The Rs. 100-crore grant for the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach), announced in the Union Budget, will be a huge boost to the organisation’s activities, said Maj. Gen. (Retd.) L.K. Gupta, chairman of Intach.

“I have been associated with Intach since 1995 and became chairman in 2010. This is the first time we have been given a grant in the Union Budget, and it is a very good sum,” he said.

Intach, set up in 1984, works towards conservation of the country’s natural, cultural, living, tangible and intangible heritage, documenting unprotected buildings of archaeological or historical significance, and provides expertise in conservation, restoration and preservation of specific works of art, among other activities.

S. Suresh, convenor of the Tamil Nadu chapter, said this was definitely a step forward. “It’s too early to get into the specifics of how much the chapters would get,” he said, adding it would be used towards heritage awareness and conservation activities.

Mr. Gupta said they worked with a small corpus fund, and the revenue generated was used for projects. “We will take up Intach passion projects at the local level where Intach will give the initial funding to take up conservation,” he said.

The Rs. 100-crore grant would also be utilised for research, documentation, conservation training, capacity building and expanding heritage education and awareness activities, he said.

“We need 700-800 more district chapters, for which, we require more volunteers,” Mr. Gupta said. “This sum would not only act as a catalyst for existing volunteers and others who want to engage in the field,” he said.

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