Manmohan for spreading awareness on preservation of heritage structures

December 3rd, 2007 - 3:30 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Dec 3 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today said that awareness about the preservation of heritage structures should be increased even in a conflict situation.
His remarks came in view of a renewed threat to heritage structures from fundamentalists, extremists and terrorists.
Fundamentalism in attitudes and beliefs often targets mankinds heritage structures and sites, leading to their destruction. The destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha in Afghanistan is only one stark example of such threats to heritage preservation said Dr. Singh at the inauguration of the12th International Conference of National Trusts here.
He said that conservationists and protectors of human heritage have time and again faced the wrath of conquerors and fundamentalists in various parts of the world.
Dr. Singh also urged the delegates to send a message around the world that no one has the right to destroy what humanity has inherited. Observing that India was conscious of the need to preserve, protect and promote its cultural heritage, he said, “We have not always succeeded in doing so. Our cultural properties have been exposed to various threats natural and manmade over the centuries. Conquerors, explorers, colonisers, vandals and thieves have added their bit to the vagaries of nature and the passage of time, he added.
For the protection of our heritage and monuments, he said, We need to look beyond the government as we also need active participation of civil society organizations and citizens.
Besides, he said we also need the active involvement of scientists, archaeologists, anthropologists, city planners and local governments.
Speaking on the theme of the conference Heritage and Development, he said that there is a very clear and positive correlation between the preservation of heritage and the level of development of a country.
“The two must go together. We need strategies and policies that facilitate such a walking on two legs, he added.
He said that conservation should not be seen as an ‘elitist’ preoccupation, adding that It must make itself meaningful to society in a manner that engenders community participation.
Later, he said that conservation efforts must ensure local employment generation, and encourage education/awareness programmes, improve access to urban facilities and enhance maintenance of open spaces through public participation.
Unless we respect our inheritance, unless we are prepared to learn from it, we will not invest in its preservation,” the Prime Minister added. (ANI)

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