Its a group that is driven by passion for art,culture,heritage and discovering new facets of the city and its beautiful surroundings. However,170 life members of the Chandigarh chapter of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) might look at their role with a new pride after bagging the prestigious Best Chapter Award-2012. It is now listed among the top 140 national and 15 international chapters.
Yes,its an achievement for all of us,and a result of collective effort and our love for the cause, says VK Kapoor,retired IPS officer who is the local INTACH convener. The award,adds Kapoor,is a result of active participation in varied activities that involve people from all over the city. Be it heritage walks,workshops,seminars,painting or writing competitions,the idea is to reach out to a large group, adds writer Vivek Atray,co-convenor of INTACH. The group is Indias largest non-profit membership organisation dedicated to conservation and preservation of Indias natural,cultural,tangible and intangible heritage. Its mission is to sensitise the public about the pluralistic cultural legacy of India by instilling a sense of social responsibility towards preserving Indias common heritage.
The Chandigarh chapter has members from all walks of life,including artists and writers. The forthcoming activity calendar is well chalked out,with Kapoor looking forward to Sanjhi Shaam,an evening of folk and regional music. The audience will be treated to folk music of Punjab,Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, says Kapoor,talking about INTACHs Clean and Green Walk campaign that aims to highlight the present state of about 100 heritage trees.
INTACH Chandigarh,in the last couple of years,has developed a comprehensive and detailed list of all heritage monuments in the region and has organised workshops and talks on heritage,a national level crafts festival in Rock Garden,in addition to several heritage walks. Focusing on the modern heritage of Chandigarh as well as the ancient heritage of the nearby Bhima Devi Temple,Jayanti Devi Temple and Mani Majra Fort,Kapoor notes their aim is to involve more youngsters in the chapter and also create awareness about these sites. The Bauli in Pinjore,which has a mosque,temple and gurudwara in the same compound,has now become a major tourist attraction,as has the Bhima Devi Temple,where the Pandavas spent their last year in exile. We are all set to discover new routes and monuments,with a focus on preservation,upkeep and restoration, says Kapoor.