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A great story waiting in the wings

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Bidar, with over a 100 monuments, is set to become an open air academy for heritage related activities

Come October and Bidar will turn into the biggest open air academy for heritage related activities and courses in the State. The city with over a 100 monuments will train youth in preservation of monuments, conservation of heritage water structures, interpreting and explaining cultural history and identifying and documenting traditional practices like handicrafts and folk arts.

The district administration, along with some NGOs and professional agencies, will start offering rare courses in the field of heritage conservation. Most of the sessions will be held in the District Training Institute and the Zilla Panchayat. Indian Heritage Cities Network (IHCN) and Deccan Heritage Foundation (DHF) will be the main agencies working with the government. The District Heritage Committee headed by the deputy commissioner will co-ordinate with these agencies.

The first course will train masons in reconstruction and maintenance of monuments. Apart from hands-on training, they will be given some course work too. They will be shown high definition videos to introduce them to various aspects of conservation. They will be taught how to repair old walls and buildings, how to remove weeds and fix the roofs. They will also be trained in the basics of creating and maintaining a Deccan garden. “A batch of 30 youngsters will be trained in the first phase,” said Kishore Raykar, chief executive officer of IHCN. “We are sure they will find work all over the State and not just here,” he said.

Training of guides will involve lessons in history, culture and handicrafts. Participants will also be trained in foreign languages. The district administration is talking to English and Foreign Languages University and Moulana Azad National Urdu University to send resource persons to conduct short term courses in languages of Europe and the Middle East. “Bidar is emerging as a heritage tourist destination and we will need a large number of skilled manpower to make it happen,” said Anurag Tewari, deputy commissioner. “We realised that there are not many trained youngsters who can take up niche jobs. We need to train local talent and expose them to things like heritage conservation and cultural documentation. First, we thought of sending our boys and girls to institutions that offer such courses. But later we realised it was easier to do it here,” he added.

“We have decided to work with agencies like the DHF and IHCN and local NGOs like Team YUVA and Rotary clubs,” Tewari added. Help is being sought from National Institute of Fashion Technology to train Bidri artisans and other young people interested in art. Resource persons from City Heritage Centre will be invited to train interested groups in creating and running Heritage Home stays. Kunjambu, a surang bavi (tunnel well) expert from Kerala will train masons in the maintenance of heritage waterways. Saibanna Jhareppa is a young man from Aurad-Sirsi village who attended the first round of guide training. “My friends and I joined the training without much of an idea about the profession. Now, we are excited and looking forward to the second round,” he said. “Bidar is a brilliant story waiting to be told. With these steps in place, we may begin to do that,” Tewari said emphatically.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 7:09:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/a-great-story-waiting-in-the-wings/article7624757.ece

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