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SRINAGAR: World heritage is the shared wealth of humankind. Today is World Heritage Day.  The importance that we attach to our ‘heritage’ clearly outlines the progress. Heritage is by all means said to be an important component of a civilized and developed society. The history is what is all around us. We live our lives against a rich backdrop formed by historic buildings, landscapes and other physical survivals of our past. But the historic environment is more than just a matter of material remains. It is central to how we see ourselves and to our identity as individuals, communities and as of a concerned society.

Pertinently, on 18 April 1982 on the occasion of a symposium organized by ICOMOS in Tunisia, the holding of the "International Day for Monuments and Sites" to be celebrated simultaneously throughout the world was suggested. This project was approved by the Executive Committee who provided practical suggestions to the National Committees on how to organize this day. With the result the idea was also approved by the UNESCO General Conference who passed a resolution at its 22nd session in November 1983 recommending that Member States examine the possibility of declaring 18 April each year “International Monuments and Sites Day”. This has been traditionally called the World Heritage Day.

 

Painfully, Kashmir’s once rich cultural heritage is vanishing with every passing moment. The bad condition of the majority of heritage buildings and sites in Kashmir bears a grave testimony to this grim reality. Many sane voices state that over the past few decades, there has been the unprecedented destruction of the city heritage and tampering with heritage which should be stopped immediately.

To make the situation more worse the impact of newer building technologies on the traditional architecture of Kashmir has been devastating. Sometimes back, the New York based World Monuments Fund (WMF); a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of endangered architectural and cultural sites around the world has included the city of Srinagar and the old town of Leh in its watch list of threatened World Heritage Sites. Even the experts are lamenting the plight of heritage buildings in Kashmir.  In his book titled "Don't tear it down!" Randolph Langenbach asserts that destruction of heritage buildings leads to cultural and economic loss, and Kashmir is fast losing its architectural heritage.

 

Jaffar Ahmad Allie, a heritage lover said, “Heritage is powerful symbol of a nation. Unfortunately, Kashmir’s rich heritage is currently in bad condition    and there is no dedicated department on ground zero which is seriously bothered about protecting it. The state government is allowing the heritage to rot. Our government and society on a holistic paradigm failed to protect the number of heritage sites in Kashmir. We need to take concrete steps in this regard. In order to safeguard the valuable heritage we must have a heritage conservation plan which should be implemented in letter and spirit.” Masses and experts voices call upon the concerned policy makers and stakeholders to act immediately to save the rich heritage of Kashmir from further destruction.

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  • Governor felicitates artists

JAMMU: ‘Mata Ki Kahani’ based on the legend of Shri Mata Vaishno Deviji, was staged last evening at the Auditorium of Spiritual  Growth Centre, Katra, by “Natrang”, in collaboration with Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine  Board. Besides Governor N.N. Vohra, Chairman of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board and Mrs. Usha Vohra, First Lady; the play was witnessed by an audience of about 350 persons prominent among whom were Dr. S.S. Bloeria, Dr. Ashok Bhan and Maj. Gen (Retd.) Shiv Kumar Sharma, Members of Shri Mata Vaishno  Devi Shrine Board; Mr. D.C. Raina and Prof. Chander Mouli Raina, Members of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board; Dr. Sanjeev Jain, Vice Chancellor, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University; Brigadier (Dr.) M.M. Harjai, CAO of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Narayana Superspeciality Hospital.

 

After the presentation of this attractive play Governor interacted with Sh. Balwant Thakur, Director of ‘Natrang’ who wrote and directed the play. He also met all the 70 artists and congratulated them for their outstanding performances, and presented mementos to each of them. Earlier, in his welcome address, Mr. Balwant Thakur spoke about the aims and objectives of conceptualising this musical production. He added that 18 shows of ‘Mata Ki Kahani’ were staged by Natrang as part of Navratra Festival at Katra.

 

The noteworthy feature of the presentation is its highly creative style which keeps the audience spell bound throughout the performance and magically unfolds the entire legend of Shri Mata Vaishno Deviji in less than an hour.  Among those present on the occasion were Mr. Prasanna Ramaswamy G. Deputy Commissioner Reasi; Dr. M.K. Kumar and Mr. Anshul Garg, Additional CEOs of the Shrine Board; Mr. Tahir Bhat, SSP Reasi; Civil, Police, Raj Bhavan and Shrine Board officers; Faculty and students of SMVD Gurukul and SMVD College of Nursing; staff of the Board and their families.

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JAMMU: Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Hemant Kumar Sharma, who is also the Chairman of Indian Red Cross Society, Jammu Region today handed over a new Alto car to Ms. Ronak, D/o Sanjay Ganjoo, student of Shiksha Niketan Higher Secondary School being the 1st prize winner of Red Cross Raffle Draw Ticket which held on 18th February, 2018 at Gulshan Ground, Jammu. The Divisional Commissioner congratulated  the winner  and her family.  Dinesh Gupta, Honorary Secretary, Regional Red Cross, Surinder Mahajan, Neeraj Anand and Vikram Gujral Members of Executive Committee of Red Cross Society were also present on the occasion.