World Heritage Week commences throughout the State
JAMMU, NOV 19: Minister of State for Education, Culture and Tourism, Priya Sethi today called for collective efforts for preservation and restoration of State’s rich heritage.
The Minister was speaking during the inaugural ceremony of World Heritage Week at GGM Science College erstwhile Prince of Wales College, here today.
The Minister said that the Heritage Week has commenced throughout the state with the aim to carry forward the vision of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to promote the unique and rich cultural heritage of the State besides educating the younger generation about their glorious heritage.
“It’s been a matter of honour to inaugurate the Heritage Week from the prestigious institution that has its roots in the archives of history”, the Minister Maintained.
Remembering Maharaja Pratap Singh as a benevolent ruler and a great visionary of his times, the Minister said he not only created an institution of higher learning in Jammu region but also gave us a treasure trove of educational and cultural heritage.
She said that the then ruler of J& K State decided that the education in the State should be brought at par with other cities, thus the first Degree College in Jammu province started functioning in 1907 in a building which was known as Ajaib Ghar (Now Legislative Assembly Complex in Civil Secretariat).
The Minister visited the Heritage Wadia Museum in the PG Department of Geology and Zoology at GGM Science College Jammu. She asked the geology department to establish Wadia Centre in honour of the doyen of Indian Geology and institution builder D N Wadia.
Principal, GGM Science College Dr Satinder Singh was also present on the occasion.
Priya said more people must visit the Museum which is one of the oldest and finest in India having the most extensive collection of 6000 specimens. HoD Geology and Convenor of Heritage Committee Sukh Chain Sharma briefed the Minister about the historical relevance of rocks, fossils and other scientifically important collections.
In addition to rocks, fossils and minerals there are large collections of early Geological maps, topographic maps, equipments, modals, photographic materials, meteorites and also zoological specimens and Neolithic stones implements. The museum has some of the finest Collection, viz.
Ancestors of present day elephants, rhinoceros, horses, turtles. The most attractive feature of this museum is the 11.3 ft long Stegodon Tusk (ancestor of present day elephant). This tusk was discovered by the Wadia and team from Siwaliks of Jagti area of Nagrota.
Priya Sethi stressed for creating mass awareness about the fascinating heritage to ensure the promotion and development of places with historic and cultural significance. “There is a need to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the heritage”, she added.
The Minster also visited Heritage Central library housing over 60000 books, manuscripts, memoirs and photographs. She asked the concerned officials for better upkeep of old books and albums in the library.
Priya urged the students as well as civil society to pay visit to these places of immense Heritage value to have a glance at the State’s magnificent history.
The Minister called for encouraging the younger generation to visit various heritage sites across the state. She said that the promotion and preservation of heritage sites will also boost the tourism in the state.
To celebrate World Heritage Week, Department of Archives, Archaeology and Museums organized an Exhibition of Archival records, Natural Heritage, Historical Documents and rare Books at Mubarak Mandi.
Speaking on the occasion, Priya Sethi said that the government is making concerted efforts for promoting and protecting the rich heritage of the state. She said the J&K State has an immense archaeological potential and we should preserve our past to protect our identity, she added.
The Minister said that everyone must realize the significance of preserving the valuable heritage so that it could be passed on to the next generation.
The Minister also released the Brochure for the World Heritage Week containing short descriptions about archaeological, natural and other significant heritages of the state.
Director Archives, Archaeology and Museums Mohammad Shafi Zahid, Executive Director Mubark Mandi Complex Sham Lal, Assistant Director Achieves Sangeeta Sharma, Registering Officer Antiquities Tsering Tashi, besides senior functionaries of concerned departments were present on the occasion.