The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) and Himachal Pradesh Government have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for preserving state’s rich heritage by linking it with sustainable livelihoods.
The state’s Convener Maalvika Pathania and Co Convener Raaja Bhasin said that this is an important milestone that will go a long way in protecting the rare and diverse nature of Himachal’s heritage. Many areas, which are left outside the preview of the ASI, will now have a specialized body to advise, assist and work for the government.
Since INTACH has been declared as a NGO with special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. They also added that they are grateful to Tarun Shridhar, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Himachal Pradesh and Upma Chawdhry and S. Anuradha Thakur who have initiated the discussions and formulated this memorandum of understanding.
Dr. C.T.Mishra, Member Secretary for INTACH and Tarun Shridhar for the Government of Himachal Pradesh signed the MoU. The Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has been long associated with INTACH and is a founder member.
The MoU states that the government of Himachal Pradesh shall set up a special task force with INTACH to protect and conserve the states heritage. INTACH, which has special consultative status with UNESCO shall advice and assist the state on heritage matters.
Rural tourism projects shall be of special focus and INTACH has already initiated one in the village of Nirmand, but natural heritage sites and the state’s rare built heritage will be of special focus.
INTACH has also assisted various educational institutions in creating heritage clubs and some of these are already very active in cultural and heritage related activities. INTACH is also in the process of restoring of various rare and valuable sites in Himachal Pradesh.