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World Heritage Day

 

April 18th is known is celebrated as  world heritage day.

The world heritage day. offers an opportunity to raise the public’s awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage and the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it. On this day, various programmes are organised across the world with the aim to redouble efforts to protect and conserve our heritage.
Former President and Bharat Ratna APJ Abdul Kalam has rightly said, ” We will be remembered only if we give to our younger generation a prosperous and safe India, resulting out of economic prosperity coupled with civilizational heritage. ” Dr. Kalam has stressed upon the importance of protecting and conserving our cultural heritage.

It gives  an opportunity for enhancing awareness of the importance of the cultural heritage of humankind and the efforts required to protect and conserve it. In 1982, the International Council on Monuments and Sites based in France, announced this day as the World Heritage Day, approved by the General Assembly of UNESCO in 1983.

World Heritage Day also gives us an opportunity to spread awareness on the various dangers being faced by our heritage. In 2017, the theme is “Cultural Heritage & Sustainable Tourism, chosen in relation to the United Nations International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Today in our rush to develop, modernise, transform and refashion our district we may be losing sight of protecting our heritage. Advanced nations in for example in Europe with ancient traditions have been able to develop while keeping their heritage intact and even making them into tourism cash cows. In the United States they do not have much to show by the way of ancient built heritage but they were blessed with landscape and geographical features of immense beauty.

In past two decades, Terrorism and fundamentalism has harmed the valuable heritages across the world. In 2001, the Bamiyan Buddha statues in Afghanistan were destroyed by the Talibani terrorists.

In 2012, Mali Islamists destroyed the tombs in Timbuktu located in West Africa. Recently, the Islamic State groups has destroyed the ancient heritages of Syria and Iraq. Syria’s Palmyra contains the monumental ruins of a great city that was one of the most important cultural centres.

With changing times and ever increasing parametres of economic growth, tourism has also gained momentum. Cultural Heritage of any country has also been attracting tourists and enhacing economy of a country. Changing perceptions of the significance of cultural heritage and cultural values for local people and visitors, sustainable tourism initiatives can empower communities and re-inforce their sense of place, their sense of self-worth and their identities.

Government, UNESCO and various international organisations play a major role in protecting and conserving the ancient heritages for the next generations.

 

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