The Undergraduate Students Symposium and Workshop on Heritage Studies was organized by the Centre for Heritage Management at Ahmedabad University on November 25 – 26, 2017. This symposium cum workshop was explicitly designed for undergraduate students across all disciplines with some interest in Heritage Studies. The aim was to engage interested participants in dual goals of i) sharing their understanding of heritage, and ii) learning what is happening in the larger context in the arena of heritage. About 50 students from various disciplines including Architecture, Planning, Performing Arts, History, and Design actively participated in this programme. Students came from different parts of the country and our neighboring country Bangladesh.
The programme began with an introduction by Professor Shahul Ameen where he shared the aim and objectives of this event and what students can look forward to gaining from those two days of interaction with experts and peers in heritage sector. Following this was an inaugural address by Professor Devanath Tirupati, Dean, Amrut Mody School of Management where he welcomed all the participants, shared the University’s vision & mission and current activities of the Centre.
In the first session Professor Neel Kamal Chapagain gave an overview of the heritage discourse its evolution over the time and the recent approaches in heritage management. Next was the symposium where three participants presented their project work. Aabhali Vora shared her learnings from Nagaur Fort Conservation Workshop that she was part of; Amol Deshmukh talked about his experience of working with students on creating comic strips on various aspects of Nashik city’s heritage and Jaimin Jadav of Ahmedabad presented his thesiswork on Narmada Riverfront at Maheshwar.
In the second symposium session, Rhea D’Souza from Goa presented her project ‘Map the Gap’ where she shared her concerns over the state of cultural heritage of Goa amidst the tourism and emphasized the need for a new narrative about Goa’s cultural heritage. A group of students from Ahmedabad presented their project on ‘Ahmedabad Old City Transit Plan’ and Rajvi Shah shared her work on Manek Chowk Revitalisation Plan.
Professor Ashoke Chatterjee, Advisor, Centre for Heritage Management discussed at length the challenges and opportunities in heritage sector in India. This was followed by last session of that day on Crafts and its Community by Mr. Jogi Panghaal.
All the participants then visited the premises of Center for Heritage Management. Staff and students of the Centre introduced its academic and other activities to the participants. This followed with an informal interactive evening that included exchange of traditional music & dance of different regions over dinner.
The day two began with exploration of historic city of Ahmedabad, a World Heritage Property, where participants explored the traditional residential neighborhoods & markets, monuments & adaptive reuse of havelis, Bhadra Plaza Project and Bhadra Fort. Mr. PKV Nair, Deputy General Manager, Heritage Cell, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation shared his views and challenges pertaining to Bhadra Plaza project and restoration of Bhadra Fort. A panel discussion on observations from the visit was organized back at the venue. The panelists were Mr. Debashish Nayak, Professors Rima Hooja, Rohit Jigyasu and Abrar Ali Saiyed. Participants had a variety of questions including the management of basic infrastructure by municipal corporation, community involvement, challenges and opportunities related to adaptive reuse of the residential properties and management plan for area listed as World Heritage Property.
This was followed by a session on World Heritage Process by Professor Neel Kamal Chapagain where he shared the highlights of process of nomination, challenges during and after the nomination and opportunities after the inscription as World Heritage. Post lunch sessions included Monuments & Heritage Sites Management in India: Perspectives from National Monument Authority by Dr Rima Hooja, Adjunct Professor, CHM; Heritage in Urban Development Schemes of Government of India by Professor Saswat Bandopadhyay, CEPT University and ‘Heritage sectors in India and abroad: Organizations & Key Areas of Engagement’ by Dr. Rohit Jigyasu, President, ICOMOS India.
During the valedictory session, participants informally shared their feedback and views on the programme which was encouraging. The programme concluded with certificates distribution and closing remarks by Professor Neel Kamal Chapagain where thanked the participants for being part of this programme and CHM & AU family for assisting with organizing this programme.