Mumbai has forts at Sewri, Sion, Reva, Dharavi, Mahim, Bandra and Worli. Participants are to trek the designated forts and hoist the tricolour simultaneously across the locations. Such sites only appear on the radar on Independence Day or Republic Day. For years now, the media has been carrying sporadic reports and pictures of large-scale encroachment that has been eating into beautiful heritage space.
The derelict condition of some of these forts, which are such an important but little-known facet of history in this city is quite saddening. One sees unwanted elements using these forts, which are generally isolated and deserted for all kinds of anti-social activities. Without proper vigil or a gate that gives monitored entry to these forts, there is bound to be people who exploit such structures.
The tourism authorities must look to maintain and more importantly promote Independence landmarks more aggressively and methodically. Special tours and promotions through different media are some of the ways this could be done. However, it is not just the onus of tourism authorities to keep places of historical importance well maintained. Maybe, local corporators, Area Locality Managements (ALMs) and even Non Governmental Organisations, as well as ordinary citizens can be roped in. After all, everybody has a stake in this city, and can do their bit to ensure that we can relish our history throughout the year.