Last Village On Indo-Pak Border: Preserving Memories Of 1971 War

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By: Alok Singh | Sumit Kumar
Updated: 29 July, 2022 9:49 pm IST
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HUNDERMAN, KARGIL: At first impression, Hunderman looked like a haunted village with abandoned houses. But on a careful look, one can find that the last village on the Indo-Pak Line of Control, just 10 kms from the city of Kargil, carefully preserves the memories of the 1971 war.

The village houses a one-room museum that reminds one of the war. It contains used mortars, cartridges of the guns and used bombs shells which were dropped on this village in 1971. Another room of the museum showcased the household articles and utensils, which were used by the people who lived in this village before 1971.

“At the time of 1971, this whole region was part of Pakistan and when the war broke out, many of our people moved towards Pakistan while only some remained here. My maternal uncle (mama), who used to live here with my mother, now lives in Pakistan,” Mohammad Baqir, who is a caretaker of this museum and lives in the village, told The New Indian.

The museum was set up in 2015 when the villagers thought of preserving the articles lying in these structures. With the help of an NGO, they converted two houses into a museum, naming it ‘Unlock Hunderman (Museum of Memories)’.

The museum showcased the household articles and utensils, which were used by the people who lived in this village before 1971  (TNI Photo By Sumit Kumar)

 

“This portion was abandoned because a lot of bombing happened and our ancestors shifted to another location, which is a few kilometres above from here. Therefore, now we have Upper Hunderman and Lower Hunderman,” Baqir added.

Despite moving on to a new site, the pastoral life of the villagers meant their relationship with their old settlement remained strong as ever. They would tie their livestock around these abandoned structures while some do farming around them.

The villagers charge ₹100 per person from the visitors and said that around 5-6 people come daily to visit the place. Baqir feels that the place has a lot of potential but needs government support to put basic things in place.

Mohammad Baqir is the caretaker of the museum (TNI Photo By Sumit Kumar)

 

“We want help from the government to beautify this place. A proper road is needed to reach the museum. Right now you have to walk through an unpaved road which can be slippery at times, Baquir said, adding, “Sometimes visitors return and they see the condition of the road.”

Baqir also said that the museum needs a drinking water supply. “Moreover, we need a proper drinking water facility for the tourists. Right now, we don’t have any water facility here,” he added.

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