Need to create awareness about heritage, says scholar

Amritsar, Punjab: A day-long deliberation at the Khalsa College of Education (KCE) today on `Heritage Conservation in Punjab: Issues and Strategies,’’ stressed on the need for conservation of heritage and awareness about `living history’.

The key speaker Prof Balvinder Singh, Head, Guru Ram Das School of Planning, Guru Nanak Dev University said there was urgent need for creating awareness regarding heritage so that the `relics of the past’ could be preserved and conserved.

He sought government’s initiative to preserve the historic buildings and sites and urged NGOs to come forward to protect our heritage structures, which were falling to the vagaries of time. “The awareness at school level is must and we must protect our historic sites and towns, including capitals of formerly princely states,’’ he said.

“There is good work going on. The preservation is on at the Golden Temple complex, Gurdwara Baba Atal, Gobindgarh Fort, Ram Bagh gardens but we need to focus on the wall city areas where the existing bylaws are playing havoc with the old buildings which are being destroyed,’, said he, adding that we must review the whole efforts that were underway to preserve the heritage.

“Punjab and especially Amritsar has many historic sites, including Khalsa College complexes where the conservation and preservation work had been carried out in a big way. We need to focus more’’, he said further.

Prof Balvinder was welcomed by KCE principal, DrJaswinder Singh Dhillon, who said globally an awareness to protect physical and cultural heritage was growing and stressed on creating public awareness about diversity of the heritage.

“The pilgrims and tourists circuits must be developed to encourage heritage tourism to earn revenue, generate employment and this will lead to conservation of the buildings too,” Prof Balvinder Singh said.

Prof Balvinder said the involvement of community and educational institutions to develop awareness on the subject was must.

Source: The Tribune

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