The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) and the Himachal Pradesh State Government have signed an memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the preservation, conservation, documentation, education and development of sustainable livelihoods through the state’s rich architectural, natural, tangible and intangible heritage.
HP State 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 the Government.
INTACH has been declared as an ‘NGO with special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations ‘.
They said that they were grateful to Shri Tarun Shridhar Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Himchal Pradesh and to Smt. Upma Chawdhry and Smt. Anuradha Thakur who had initiated discussions and formulated this MoU. The MoU was signed by Dr. C.T.Mishra, Member Secretary for INTACH and Shri Tarun Shridhar for the Government of HP. The Hon’ble Chief Minister of HP, Shri Virbhadra Singh has long been associated with INTACH and is a founder member.
The MoU highlights the following – the Government of HP shall set up special task force with INTACH to protect and conserve the state’s 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. 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 various rare and valuable sites in HP.