Amid the Covid-19 crisis, heritage walks are being conducted online or physically with limited participation.
Amid the Covid-19 crisis, heritage walks are being conducted online or physically with limited participation.

World Heritage Week: How heritage walkers took a detour

This World Heritage Week, we decode how heritage walks have changed their path in the pandemic.
By Ruchika Garg | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 24, 2020 01:29 PM IST

Intricate architecture of tombs, breakfast in the alleys of Old Delhi and endless stories about the Capital was something every Delhiwallah loved. But, Covid-19 and the guidelines made it difficult to organise heritage walks as before, forcing organisers to either take the virtual route or limit the number of participants. This World Heritage Week, that concludes on November 25, we decode how heritage walks have changed their path.

“Since the time pandemic started, everything is getting virtual, so are the walks and lectures on heritage.People are so keen that the number of lectures has increased,” says, Vikramjit Singh Rooprai, Heritage Activist

“Since the time pandemic started, everything is getting virtual, so are the walks and lectures on heritage.People are so keen that the number of lectures has increased. Earlier, we couldn’t invite people those were sitting far away, unless one arranged a flight ticket, but now with virtual means, they are also participating,’”says, heritage activist, Vikramjit Singh Rooprai, who feels conducting virtual sessions has helped bring people closer.

Sahapedia, a non-profit organisation that organises heritage walks and festivals across India, has also gone digital. “We used to organise 20-30 heritage walks every month, but it wasn’t possible since the lockdown happened, so we started conducting digital walks. We organise online talks with our audiences, put up blogs and articles on heritage. For Cultural Heritage Week, we have put up trails on heritage that can be downloaded and watched,” says Ela Gupta from the organisation.

“For Cultural Heritage Week, we have put up trails on heritage that can be downloaded and watched,” says, Ela Gupta from Sahapedia

However, DelhiByFoot Adventures is continuing with physical walks, albeit with smaller groups of people. . Ramit Mitra, co-founder, DelhiByFoot Adventures says, “We started conducting heritage walks from the second week of October. The way we organise it has changed and only 12 people are allowed to participate. All our batches are full and we are talking all the precautions and following guidelines, keeping safety as our priority.”

And heritage lovers are keeping a close eye on the physical as well as virtual walks. Kanika Mittal who is pursuing Masters in History, says, “Virtual discussion on heritages and history is a blessing. I have participated in so many of them and they are absolutely amazing. And the participation of experts from various corners of the world makes it all the more worthy, and you don’t need to pay anything.”

Author tweets @ruchikagarg271

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