Virasat Pune is a people’s movement for sustainable heritage conservation. It is an initiative of Janwani, a social wing of the Mahratta Chamber Of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA). Since 2011, the movement has been helping people collaborate in order to imagine, inspire and implement public-private partnership projects for heritage conservation.
The Heritage Week was started in April 2012 to commemorate World Heritage Day (April 18). However, its objective was to spread awareness, render greater visibility to the legacy of Pune and create opportunities for people to engage with their natural and cultural environment.
Various institutions and people who have contributed to the national heritage are urged to share their work and legacy with the general public. Last year, 25 organisations came forth to support the cause and helped organise 70 events across 21 venues. These included workshops, exhibitions, heritage walks, cycle rides, etc.
Prajakta Panshikar, Janwani’s project consultant, said, “The idea is to get every strata of the society involved with the heritage conservation. Various activities including workshops, documentary film screenings, lectures, exhibitions, heritage cycle rides, art competitions, eco trails, story-telling sessions for children and discounts for museums visits will be part of the event. Pune needs to conserve its heritage and be creative about showcasing it to the world. Virasat Pune Heritage Week is an interesting blend of education and entertainment,” she states.
Panshikar added that they want people to know about the heritage of the city. “There are a lot of reputed institutions in the city that people should know about. This event will help preserve Marathi language. People pass by the area but don’t know its importance,” she adds.
Organisations such as Bharat Itihas Sanshidhak Mandal, NFAI, FTII, IUCCA, Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad, Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth and several museums across the city are participating in this event. The Omkareshwar Temple premises and Vishrambaug Wada will be opened for the public for the first time.
Some of the activities that will be held as part of the event include Aajichi Bhatukali, an exhibition of toy utensils, Shivanjali, an ode to Lord Shiva, a numismatic exhibition-cum-workshop, a screening of the silent film Gallant Heart and of Shyamchi Aai, a workshop on history of the Khann fabric, a book exhibition, a tree walk and a cycle ride.
Panshikar adds that the events will offer a fascinating cultural and tourism experience of the city. In turn, it will generate revenue, diversify employment opportunities in the city, and offer patronage for folk art and local artists.
About World Heritage Day
World Heritage Day is celebrated with an aim to educate the youth about protection, preservation and propagation of world heritage. It is a collective effort all over the world to preserve the invaluable cultural assets.