Published on : Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Shruti Nada Poddar of Rajasthan Retreats and Festival speaks exclusively to Travel And Tour World at WTM 2016. Read the full interview here:-
I have been a global traveler and have also lived in the UK for a long time. But about three and a half years ago I discovered my ancestral town which is a part of a spectacular region in Rajasthan called Sekhawati. So I discovered Ramgarh Sekhawati and decided that I would put all my personal energies and the energies of my foundation which is called the Shruti Foundation into resurrecting this amazing space which had been built by some of the richest millionaires of India, and it had been abandoned about a hundred years ago. So there are about 200 spectacular little havelis, full of wall frescos and beautiful architecture, there are historical water bodies, cenotaphs, which are still full of amazing frescos.
We have done a lot of restoration of the havelis and forts and now we are launching a festival. It is a heritage art and healing festival which will be held from 6th-9th December to showcase various aspects of heritage. So there will be performance by maestros from various fields, master craftsmen, weavers, other crafts, etc. We’ll have a fair of different stores and different crafts, not only from Rajasthan but from all over India. We will also have performances by popular artists from all over India. We want to make this an annual affair because we want to involve a lot of youth from schools and colleges. We want the youth to benefit from the experiences of the festival.
We will also be showcasing games, sports, ways of living, restoration techniques. There will be a lot of aspects of heritage to showcase, not just music and dance.
We will be teaching a lot of indigenous knowledge systems, wisdom, technology, and how to make it a lifestyle and incorporate it in their own life.
We are still reeling with the effects of colonization. The youth in the metro cities are realizing the value of indigenous knowledge system. While the grassroot level people believe that things abroad are better. People don’t value their own heritage. We should make it realize to people that going away from heritage is not a good idea, what you have is the greatest treasure, you should restore it and save it and incorporate it in your own system as well. You can make money out of it. It is an economically viable thing.