Display items linked with the past; discuss various government policies
Synonymous with tradition and associated with the history of The Nilgiris since yore, the ancient Toda tribal community led the district in observing World Heritage Day on Thursday.
Joining hands with the Public Awareness Association of Udhagamandalam Todas in Karshmund, a Toda habitation on the Thamizhagam road highlighted the significance of the day by displaying some of the items which linked the past with the present and which were inextricably intertwined with their lives.
Toda social activist K. Vaasamalli Pothli said that such occasions were not being treated with the importance that they deserved.
Consequently awareness about them was limited to a few activists and concerned members of the public. She opined that only by constantly reminding the people about their heritage can culture be preserved.
Association president G. Janardhanan regretted that wrong forest policies had played havoc with the original shola-grassland ecosystem of The Nilgiris.
K. Vijayan, a lawyer, said that if Tribals are armed with legal knowledge they will stand a better chance of clinging on to their heritage.
The managing trustee, Nilgiris Environment and Cultural Service Trust, V. Sivadass said that school and college students should be made aware of the importance of The Nilgiris vis a vis heritage.
The founder trustee, Heritage Steam Chariot Trust, K. Natarajan urged the people to take an oath to protect the Nilgiri Mountain Railway which had been recognised by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
The project manager, YWCA, Patrick Titus said that it was an important occasion for the institution and added that the people of this hill station should be proud of its heritage institutions.
The tourist officer, S. Dorairaj said that the department is promoting heritage tourism in a big way.