Children in This Maharashtra Town Know All About the Importance of Heritage Conservation

A poster making competition on the importance of conserving our ancient monuments was conducted in the premises of Apurna Devalaya, in collaboration with the Chandrapur chapter of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). And the outcome was spectacular.

We Indians are proud of the heritage sites in our country. There is Taj Mahal, Kutub Minar, Red Fort, and so much more, and we are fortunate enough to know about them because the government takes good care of these sites. All we have to do is go there and enjoy the view without being concerned about how they are being conserved. But there are numerous monuments and sculptures in India and it is not possible for the government alone to protect all of them. Imagine how great it would be if all of us could take the responsibility of preserving at least one monument or sculpture around us.

Chandrapur, a city located in Maharashtra, is one such place where a man is not only preserving the lesser known heritage sites, but is also generating awareness about them.

Meet Ashok Singh Thakur, a Convener at Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), who takes school children for a heritage walks once every month.

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The heritage walk

“I find children to be more responsible and affectionate when it comes to talking about heritage sites. They feel a sense of pride when you tell them that these monuments were made by their ancestors and they are the owners now. They willingly take up responsibility to preserve their heritage,” says Ashok Singh Thakur

And recently, he took another step forward to make his work even more effective. He conducted a poster making competition with the topic – ‘Importance of Conserving our Ancient Monuments’ in the premises of Apurna Devalaya – a place with a very interesting history. In the early 17th century AD, during the time of King Dhundya Ramshaha, Raiappa Komti committed to build a temple the region. But it could not be completed due to his early demise, and the idols were left in the open. Had it been built, it would have been the largest temple in Maharashtra.

Till today, these idols can be found in Bhiwapur area of Chandrapur, behind the Rajiv Gandhi College of Engineering and Technology. The area is called Apurna Devalaya – the incomplete temple.

Parts-of-Apurn-Devalaya-Dashavtar-Durga

Parts-of-Apurn-Dewalaya-Dashavtar-Durga

Parts-of-Apurn-Devalaya-Ganpati

Parts-of-Apurn-Dewalaya-Ganpati

Parts-of-Apurn-Devalaya

Parts-of-Apurn-Dewalaya

As many as 50 students from various schools in the district participated in the competition. They also conducted a cleanliness drive in the temple premises.

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The students conveyed the importance of conserving and protecting our heritage through their posters. Pravin Nikhare, the Project Director of the competition guided the students.

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Pravin Nikhare, Kiran Katrojwar, Prashant Nawghare, Manju Sur, M B Chavhan, Smita Thakre, and others worked hard to make the event successful.

“Most of the students who participated are from government schools and the response we got from them was overwhelming. They are so excited to preserve their heritage sites now. I can see a sense of ownership and responsibility in them,” says Pravin.

Here are few of the amazing posters made during competition:

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By Gulafsa. m . Ansari, Class 7, Hindi City High School, Chandrapur

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By Gosiya Naj Khan

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By Savita P Maliya

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By Trupti Bharat Chavan. Trupti’s father is a photographer and a farmer and she now wants him to take pictures of these heritage sites.

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By Yasmin Mobin Khan

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By Farida Asgar Khan, Hindi City High School, Chandrapur

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Manasi. R. Vishwakarma, City Kanya Vidyalaya, Chandrapur

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By Aman. S . Rajak, Hindi City High School, Chandrapur

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By Komal Jungare, Hindi City High School, Chandrapur. “If a little girl like me can do it, everyone can do it. We are proud of our heritage,” says Komal.

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By Pallavi Raju Nimasatkar, Lokmanya Tilak Kanya Vidyalay, Chandrapur

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By Subir Sarkar from Hindi City High School. “My family and I worship Maa Kali. So I wanted to paint the Dashavtar Durga. She looks like Kali Maa,” says Subir. He wants to become a scientist when he grows up.

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