Did you know that the first rumblings of discontent against British rule were heard at an open field, which is now the Dum Dum airport runway? Or, that the HMV factory at Dum Dum used to be a hospital before Independence? That a British-period cemetery exists close to the airport? Unknown facts like these were unearthed during a ‘Dum Dum Heritage Walk’, in which over 100 students and teachers from seven colleges took part on Thursday.
The group started its walk from airport gate 1 and ended at the airport, covering a distance of 1.5km. It visited three historical sites. The walk was organized by the Dum Dum Heritage Preservation Society and People’s Green Society.
Dum Dum has 150 historical places, according to researcher Moumita Saha — one of the conductors of the walk. She explained that the first seeds of the sepoy mutiny or the first war of independence were sowed at Dum Dum. “The revolt against the Enfield rifle, which was rumoured to have cartridges laden with pig and cow fat, began at the Dum Dum cantonment parade ground,” she told the walkers.
“It was a thrilling experience to trace the footsteps of India’s first freedom fighters,” said Sarada Mission Vivekananda Vidyapith College second-year history student Parna Das.
Sarojini Naidu College sociology student Naushil Tarannum said, “Every day we travel or walk past these places, without stopping to think that these have been witness to such great events in history. The more we learn about these, the more we realize how close we are to history,” she said.
“Heritage walks like these bring to light the fact that history can be studied outside classrooms,” said history teacher Maitrayee Sarkar. Airport Authority of Eastern India regional executive director SP Yadav took part in the march.
Source: Times of India