Magan Sangrahalaya – The museum
The MSS runs the historical museum of rural industries – Magan Sangrahalaya. It is the only museum in India founded by Mahatma Gandhi in the year 1938, dedicated to the artisans of India. The museum has four display wings on Mahatma Gandhi, Khadi, village industries, and appropriate technologies. Apart from exhibiting articles and models, the museum organizes talks, workshops, training programs, demonstrations, and campaigns on related subjects.
Mahatma Gandhi Wiing:
This Mahatma Gandhi wing displays the belongings and the gifts received by him. Some of the rare Articles of Mahatma Gandhi exhibited here include his hair; the smallest spinning device (Charkha) innovated by him; the box Charkha (Popular as Yarvada Charkha) designed and developed by Gandhi during imprisonment in Yervada prison (Pune); the shawl worn by him; articles used in the prison, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi carrying his signature (the only statue of its kind in the world) and the stone Gandhi used for making Handmade paper.
The Khadi Wing
The Khadi wing showcases forty different kinds of Charkha (Spinning Wheel), dating back to the year 1930. It displays hand, pedal to solar operated Charkhas and evolution of Charkha from traditional Sudarshan (Wheel type) to Kissan (Box type) to Ambar charkha and the new Solar-Charkha. The wing starts with the history of Khadi and that of the national flag of India. The other wings display Khadi- Silk, Raw-Silk, Khadi- Wool, and Jute blended Khadi patterns and designs collected from different parts of India.
The Village Industries wing
The museum showcases 32 rural industries including – Food processing, Agriculture tools for small farmers, edible Oil, Non-Violent Honey (from wild rock-bees), Non-violent Leather (leather from naturally dead cattle), Pottery, Handmade paper without cutting trees, & Non-edible oils. It also exhibits industries based on Wood, Palm, Bamboo, Lac, Grasses, Jute, plant roots, Metal, Glass, Seashells, Papermache, Stone, Mud, Lime, Horn, and Cow dung.
Rural Technology Wing
The Rural Technology Wing presents low-cost appropriate rural technologies including low-cost mud housing, energy-conserving technologies, solar energy devices, improved agriculture tools, water purification and conservation technologies.
2. Publication and Documentation Centre
MSS has a documentation unit with 8000 books on Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave, Dr. J.C.Kumarappa, Rural Technology, Rural Industries, Organic Farming, Environment, Energy, Water, Artisans, Craft, History, etc.
The unit has 300 archival documents published by the All India Village Industries Association during 1930-1960.
MSS has edited and reprinted some of the major books by Prof. J.C. Kumarappa: Why the village movement? , Economy of Permanence, Public Finance & Our Poverty, Gaon Andolan Kyon and Sthai Samaj Vyavstha.
The other books are by and on Dr. Devendra Kumar: Pause and Think Wither Science, Towards Sustainability, Sthai Vikas Ka Path, The Inevitable Gandhi, Your questions and Gandhi’s Answers, Lone Crusader and Vyakti Abhivyakti.
3. Location & On Camus Facilities
Magan Sangrahalaya (MS) is located right in the centre of Wardha city and is well connected with roads. The city has two railway stations i.e. Wardha (Main) and Sewagram. It takes five minutes to reach M.S. by auto-rickshaw or car form Wardha station and fifteen minutes from Sewagram station. From Nagpur airport, it takes one and a half hours to reach MS by car.
Organic Restaurant – Rasoi
Rasoi, an organic restaurant is run by MSS for visiting guests and the general public, from 9 am to 10 pm. Rasoi is very popular amongst the locals for its special cuisine of the Vidarbha region. In its preparations Rasoi uses organic grains, pulses, spices, cold-pressed oil, and cow milk procured from local farmers
The objective of this organic restaurant is to provide a market to organic farmers and women self-help groups. The profit generated from the restaurant is recycled back to finance the Organic Farming Movement.
Mud Guest House
The guests of MS get an opportunity to stay in a mud guest house where the walls are made of hand compacted mud blocks and roof with terracotta tiles. Staying in this cool, comfortable mud house is a peaceful experience worth having. Its two rooms with attached bathrooms and toilets can accommodate four to six guests.
Nature Cure Centre
The Prakrutik Jivan Kendra, an alternative health centre based on Nature Cure and Ayurvedic Massage is located on the MS campus. Every year around 3000 people avail of the service of the centre.
On Campus Shops
One can buy books, souvenirs, clothes, groceries, snacks, vegetable and food from the five on – campus shops.
Keeping in view Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology of decentralized production, Magan Organic Khadi shop and Gramodyog shop sell products that are locally made by local people using local resources. No outside product is sold here. The sale proceeds from these shops go back to the rural enterprises, farmers, and artisans associated with MSS. Only the Magan Deep Khadi shop sells Khadi procured from Khadi production units in other states of India.
Gandhi Book House
The Gandhi Book House sells books, CDs, Pen drive, Photographs, dairy, and souvenirs.
The Magan Mandi provides market support to local organic farmers to sell organic vegetables, fruits, grains, spices and seeds at fair prize. This is a venture to strengthen the organic movement; boost rural economy and mobilize socially committed and ecologically conscious consumers.
4. Programs for School Children & Youth
The museum organizes various creative educational programs for school, college students and general public.
Gandhi Ko Jane
A popular three-day interactive workshop for students with some well-known personality well versed in Gandhian Thought is organized annually. The workshop addresses the queries, doubts, present-day issues and problems raised by the youth.
A quiz program based on a book named Bahurup Gandhi (Multi-faceted Gandhi) is annually organized for a wide range of participants including students, Government officials, police, teachers, nurses, businessmen, civil societies, etc. 2000 persons have participated in this program to date.
MSS annually holds the following workshops for children, youth and citizens.
Takli Spindle School
For the children to learn the values like the dignity of labourandtoinculcate in them the qualities like the peace of mind andconcentration MSS team teaches students to spin yarn using Takli Spindle.
Till now 3500 school children from 24 rural and urban schools are trained in Takli Spinning.
Tree – My Companion
To generate awareness amongst students regarding the revival of the declining tree cover, conservation of nature, and preservation of environment, MSS conducts programs to mobilize school students to plant thousands of trees in urban and rural areas.
The Creativity of Ten Fingers
Instead of buying readymade products from the market the children are taught to make environment-friendly, recyclable, utility products using their hands, heart, and mind. MSS team works with the children to make Rakhis, cotton wicks, mud idols of Ganapati, organic Holi colors, mud bullocks for the festival of Pola, Akash Deep, newspaper pen, pape r bags, decorated garbage cans, etc.
To make the Nursery and primary school children understand the association of the festivals with the nature they are taken to a nearby forest where they celebrate the festivals like Vasant Panchami, Gokul Ashtami, Govardhan Pooja, Shravan, Pola by eating, dancing, playing, and singing amid nature.
This program is to imbibe an ethical sense in the general public so that they become a responsible consumer who knows the importance of economy of permanence, decentralization, sustainability and conservation of natural resources. MSS hold small workshops on subjects like Harvesting of Honey without killing bees; Making paper without cutting trees; Solar cooker and Solar drier to save fossil fuels; Using Bicycles to save the environment; replacing plastic with alternatives material; choice between Biogas plant or Garbage pit; recycling waste to save earth; food that cure & food that harm; Science for the People or science for the few etc.