Heritage structures are pride of our nation and they are national assets. They are the mirror of our culture and their preservation is as important as protecting our own culture. Preservation of heritage structures is not the sole responsibility of the government nor any particular government agency but is the collective responsibility of all the citizens of the nation.
India is endowed with rich and diverse stock of cultural and architectural heritage. Only miniscule number of these heritage structures are declared as the World Heritage monuments. Some monuments are in the custody of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) which are declared as monuments of national importance. Further, several thousand monuments are in the custody of religious endowments and state archaeology departments. And there are tens of thousands more heritage structures which are un recorded, undiscovered and unrecognised and are lying unprotected all over the country. We as the citizens of this nation, have a profound responsibility of keeping a vigilant eye on not only these documented and recorded monuments but also we have unwritten duty of identifying and helping in identifying un recorded and unprotected monuments of our country. Only when we realise our responsibility towards these invaluable heritage monuments, government agencies will be more vigilant in preserving the sites which in turn will ensure their safety.
We should look at these heritage structures as the rich cultural heritage of humanity of which every individual is a custodian. More importantly, these cultural heritages do not belong to any particular region or nation but belongs to the entire world.
The government on its part should take proactive steps to create and spread awareness about cultural heritage of our country and the need to protect and preserve them.
Further, our curriculum should become structural-safety centric and should not just restrict to structural conservation of monuments. There is also an urgent need to develop formal systems that recognise conservation of heritage structures as an interdisciplinary effort with structural safety as one of the critical determinants in any conservation project.
Through proper education, creation of awareness and by invoking the activism among the people, we can really take good care of rare monuments we have in our country. We can become the true guardian of our heritage.
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