Pune: Rare Footage From 1954 Now In NFAI

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Pune, January 27, 2021: A rare footage of the inauguration of the new building of an iconic New English School in Pune by the then Vice President of India Dr S Radhakrishnan in 1954 is now part of NFAI collection. The 16 mm reel containing the footage was acquired from the city-based Deccan Education Society.


The footage contains the inauguration ceremony of the new building of New English School, the function for which was held on 10th January 1954. The then Vice President of India Dr S Radhakrishnan was the chief guest of the event. During the footage, it is seen that Dr Radhakrishnan visited the entire campus of the School and then addressed a public meeting on its premises. He is also seen to have visited the unique planetarium situated at the top of the central hub of the building.


Among many dignitaries who attended the function and who are seen in the footage are Maharishi D K Karve, Wrangler RP Paranjpye, Wrangler G L Chandratreya, Prof N G Damle among others. The then principal of the school P N Virkar is seen to escort Dr Radhakrishnan during the event. There are series of various shots of the new building apart from the footage of the school band, the
students and the general public present on the occasion.


The footage was handed over by D A Kulkarni, Secretary Deccan Education Society to Prakash Magdum, Director NFAI. “We are delighted to receive such a rare footage which is part of Pune city’s glorious past. Surprisingly, few scenes in the footage are shot in colour which was very rare in the 1950s and the rest of the things in black and white. The footage also contains a few shots that are of a different function supposedly held on the same day at SP College that was attended by Dr S Radhakrishnan”, said Prakash Magdum, Director NFAI.


The entire footage of about 10 minutes was photographed by city-based photographer M K Kanetkar of Ark Studio in Pune. The New English School was the first school started by Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Gopal Ganesh Agarkar, Vishnushashtri Chiplunkar and Mahadeo Ballal Namjoshi in 1880. The school premises shifted many times before the inauguration of these new buildings which is now a major landmark of Pune city.

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