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Preserve and protect Heritage Monuments in India

Campaign to Protect Heritage Monuments in India

India has a rich heritage which includes a repository of archaeological treasures and incredible monuments. This cultural history epitomised in heritage monuments stems from a historic past of ancient civilisation. The Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri in Agra, the Konark Sun Temple, Khajuraho Temples, Mahabalipuram Monuments, Thanjavur, Hampi Monuments as well as the Ajanta, Ellora and Elephanta Caves are some of the monuments
declared as World Heritage Monuments.

Every community and society has a very precious heritage which has to be and can be transferred to the next generation and it is the responsibility of the civil society to transfer that heritage to the next generation.

According to the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 ( No. 24 of 1958), if someone destroys, removes, injures, alters, defaces, imperils or misuses a protected monument s/he shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to three months, or with a fine which may extend to five thousand rupees, or with both.

It is disheartening to note that some people, forgetting that they are doing an irreparable damage to invaluable archaeological masterpieces, inscribe their initials, names, places, addresses or messages on these national treasures. The conservation and protection of these monuments cannot be neglected any further.

Indian Youth comprising of children in schools have a special duty towards raising awareness and protecting the rich cultural heritage which is a part of the glorious history of our country. With a view to sensitize the youth who are the future generation and inculcate in them a healthy value system towards their own heritage, it has been decided to observe the 12th January 2010 as Heritage Day and to administer a heritage oath to entire school community in the CBSE affiliated schools across India and abroad.

In order to further strengthen the commitment for protection of monuments, the oath taking will be repeated on the National Education Day (Nov 11th) every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the first Union Education Minister of India.

The CBSE office is also writing separately to the heads of these organizations so that these monuments are opened for visit by the school students on these days, and guidance is made available to the students to carry out these activities.

The text of the Oath is given below:

I am proud of the rich culture and heritage of India.
I will respect all monuments which are a part of my country’s heritage.
I will not scribble, deface or encroach upon any monument.
I pledge to render all possible help to conserve and preserve our heritage.
I along with my school mates will endeavor to save and protect the heritage
site at (………………………………………………..)
(Name of identified local heritage site)

Tie up with Local ASI office, State Archaeological Department or INTACH office

The Oath may be administered preferably at a local monument for which local ASI office, State Archeological Department or INTACH office may be contacted by schools.

‘Adopt a Heritage’ Scheme

Further in order to create awareness and a sense of belonging among youth and inculcate in young minds a feeling for heritage, the CBSE desires to implement the scheme of ‘Adopt a Heritage’ in schools affiliated to the Board.

Each student studying in Classes up to X can be involved in any of the following activities as part of the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation Scheme which has been suggested by the Board:

  • Adopting monuments or historical buildings of their neighborhood for conservation as part of a project in Social Science.
  • Creating Awareness regarding the need to protect and preserve the cultural heritage of India.
  • Organising ‘Heritage Walks’ and ‘Talks’ on the cultural and historical significance of monuments.
  • Organising seminars, quizzes, skits, exhibitions or street theatre on the importance and protection of the monuments located in their neighbourhood.
  • Taking up various community sensitization programmes to inculcate a sense of pride among the students, teachers and the community.

This would help in developing young children into sensitive, responsible and progressive citizens of the society.All schools need to take this message forward by involving students, teachers and the community in this drive.

Guidelines on Social Science Project for Students Taking Care of Our heritage, Monuments and Architecture of our past

  • The project will involve following activities related to the monuments located in the vicinity /City/ State and Region.Collection of literature such as archival documents, design, photographs, history, Stories, Legends associated with the monuments from different sources such as National /State Archives, Archaeological Survey of India, INTACH etc and hold exhibitions for students of other classes.
  • Making a CD on a Monument by taking viewers inside and around the monuments by showing its features, fine architectural designs, kinds of trees planted around the monument, kind of people visiting, condition at present, work undertaken to protect, and preserve it. Students can show interviews with visitors, actual caretakers and those in authority by asking pertinent questions.
  • They can act as volunteer guides for visitors by taking them around the monument and explain its history, architectural features, connected stories, ethos etc. They can also distribute Post Cards, Greeting cards and posters to the visitors on these monuments designed and developed by them containing a message on the relevance of our heritage in our lives and the ways of preserving and protecting them.