Total Pageviews

Saturday, 3 March 2012

At home in galis, havelis and baolis

At home in galis, havelis and baolis
More and more schools are coming forward to adopt monuments, while special heritage walks are making students interested in the city’s history.

NEW DELHI: It's a new generation, but their focus is the past. They are interested in preserving heritage of Delhi, the city with over 1,200 historical buildings of which only a fraction is under protection. More and more schools are coming forward to adopt monuments, while special heritage walks are making students interested in the city's history.

Heritage experts say museums can play a bigger role in becoming a link between children and the city's heritage. In 2008, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) opened a special museum for kids at Siri Fort, which has become quite a hit among children. It houses artefacts and relics recovered from historical sites all over the country and has on display rare findings by the ASI during excavation.

Many experts say there are a handful of children-specific museums in Delhi like the National Children's Museum, National Rail Museum and the Shankar's Doll Museum, but very few conduct interactive programmes and workshops for kids. The National Museum holds workshops in summer for school students, and the Siri Fort museum holds paintings competitions and workshops for children, but experts say these are insufficient. "Museums must be accountable to the younger generation and play a bigger role in having interactive programmes and learning environments for children. Museums need to educate children on the history and evolution of mankind and provide a better platform to encourage more kids to visit these places," said Anand Vardhan, secretary of the Museum Association of India.

The India National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach) has played an active role in making children aware of their city's culture. The young Intach section gets school students to participate in events like forming heritage clubs, taking pledges to protect monuments, and making site plans to develop areas around monuments. It also encourages schools to adopt monuments. "Almost 40 schools have adopted monuments and are involved in keeping the areas surrounding these monuments clean and educate the public against graffiti. We also have a heritage film festival for school students where they make films on Delhi's heritage. Since this festival started in 2008, over 350 such short films have been made on the city's tangible and intangible heritage," said Purnima Datt of Intach.

The ASI, in collaboration with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, has also come out with a children's book on Humayun's Tomb with colourful illustrations and simple narrative that reads like a storybook. The culture ministry is planning a series of such books on all world heritage sites.

Schools have also become proactive in organizing heritage walks for students. Ameeta Mulla Wattal, principal, Springdales, Pusa Road, said, "Students of Classes IX and X have adopted Agrasen ki Baoli. They have mapped the colony and done a study of baolis in Delhi and the life and culture of people from those periods. Students from Class VI onwards are taken on regular heritage walks to many monuments to give them a sense of belonging with Delhi's heritage. These activities help students link the past of the city with the present as they get a better understanding of how life has evolved in the city over the centuries."

D R Saini, principal, DPS R K Puram, added, "Besides heritage walks, students also participate in workshops and seminars on the city's history regularly. It is also mandatory for students to visit all monuments in the vicinity of the school whenever they have time."

No comments:

Post a Comment