Refugee Artefacts

Independence Pamphlet

This pamphlet was published and distributed in Amritsar by the social activist Om Parkash on the occasion of 26 January 1940, demanding ‘to frame the constitution of our own country and under no foreign patronage.’ The pamphlet mentioned the various exploitations forced upon the country by the British. It gave a raging call against the imperialists, and its weapon of choice against them was ‘love and non-violence’.

Generously donated by Mr Om Parkash’s daughter, Mrs Vinita Khanna


Atul Keshap’s grandparents, Chaudhry Bhawani Das Arora and Srimati Chhinko Bai Sachdeva, used this lock to secure the trunk carrying the family’s meagre possessions fleeing from their village Vishnupura near Muzaffargarh, district Multan, West Punjab. Since 1955, when his grandfather built his new home in Model Town, Panipat, the lock and key were kept safely in his grandmother’s almirah. 

Generously donated by Atul Keshap

Boski Cloth

Nirmala Kapoor was born in Peshawar and was 16 years old at the time of Partition. Due to increased violence, they moved their belongings to the Peshawar Railway station near their house. As she was engaged, her in-laws, who lived near Panja Sahib Gurdwara, asked her family to move in with them until things settled down. However, soon after, the families decided to leave Panja Sahib immediately. On their way to Chhatwal, they witnessed considerable violence inflicted on helpless migrants, which made the family use this,

particularly Boski cloth which was gifted to her earlier during her engagement ceremony, to nurse the wounds of the victims of riots.

Generously donated by Nirmala Kapoor

Ration Card

Yash Vir Datta, aged around 10 when the Partition took place, came to Delhi in 1947. Along with his parents and siblings, he migrated from Sialkot (present-day Pakistan), after having witnessed heinous killings in his neighbourhood. After seeking shelter at temporary settlements across Delhi, the family finally moved to Feroz Shah Kotla, a refugee camp that later became a refugee colony. This Ration Card, which his father, Tirath Ram Datta, received in the camp was donated by him to the Partition Museum’s archive. The Ration Card mentions the names of all the family members, including Yash Vir Datta’s mother, Satyawati, and other siblings. 

Generously donated by Yash Vir Datta


Jyoti Punj was born in the year 1943 in Sialkot, Pakistan and migrated to Delhi via Udhampur, Amritsar and Delhi. He and his family visited Bijli Pehlwan’s house in Amritsar, known for his relief work for the refugees in Amritsar, hoping to receive monetary help. However, they were gifted a blanket by Bijli Pehlwaan.

Generously donated by Wing Commander Jyoti Punj

Sindhi Cloth

Objects have the potential to provide a richer understanding of the human past and memory. Bhiwandevi’s family migrated to Meerut by bus in 1947 and later on shifted to Gango. While she was living in Gango, she learnt how to do embroidery. With the memory of her home etched on her heart, she made this Sindhi embroidered cloth, reminding her of the home left behind. 

Generously donated by Bhirwandevi