Mumbai, Aug 27: Though having temples like Khajuraho in the heart of the country, India has always remained mum when it came to imparting sex education to it's children or merely even talking about it. This fact was proved when the only sex museum in the country run by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) decided to pull down its shutters six years ago, under the pretext of being shifted to another venue.
Antarang, South Asia's first sex health information art gallery cum museum, was inaugurated in 2002 in Kamathipura as there was a sudden surge in HIV/Aids cases in the city. It became popular among prostitutes and some of their clients after health workers began taking them there.
But soon after, it was shut down in 2007 on pretext of moving it to some other place.
"It didn't see a lot of mainstream visitors as not many wanted to come to a red light district. Including students, around 450 people came to Antarang every month," said a health department official told DNA.
The museum had depictions of ancient folk stories and sculptures with verses from the Kamasutra, meant to play an important role in sex education and spreading awareness about sexually transmitted diseases. Wooden and plastic models on display explained human anatomy, while another section was on pregnancy-related changes in the female body.
After the museum closed, all these materials and sculptures are stacked up at the Acworth Municipal Hospital for Leprosy in Wadala, where they lie in shambles.
A civic official said, "The building housing the museum was dilapidated and leaked during monsoon, damaging the sculptures. It was handed over to a private developer for redevelopment."
Once redeveloped, the BMC plans to reopen it either in the same building or at the leprosy hospital.
"Around 3,000sqft is to be allotted to the upgraded museum, which will have audio-visual and animated information on HIV," said an engineer from city engineering department. BMC claims it's in the process of getting approvals for the new and improved museum.
But the careless attitude of government towards such a serious issue is again in question. Does it take over six years and even more to redevelop such an important project that is a source of knowledge for several people?