Why is it important to mark Heritage Day and pledge to protect national monuments?
It is crucial for students to develop a sense of pride and responsibility towards their heritage. If they can develop a bond with these structures and realise their worth, students will always be sensitive and respectful towards them, whatever they grow up to do. Educating students now is important so that they don’t grow up to scribble silly things on them.
What are the other ways schools can incorporate such things in the curriculum?
In school we are taught history chronologically and we tend to learn it by rote. Inculcating history through sensory perception like actually visiting monuments is a more effective way of teaching because the audiovisual experience is more memorable. Even going to a nearby fort to pick litter and make sure it’s kept clean is a possible way.
Monuments might not always be close to schools. Are these measures like ‘adopt a monument near your school’ practical?
There are five ASI protected monuments in Mumbai, but there are several state government protected monuments. And more than that there are 632 heritage buildings in the city. There is more interface with heritage in Mumbai than elsewhere. You might study in a heritage building, your father might work in one, and you pass by them all the time. Just looking at these buildings and experiencing them is important.