New Delhi : Raksha Rajya Mantri Ajay Bhatt inaugurated an interactive Virtual Museum hosted by the Gallantry Awards portal (https://www.gallantryawards.gov.in/) on January 20, 2022. The Virtual Museum brings together the stories of commitment and sacrifice of the gallantry awards winners in an innovative and user friendly format. It comprises of a 3-D walk through experience, gallery building, lobby, wall of fame, tour of war memorials, war room, resource centre, selfie booth and equipment display etc. The Virtual Museum has been jointly developed by Ministry of Defence (MoD), Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM), Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology and Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics, as part of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ commemorating 75 years of Independence.
Appreciating the efforts of MoD, SIDM and all other stakeholders, the Raksha Rajya Mantri said, the virtual museum will honour the contribution of the country’s bravehearts who have made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the nation and bring their stories to the people, especially the youth. He expressed confidence that the virtual museum will encourage more and more people to visit the Gallantry awards portal and inspire the youth to come forward & join the Armed Forces.
Shri Ajay Bhatt stressed that soldiers are role models who spread the message of patriotism among the younger generation and lead them on the path of success. He lauded SIDM for promoting indigenous R&D and manufacturing defence equipment, adding that it is playing an important role in achieving ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, as envisioned by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
Speaking on the occasion, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar congratulated SIDM and all other stakeholders for developing the virtual museum in a short span of time. He expressed confidence that the museum will go a long way in promoting the objective of Gallantry awards portal which is to raise awareness among the youth about the sacrifices and brave deeds of the country’s bravehearts. Dr Ajay Kumar made special mention of the Veer Gatha project, one of the initiatives of MoD as part of Republic Day Celebrations 2022, organised by the Gallantry awards portal and Ministry of Education. Over eight lakh students across the country participated in the initiative and shared their inspirational stories through essays, poems, drawings & multimedia presentations. He stated that 25 students were declared as winners and they will soon be felicitated as part of the Republic Day celebrations.
Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar, Vice Chief of the Army Staff Lt Gen CP Mohanty and SIDM President Shri SP Shukla were among those who attended the event virtually.
The Virtual Museum offers an opportunity to the visitors to log in/register themselves; scroll through the entire available data of a particular gallantry award winner and pay tribute to the bravehearts in a customised way. It also comprises of a war room hosting the tales of bravery of the Gallantry award winners. An archive of inspirational videos and equipment exhibition is also a part of the museum. The Selfie booth provides an opportunity to the visitors to click a selfie with the background image of their choice out of the huge library available on the portal.
The MoD had conceptualised and developed the Gallantry Awards Portal to honour the contribution of the soldiers in the service of the motherland and bring their stories to the citizens. In 2017, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had inaugurated the project to acknowledge the bravery and sacrifice of the award winners and felicitate them. The revamped version of the portal with multiple new features, including allowing citizens to express their patriotism in the form of tributes & pledges and participate in quizzes & events was launched by Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh in 2021.
The revamped version also enables families and friends of the awardees to share their stories. The portal is a repository of information of the award winners, battles and wars. It is a storehouse of education material for researchers, educationists and general public.