UP: ASI mulling over adopt-a-monument concept to protect heritage
Emulating a practice in the Scotland Archaeological Department, the ASI is thinking of launching ‘adopt-a-monument’ concept to keep culture and heritage intact and to strengthen the bonding between the present and the past.lucknow Updated: Sep 11, 2017 15:14 IST
On the pattern of Scotland, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is mulling over a scheme to help people become involved in conserving their archaeological and cultural heritage. Emulating a practice in the Scotland Archaeological Department, the ASI is thinking of launching ‘adopt-a-monument’ concept to keep culture and heritage intact and to strengthen the bonding between the present and the past.
- Scottish archaeology department is said to be the first to moot the concept and to run adopt-a-monument programme in 1991, in response to heritage enthusiasts and societies that wanted to contribute towards the preservation of heritage in Scotland.
- The Scottish move changed the face of the heritage sites in UK’s northernmost country, that is now best known for its preserved heritage.
Officials at the ASI headquarters say the move is expected to change the grim scenario and at the same time will also provide an opportunity to save city’s rich heritage. In addition, ASI is also going to rope in government and private schools, colleges and Institutions in the task, aimed at bringing the generation closer to the history.
The ASI’s generous move would also include ‘illegitimate’ structures as well. Lucknow has more than 600 structures (including palatial mansions, maqbaras, gardens, gateways and others) that are not on the ASI’s protection list but are still part of history.
Going by the ASI records, presently there are around 59 protected monuments in the state capital whereas 15 heritage structures are state protected. “Though it’s going to be a mammoth task, ASI is starting with familiar monuments first, ” a senior ASI official told HT.
Officials said the Adopt-a-monument was in a nascent stage but possibilities of rolling out the scheme could not be ruled out. Sources in ASI Lucknow Circle said the project was being deliberated upon at the ASI headquarters and was expected to be passed to other circles for execution.
Sources said the ASI would take help of both government and private schools and colleges in the job. “Once the monument gets adopted by the school or any institution, the students don’t have to do any conservation work, instead have to organise small awareness programmes at the monuments, just to make people or visitors aware of the structure and to keep it clean,” said sources.
The ASI would also enlist help of the civil defence personnel and other volunteers who want to contribute in the preservation of the city’s rich heritage.
“It’s a good way of preserving the monuments by roping in the societies and volunteers, eager to contribute,” an ASI official said.
In late 1990s’, a similar practice was carried out by ASI in Goa and the changes were remarkable. Arc of Conception, a protected monument near Basilica of Bom Jesus, one of the most important heritage sites in Goa that is said to house the mortal remains of St Francis Xavier, was the first site to be benefited most.
Indu Prakash, superintending archaeologist, Lucknow Circle said they were yet to get any orders from the ASI headquarters. However, he too found it the most feasible way to save the heritage structures.