Vice President Hamid Ansari,on Saturday,released the book on the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Champaner and Pavagadh.
He pointed out the demolition and destruction of heritage sites like the Buddha statues at Bamiyan in Afghanistan and the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya,saying that archaeological and heritage sites in South Asia have lately fallen prey to politics and fundamentalist approach.
Ansari said it is a national responsibility to conserve heritage sites. The responsibility is essentially national even though international assistance has been sought and given in many cases, Ansari said in his Annual Viraasat Lecture at Sayajibaug.
In this regard,he highlighted the importance of the initiation of community development and other methods of local participation in the conservation method of not just the site but also of the surrounding areas.
He said such conservation could serve as a vehicle for both economic growth and cultural regeneration.
The event was jointly organised by city-based NGO,Heritage Trust and the Delhi-based Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).
UNESCO India Director Minja Yang,who was present at the event,gave an invitation for Champaner-Pavagadh to be a part of the Indian Heritage City Network.
On the issue of preservation of the heritage sites,Yang said,India is among the countries with the highest number of old cities. Gujarat too has an abundant number of archaeological sites which needs to be identified and preserved. She said the Trusts site management plan should be hastened,while giving importance to local development. INTACH vice-chairman Hasmukh Shah said heritage sites should get more budgetary provision.