The subject might be centuries old but the medium to spread awareness about it is the latest. Social networking sites such as Facebook are being increasingly used to help spread awareness about Delhi ’s rich heritage, specially the monuments dating from the 9th to the 19th century.
Perceived to be an elitist affair till recently, heritage walk — a walk along a pre-decided route with heritage monuments and sites — has undergone paradigm change in the city. Delhi government’s own Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC) has a Facebook page (which uses the ID as Shahjahanabad Redevelopment) to this cause. The Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), a conservation NGO also working to get the World Heritage City tag for Delhi, too has a Facebook page apart from its website (http://www.delhiheritagecity.org) to spread awareness about heritage sites.
The SRDC heritage walks, which are free of cost and in Hindi, were started earlier in the year. The number of people attending such walks has increased manifold, from 50 to more than 200 for the latest walk in October first week.
Dr Navina Jafa, SRDC’s heritage consultant, said, “the heritage walks are no longer an elitist affair. Our walks have seen participation from all walks of life, from a shopkeeper from Chandni Chowk to lower middle class bank employee.”
Pooja Trehan, SRDC’s communication strategist,added “we have students from more than 300 private and public schools using their respective school’s Facebook page to interact with the SRDC. Next on our agenda are the resident welfare associations.”
Internet or Facebook has also helped the private conductors. Echoed Surekha Narain, who has been conducting heritage walks as a profession for past three years, “all my work comes through my website (www.delhimetrowalks.com).”
“Popularising the cause of heritage has actually become very easy with the help of social networking sites. Facebook or the websites generate a lot of queries. Even if these queries do not result in actual participation; it helps in spreading awareness about heritage.”