MYSORE: The American Consulate based in Chennai has decided to donate $50,000 USD for the citybased Oriental Research Institute (ORI) for its renovation.
The institute houses more than a lakh rare palm leaf and paper manuscripts, including Kautilya’s Arthashastra.
ORI Director M Shivakumara Swamy informed Express that the Consulate, taking serious note on the Express report on the sorrystate of affairs at the Institute, has decided to donate the funds.
The Consulate has already remitted $20,000 USD in the account of University of Mysore, which is maintaining the ORI, as the first installment of the donation.
A representative of the US Consulate will visit Mysore to hand over a cheque in this regard on January 31.
The Express report had highlighted the poor condition of 125-year-old institute, which leaked when it rained, threatening the very future of the heritage building and the priceless manuscripts preserved in it.
When Express had visited ORI, the manuscripts were stacked in the steel racks with a wooden ceiling above them, as a protection from the old and worn-out structural tile-ceiling.
But even the wooden ceiling had started deteriorating, and had broken at some places, including that of a chamber where microfilming of manuscripts was on.
The fumigation chamber was not working, and the Institute relied only on applying citronella oil to preserve the ancient palm leaves and papers.
There were only four women to apply the oil to over a lakh manuscripts, making it a herculean task.