Merely 15-20 visitors a day arrive at the two Nazrul Smriti Kendra (memorial centres) located at Kazir Shimla and Namapara of Darirampur in Trishal, as the memorial centres have a limited collection of Nazrul memorabilia and inadequate facilities.
What's more, cracks have developed on a wall at Kazir Shimla Smriti Kendra. Though the local administration and LGED engineers are aware about the dilapidated condition of the centre, no measures have been taken by the authorities.
“The centres have not been given much publicity and till now, very few know about it,” said Al Amin Talukder, store and maintenance in-charge of Kazir Shimla centre.
“The libraries at the centres were not expanded adequately, so naturally, readers are limited,” said Kazi Nayeem, a college student of village Kazir Shimla. The library shelves have books largely authored by Nazrul. However, books by contemporary writers of Bengali and other languages are needed to enrich the libraries and draw visitors.
Nazrul, born in village Churulia of Burdwan district in West Bengal, India on May 25,1899 spent a year in his young days at Kazir Shimla and Darirampur and studied at Darirampur High School. Kazi Rafiz Ullah, a Muslim sub-inspector of Police working at Burdwan in West Bengal then took Nazrul to his village home at Kazir Shimla in 1914.
Later, Nazrul shifted his lodgings to the home of Bechutia Bepari at Namapara as his school was far away from Kazir Shimla. Jatiyo Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, a culture-based university named after the bard, was founded at Namapara.
The memorabilia housed at the two centres includes gramophones and records released by His Masters Voice Company, manuscripts of the poet in Bengali, English, Hindi and Urdu, some photographs of the poet and his family members.
“The collection of memorabilia of Nazrul and other singers who promoted Nazrul songs in the subcontinent should be amplified in the two centres as an added attraction,” said Kazi Azizul Haque, a nephew of Kazi Rafiz Ullah.
The memorial centres are also afflicted by a shortage of staff. Though there are 17 posts at the centres that were launched in 2003, only seven staff are employed there.
On the second day of a three-day national level celebration of the poet's 115th birth anniversary, programmes will be held at both the centres on May 26.