New Delhi: The AIIMS diamond jubilee exhibition, chronicling its journey of 60 eventful years through rare monochrome images and archival documents, will now be on view till this month end.
Based on “overwhelming response” of the visitors, the authorities have extended the last date of the exhibition to October 31.
Rare black-and-white photographs of the premier institute which was established in 1956, and documents sourced from various institutions and private collection of alumni have been put on display at its premises here.
The exhibition was opened on the AIIMS’ Institute Day on September 26 by Union Health Minister J P Nadda. It was scheduled to close early this month.
Among the rare images include photographs of the visit of Queen Elizabeth II on the grand opening of the premier campus in 1961 and arrival of Jacqueline Kennedy at AIIMS in 1962. Incidentally, these images are available in colour, a rarity at that time.
The institute’s buildings were formally opened by the British monarch on January 27, 1961 at an impressive ceremony attended by the then President Rajendra Prasad.
The Queen, now 90, had also planted a Gulmohar tree in the lawns, but it was eaten up by termites, following which four bottle brush trees were planted at that spot, eight more would be planted in the outer circle around it.
“We have included rarest of images from our archives on Queen’s visit along with Prince Philip and planting of the Gulmohar tree by her have been included among the exhibits,” AIIMS Director Dr M C Misra said.
The exhibition also extols the contribution made by Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, who was instrumental in founding of the institution. Old pictures of her mansion ‘Manorville’ in Shimla, which she gifted to AIIMS for use as a holiday home for doctors and nurses are also on display.
The text of the speech delivered by her in Parliament on the establishment of the AIIMS, images of the first convocation, and old photographs showing the under- construction phase of the AIIMS main buildings are also on display.
The institution owes its origin in the Bhore Committee which in 1946 had recommended establishment of a national medical centre which would concentrate on meeting the need for highly qualified manpower to look after the nation’s expanding health care activities.
New Zealand granted pounds 1 million to AIIMS under the Colombo Plan and the foundation stone of the All India Medical Sciences was laid in 1952.
The AIIMS was finally created in 1956 as an autonomous institution through an Act of Parliament to serve as a nucleus for nurturing excellence in all aspects of health care.