M.V. Nair, Director of National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Property, Lucknow, on Wednesday said the country needs experts to conserve rare manuscripts and Kadatas.

He was speaking at the inauguration of a workshop on “Importance of Kadatas and their conservation” organised by the Karnataka State Archives and the National Mission for Manuscripts, New Delhi, here. Dr. Nair said though the postgraduate course (M.A.) in conservation was introduced by his institute and the Karnatak University, the response had not been heartening.

Considering the delicate nature of Kadatas and manuscripts, their conservation requires utmost care using time-tested methods, he said. For this, qualified conservators were a must. “We [the conservators] need more intervention and assistance from the National Mission in this regard,” Dr. Nair said.

Inaugurating the workshop, National Mission for Manuscripts Director Dipti S. Tripathi emphasised the need for conservation of Kadatas and said these documents reflect the rich heritage of the country. In her introductory address, State Archives Director Usha Suresh said the Kadatas and manuscripts throw light on the political, social and religious heritage of the region concerned. She said lack of knowledge about their conservation has resulted in their destruction. Ms. Suresh explained that Kadata is a long sheet of cloth made out of tamarind seed powder and cured with charcoal paste.

The contents of the manuscripts cover astronomy, mathematics, medicine, music, literature, history, astrology, treaties on sculpture and paintings and more.

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