanding of values, heritage and culture.  Such an approach would ensure a synergistic outcome of life-skills.

  • NIHAR will train young women to provide services that will enable the elderly to experience productive aging through a mutually enriching partnership.  This aspect of the project has been shaped by keeping in mind Sister Nivedita’s respectful care-giving to Gopaler Ma.  The young service provider will gain an invaluable first-hand experiential knowledge from the aged partner, and in turn, the elderly will get some help in carrying out their daily activities of living. This will also help the elderly retain a sense of continued value to society by a gainful use of their productive past, while at the same time providing a mechanism to cope with old-age loneliness, depression and uncertainties of the future.

  • NIHAR would be a venue for understanding and communicating through emotion the connection and lineage in Indian nationality and culture. It will work to create avenues and opportunities for both the innovative adaptation of global knowledge to specific Indian contexts, and the broader outreach to the world at large.  The goal of this segment of activities would be to help and spread the essence of the rich Indian cultural heritage as a means for addressing the contemporary crisis of civilization faced by the entire globe.

  • NIHAR would be the coordinating platform of research and creative innovation in solutions to national problems in women’s education, national culture and society at large.

 

An overarching view of a conceptual framework summarizing the foundational pillars or driving forces, consequent needs, and associated mission derived thereof, is shown below in the following table:


The Activity-matrix of NIHAR: a Conceptual Framework

Driving Forces

(Based on key contributions

of Sister Nivedita)

Need analysis

(Based on the contemporary

context)

Defining a mission

for NIHAR

Courses Designed


Her service to the poor and needy


Means of livelihood


Vocational training

Training for Happiness Facilitators at the school level (this is started online jointly with the Labhya Foundation of New Delhi)


Her work among women


Specialized services for women

Support for the aged


Specialized service for the “Aging in Place”

Training for Geriatric Companionship (Course has been formulated & waiting for infrastructure development)


Her support to the course of

National education


Integrating values to

Life-skill Development


Train the Trainers program

(Teachers’ Training)

Training for Leadership in Nivedita’s way (Course has been formulated for people in their mid-career)


Her contributions to the field of

National Awakening


Identifying and implementing solutions


Research & innovation

On-going

 

 

 

NIHAR in its own small way is trying to fulfill Sister Nivedita’s dream of developinga university settlement in No. 17 (and the adjacent plots) through creating space for intergenerational interactionsby introducing a number of training courses focused on value-oriented life-skill enhancement. To name a few are: 

 

  1. Happiness Facilitator for school children
  2. Leadership in Nivedita’s Way for those in mid-career
  3. Geriatric Companions for enabling “Ageing in Place” for the elderly and so on.

 

These will all be Post-Graduate Vocational Training Courses meeting the standards set by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, so that in future the possibility of credit transfer can be explored in the respective parent disciplines.

Activities undertaken

The journey of NIHAR started through the following activities.

  1. A 2-month Docent-training course to a group of 9 girls during January-February 2020, out of which 4 are working as Museum Guides for Sister Nivedita Heritage Museum & Knowledge Center.
  2. During the COVID-Pandemic induced lockdown as relief activity a financial support of Rs.2000.00 per month has been extended to the Mothers of 50 families of migrant workers in Murshidabad, Hooghly and North 24 Parganas districts of the state for 5 months along with rationed supply of essential commodities like pulses, salt, edible oil, soap, detergent, etc.
  3. Since April 2021 NIHAR has started an online interactive training program involving 20 participants on Social-Emotional-Learning with Labhya Foundation of New Delhi as part of their training for Happiness Facilitators at the school level.