Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Something attracted a small boy to the colour, vibrancy, and intricate pictorials on small boxes which held safety matches. The lure of phosphorus burst, the smell of Sulphur with every strike of a match, and fire waslit, the flame tamed and the box crushed or tossed into the waste bin, sparked off a passion in Anil Kumar Sahu from Durga Bajar Colony of Daspalla area in Nayagarh district

Anil's passion soon transformed into something big, a museum with several varieties of rare collections.

The museum named ‘Saikhika Sangrahala’ also has many rare collections like, old Indian coins and stamps from the British era, foreign currencies, postal stamps of 169 countries, old magazines, records and tapes of many old and classical songs, old masks, old cameras, old gadgets, rare books, shoes, weapons handwritings of some eminent persons including kings and many rare antiques.

“I had a passion for collecting different matchboxes since my childhood. My passion and imagination got wings after I joined Indian Navy in 1996. With the help of my friends, I collected those rare articles to enrich the museum,” said Anil with a sense of pride.

Museum in NayagarhMuseum in Nayagarh

Hundreds of visitors are visiting the museum every day to see Anil’s rare collections. Anil’s family members are also helping him to collect old and rare stuff to add to the enrichment of the museum.

“The new generation is not getting an opportunity to see some old and rare items. To encourage the people of the current generation to have a pip into the past and learn many things by observing the old and rare antiques, we have created the museum,” said Anil’s daughter Nadini Priyadarshini. 

“We are using scientific method to make the old and rare stuff dust free and preserve those in the best manner. Our whole family is busy in taking care of the museum. It is giving us a great pleasure which is beyond expression,” said Anil’s elder brother Sunil Kumar Sahu.

Local residents have urged the government to extend helping hands for the enrichment of the museum.

“Saikhika Sangrahala is a great source of inspiration and encyclopedia not only for the researchers and visitors of the area but also for the State. The government should extend its helping hand for the further development and enrichment of the museum,” said Umakant Rath, a local resident.

(Reported by Jayendra Behera)