Heritage restoration by Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH)

In a bid to derived revenue for upkeeping the heritage properties, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has started to transform heritage buildings in Rajasthan into "economic assets".

An exercise for mapping the natural heritage in Thar desert is also started with the participation of local communities for modern planning and building up the capacity of local communities

Under the initiative the protection of natural heritage, geo-heritage, water bodies, step-wells, sacred groves, wall paintings and rock painting is being undertaken by INTACH.

What is Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) ?

Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage(INTACH) was founded in New Delhi in 1984, as a non-profit charitable organisation registered under the Societies' Registration Act, 1860. INTACH is devoted to create a membership organisation to stimulate and spearhead heritage awareness and conservation in India.

INTACH has played a crucial role in conservation and protection of India's natural and cultural heritage and is today the largest membership organisation in the country dedicated to conservation.

Now it have chapters not only in 170 Indian cities but in Belgium and the United Kingdom. In 2007 INTACH got a special consultative status by United Nations Economic and Social Council of United Nations.

INTACH responsibilities

INTACH responsibility includes, sensitising the public about the pluralistic cultural legacy of India, take necessary actions and measures to protect and preserve India's living, built, and natural heritage.

In order to formulate conservation plans the trust also documents unprotected buildings of archaeological, architectural, historic and aesthetic significance.

It also encourages social responsibility in common people to preserve country's common heritage through capacity-building and training programmes.

It also helps in sponsoring of conservation and educational projects and take emergency response during disasters, support the administration whenever heritage is threatened.

Challenge in restoring of heritage structures

Most of the people involved in reviving these old structures are unaware of the work that goes into conservation architecture this makes it hard to safeguard the original architectural style and the integrity of the building.

Workers included for restoring of heritage structures should be given hands-on experience of working with lime and mortar used to restore the building and should also be given a chance to interact with the craftsmen if possible.

Practices like using cement instead of original building materiel being used to replace the lime and mortar on heritage structures should be avoided to keep the building integrity intact.

INTACH is currently undertaking the restoration of Fort High School, the Colonial-style structure which was built during the time of Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV, the erstwhile Maharaja of Mysuru. The restoration was started in April 2018 at a cost of 2.5 crore rupees.

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