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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Mumbai teachers learn how to promote heritage

Posted On: Monday, January 23, 2012

Mumbai: The Mumbai chapter of Intach (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) has initiated a Heritage Club programme for schoolteachers in the city. It will train educators to sensitise students to Mumbai’s built and natural heritage.

Tasneem Mehta, who heads the Mumbai chapter of Intach, said the two-day inaugural workshop was conducted at the Bhau Daji Lad Museum (BDLM) of which she is the honorary director. BDLM is the city’s oldest museum built in 1872 and is located in the precincts of Byculla zoo.

Teachers representing 15 schools participated in the workshops held on January 17-18. Day 1 of the schedule familiarised them with the activities carried out by Intach as well as the restoration work it has carried out at BDLM. Teachers from Al-Jamiatul Islamia International, Bombay Cambridge, Gopi Birla School, Greenlawns, Nalanda, Navy Children School, R N Podar, Sacred Heart, Singapore International, Tridha Academy, Villa Teresa, Diamond Jubilee High School for girls as well as boys and Arya Vidya Mandir were present.

Sharmila Ashtamkar, who teaches at Bombay Scottish, said she would incorporate these lessons into the school’s Unesco Club which she heads. “We have been familiarising students with India’s cultural heritage (built and living). For instance, when Unesco declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests, we organised a film show on the subject. We took a field trip to acquaint them with the preservation of churches and convents in Goa which is a World Heritage Site,” she said. “Such training programmes help to update our knowledge.”

Yamini Purohit, who teaches history at Tridha Academy, appreciated the interactive nature of the workshops that were held on day one. “We were reacquainted the various elements of India’s cultural heritage. These are things we have always known but we tend to forget, so this session served as a reminder,” she said.

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