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Preliminary report on the Day Long Mymensingh Visit on 16 November 2016 by a BARMS Team headed by the President
December 19, 2016, 11:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Following the resolution of the EC Meeting held on 29 October, 2016 , a team led by President Professor Dr. Sharif uddin Ahmed visited the Record Room of the Mymesingh District on 16 November 2016. The other members of the team were

  1. Dr Hafizur Rahman Bhuyian, Vice President, BARMS
  2. Mir Fazle Ahmed Chowdhury , Member, Executive Council, BARMS
  3. NiladrI Chatterjee, Member, BARMS
  4. Muhammad Asiful Basar, Member, BARMS
  5. Akhteruzzaman Azam, Associate Member, BARMS
  6. Miss Riffat Mehnaz Rintu , Associate Member, BARMS.

The team met the Deputy Commissioner Mr. Md. Khalilur Rahman and his officials at the DC Conference Room at 11 am and explained to him the purpose of the visit together with the history and aims and objectives of BARMS. Both the President and the Vice President Dr. Hafizur Rahman Bhuyian emphasized the urgency of properly maintaining and preserving the local official records both for historical reasons as well as for good governance. They also informed that in this context BARMS as far as possible will provide assistance in modernizing the Record Room and train the officials. President also informed that the Government has a plan to establish a regional archives at Mymensingh that is Mymensingh Divisional Archives. He also mentioned that unlike in the past the DC Record Room does not preserve other records like educational, police, development projects etc. He further observed that through the initiative of BARMS some budgetary allocation has been made to develop the Record Rooms of the DC Offices. As far as the preservation of the Record Room as Heritage Monument is concerned as it is a part of the old Mymensing DC Office so the DC office as a whole has to be preserved for which, may be,  a new proposal has to be submitted. The DC Office is old and dilapidated and may be demolished any time and replaced by a modern building. However that cannot be allowed as it is a heritage building. Some other members of the team also spoke about the importance of preserving the district records and good  physical maintenance of the Record Room.

The DC Mr. Khalilur Rahman deeply appreciated the initiatives of BARMS and observed that it is a noble task. He also mentioned that he and his officials are aware of the importance of preserving records as they are valuable historical documents and part of country’s history and heritage. He also mentioned that he has witnessed while visiting countries in Europe and Asia, how they   care about their history and heritage and maintain their archives. In Bangladesh unfortunately this aspect has  so far been neglected. In Mymensingh there is a lack of   manpower and trained officials. Funding is also a problem though with the recent fund of 5 lakhs taka some works have been done to repair the Record Room Building. Sometimes it also becomes difficult to convince the authority as to the usefulness of preserving the old records as no one consult them and no researcher come to utilize them. Here universities and other research organizations must play their roles. He finally mentioned that he and his office would provide all cooperation and help  to BARMS as well as government in modernizing the Record Room and preserving the DC Office as a heritage building.

The team then went to see the Record Room and the documents preserved there. While visiting, they found one part of the Record Room is much modernized and digital facilities are provided to serve certain needs of the public. However, most of the old records especially the old land records are not properly kept and some documents are on the verge of total ruination. Moreover, even basic things are missing   to make the Record Room free   from insects, rats etc. These old records need immediate attention for long term preservation. The officials who work there do not have any knowledge of Record Room Keeping.

The following steps were suggested for the Mymensingh District Record Room.

  1. Mymensingh will adopt a pilot project to establish the Divisional Archives at Mymensingh.
  2. The existing Record Room to be modernized and the officers will be trained .
  3. The additional funds now allocated will be utilized to make the Record Room archive friendly and the proper arranging of records.
  4. Researchers will be encouraged to utilize the records for academic degrees like M.Phil. and Ph. D.

The team then went to see the Record Room of the Mymensingh Municipality. It is a very small room and records are not properly kept with a view to archiving them. To the utter surprise of the team it was found that the Municipality does not have any records of either of the British Period or  of the  Pakistan time. However, the CEO Mr. Tarikul Islam , a student of History from Dhaka University  assured that the Record Room will be properly maintained but emphasized that researchers must come forward to utilize them otherwise the authority might not take any interest in them.

The CEO also made a power point presentation of the new Master Plan of the Mymensingh City which is very impressive. By 2030 Mymensingh would, if the Master Plan is implemented, become a very well organized modern city.

The CEO  also informed about various educational, welfare and service projects now being carried out by the City authority. The team also briefly met the Mayor of the city.

The team also visited some old but majestic Zamindari houses that also need to be preserved.

Finally they visited the famous Zainul Abedin Sangrahashala,  an art museum in Mymensing with the works of the famous artist of Bangladesh Zainul Abedin. Of course the team went for a walk in the evening along the bank of  the famous Old Brahamaputra River. The Team returned to Dhaka by 9pm.

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