The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural organisations is association with member nations has setup the World Heritage Committee to ensure protection and preservation of the common heritage of world’s people. About 730 cultural and natural sites have been declared protected. The member nations are obliged to make suitable laws for protection of sites in the country concerned. These include both religious and secular monuments. Of about 730 World Heritage Sites, 23 are in India.
These World Heritage Sites are of national importance. This enables the concerned Government departments to undertake programmes of preservation, protection and help in keeping the aesthetic values and perceptions active. The Government has also started a chain of Heritage Hotels and Palaces on Wheels making use of old Havelis, castles, forts, residences of kings of medieval and ancient period, as well as very old royal railway coaches. This has enabled renovation and repair of old monuments buildings and railway coaches as well as antique cars. It is considered an important conservation measure.
Need and measures for the preservation of Heritage Sites
We have studied in that our country has many magnificent sites and monuments like the Taj Mahal, Qutab Mmar, Buland Darwaza, Victoria Memorial Building, Rashtrapati Bhawan etc. We have great Sanchi Stupa, Ajanta Caves, beautiful Jam Dilwara Temples and magnificent temples in the south India. We have invaluable inscriptions, coins and rare works of art our country also possesses old classical literature in different languages. The precious pieces of art, sculpture, paintings, old weapons of war etc. stored in various museums in the country.
It is our duty to maintain and preserve our heritage at all costs. This a very uphill task and requires the co-operation of the people. The Government tasks measures to protect and preserve our heritage, sites.
The central government has set up the Department of Archaeology for the proper care and maintenance and skilled persons of the monuments. It appoints a large number of experts and skilled persons who undertake the repair of the monuments. They have succeeded in removing a national monuments from their original site piece by piece. Every piece was systematically numbered. All these numbered pieces were transported to a new zi site. There the old monument was reconstructed exactly as it was before. This task took several months. It was necessary because its monument at its original site was to be submerged under water for building Nagarujna Sagar Dam (Andhra Pradesh). The new site is at a higher place and away from the completed dam. Some monuments were also removed from their original place in Bilaspur which was submerged when the Gobind Sagar Dam was built at Bhakra.
Effort are also being made to preserve scientifically the paintings in the Ajanta Caves so that their original colours do not fade away.
The Government should allocate more funds to the Archaeological Department to spend on the preservation of the monument sites. Strict laws should be passed to punish those who smuggle old sculptures and idols from the country to other countries. It should ask the UNESCO to provide assistance to our country to provide us scientific and technical knowledge about the preservation of our heritage sites. The people must be educated about the importance of national heritage. Some ignorant people write or engrave their names on the walls of the monuments and damage them. By doing so, they spoil them arid reduce their life. Safety measures should be taken to check this ugly practice.
Our heritage sites are a trust. As their trustees, it is our moral and legal duty to preserve them to the best of our capacity for the future generations. These monuments are our cultural heritage. They remind us our of our past. They are indeed our cultural ambassadors.