Science centres, zoos, museums open virtual walkthroughs for people amidst lockdown

Gearing up to survive through the tough lockdown period and taking the technology route, the science centres, zoos, museums across India are opening up their galleries and enclosures on the internet for people to see them while staying at home.

Among the various measures that such bodies are taking to stay connected with people even during the lockdown period, some are hosting live streaming of animals 24×7, whereas others are allowing citizens to take a virtual walkthrough of the museum galleries. Some are also organising sky observation programs wherein visitors can log in to observe celestial events like the Super Pink Moon and more.

Science centres

The oldest zoo in India, the Alipore Zoo, Kolkata launched a mobile application last week to enable people to take a virtual tour. Using the mobile app, citizens can see a panoramic view of the zoo, check photos and videos in their enclosures. Also, the zoo authorities have added a voice-over option clicking on which people can know more about a particular animal they are interested in.

However, Chennai’s Arignar Anna Zoological Park was the first in India to start live streaming of animals in their enclosures, nearly two years back. The zoo’s webpage is getting almost 60,000-80,000 views every day during the lockdown period. As quoted by a national daily, Sudha Ramen, Deputy Director of Anna Arignar Zoo, said, “The page views have increased several times because of the lockdown. We now have live streaming of 14 species including tiger, lion, and hippos. There are 180 cameras installed in the zoo and animal enclosures.” For the lockdown period, a special feature has been added wherein the focus is on one animal at a  time to capture its activities, Ramen added.

As per the authorities of The Indian Museum, the oldest and largest multi-disciplinary museum in the country is going to launch a virtual tour of the museum soon. As quoted by a national daily, Arijit Datta Choudhary, Director-in-charge of the museum said, “For now, people can see some of the most important collections, some of which are a few thousand years old, including statutes and coins. We have also started a program titled cultures of the world. We will soon start a virtual walk-through of the museum.”

Moreover, apart from providing the virtual walkthrough feature on their websites for the people amidst the lockdowns, the science centres and the museums are also holding live shows and competitions. Since the lockdown started various science museums and science centres such as the National Science Centre, Delhi; Regional Science Centre, Guwahati; Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum, Bengaluru; Nehru Science Centre, Mumbai; and the Science City, Kolkata all have opened up their galleries in the virtual world.

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