On the occasion of World Heritage Day on Thursday, prominent non-government organisations will conduct heritage awareness programmes at historically significant venues in the Capital.
For the first time, the New Delhi chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) is hosting a programme at the historic Anglo-Arabic Senior Secondary School in Ajmeri Gate.
Set up in the 1690s by Ghaziuddin Khan, a General of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, this school is among the oldest educational institutions in the Delhi.Given its rich historical legacy as well as its vibrant tradition of promoting education across centuries, it offers a perfect historic setting to host the heritage awareness programme.
According to INTACH’s Purnima Datt, who is conducting the programme for 1,500 students from Classes VI to XII, the heritage awareness programme assumes considerable significance as it will be conducted in the “oldest school in the city”.
“Initially, it was set up as a madrassa during Aurangzeb’s reign. We will also be presenting a book titled ‘Hands on Heritage in Urdu’ to teachers who can use it in explaining the city’s rich heritage to students. The Delhi chapter of INTACH has also started a campaign to nominate Delhi as a world heritage city.”
Meanwhile, Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) is conducting a scientific heritage awareness walk around the ancient Jantar Mantar here.
According to Sachin Bahma of SPACE, experts from the NGO will teach Delhi students as well as tourists how the ancient instruments can be used for calculations and be replicated at home to understand the Sun’s movement.
“We will demonstrate how miniature Masonic instruments can be prepared with cardboard and plastic sheets,” adds Mr. Brahma.
Astronomers will also demonstrate and discuss the working of the ancient instruments at the astronomical observatory. They will explain how astronomers during the time of Maharaja Jai Singh II studied the movements of the Sun, Moon and planets without high-tech telescopes and read time without clocks.
Open to public
As part of the World Heritage Day, Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) will also be re-opening Isa Khan’s garden tomb to the public. It is located at the entrance of Humayun’s Tomb.
Conservation and landscape restoration of the tombs of Isa Khan and Bu Halima have been undertaken as part of the AKTC’s Nizamuddin urban renewal initiative.
Since 2010, both these garden tombs, part of the World Heritage Site, have undergone conservation and landscape restoration. The restoration work was preceded by a year-long programme of documentation, structural condition assessment and archival research on the basis of which a conservation plan was prepared.
“School children from 25 schools will be given guided heritage walks of the World Heritage Site,” said a AKTC spokesperson.