Need to conserve heritage sites echoes World Heritage Day observation

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IMPHAL, April 18: As in other parts of the World, the World Heritage Day 2016 was also observed in the State today with the aim to create awareness among the people to conserve and protect cultural heritages.

The observation also aims to encourage a collective effort on the international level to protect the historical monuments and sites throughout the world.

The Manipur State Archaeology, Department of Art and Culture organised the day at the Kangla Hall.

Speaking as the chief guest, Art and Culture department commissioner K Radhakumar said that efforts to protect the sites in the State declared as protected remains only in the gazette, however, the department is working hard to adopt proper steps for the protection and preservation of the sites under the guidance of the Ministry of Culture.

The IAS officer declared the need to establish a State level committee to identify all heritage sites in the State.

He said there is a need to properly maintain and preserve all historical sites and cultural heritage of the State.

Attending the function as the president, Art and Culture director Dr K Sushila said that heritage sites should be conserved so that our future generation may learn about their past through these sites.

Failure to preserve the cultural heritage would be gross mistake on the part of the present generation, he added.

She added several steps for the protection, preservation and promotion of the State heritage have been initiated; however, due to the inadequacy of the Manipur State Archaeology, further steps couldn’t be taken up.

She said the engravings on stones found at the State’s heritage sites need to be deciphered to make our history clearer.

Guest of honour, Mutua Museum director Mutua Bahadur said the State has a weak cultural policy which is hindering protection of the State’s heritage.

The Art and Culture department needs to be strengthened to protect our cultural heritage, he added.

Many heritage sites have been ruined due to lack of proper preservation efforts while many are still endangered, he continued.

He further stressed upon the need to give immense focus on protection and preservation of the State’s heritage.

He also expressed the need to decipher the encrypted heritage of the land.

He said the history and cultural heritage of the land should be included in the school syllabus so that our younger generation may learn about our heritage from a young age.

Meanwhile, as part of the observation, a painting competition was held in the morning with more than 70 students participating in three categories.

Category A class I to IV winners are Thoiba, P Shai Princy Devi, I Nungsithoi Devi; Category B class V to VII winners are L Rohit, RK Dhanaraj, Depali N and Category C VIII to X winners are Talem Khaidem, Wangthoi Angom, Y Davidson.

Five consolation winners were also selected in each category.

Annual report of 2015 to 2016 of Manipur State Archaeology was also released during the observation.

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