Delhi to be branded as tourist and cultural hub

 Monday, March 15, 2021 


Heritage walks, weekly literary and cultural events at historical sites, dedicated chapters on Delhi’s contribution in the Indian freedom struggle in school curriculum, regular poetry writing workshop, and programs to develop theme-based circuits for tourism promotion at clusters of ancient buildings feature among several proposals to brand the national capital as tourist and cultural hub.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, while presenting Delhi Budget 2021-22 last week, proposed two programmes: ‘Delhi Heritage Promotion’ and ‘Delhi Tourism Circuit’ to realize the goal. He also announced allocating Rs. 521 crore for implementation of these twin programmes.

The projects will be rolled out by Delhi Tourism in association with the arts, culture and language (AOL) department and Delhi Archives. Senior officials said that plans are going on in a big way for promoting Mehrauli and other heritage sites associated with the Indian freedom movement.

As per a senior government official, “A committee was also set up last year to plan and chalk out schemes for tourism promotion of the city’s heritage. The idea was to develop circuits on the lines of the Centre’s Swadesh Darshan scheme involving places such as Mehrauli, Jaunti, Neela Hauz, or Mutiny Circle for which the Delhi Tourism could procure funds from the union tourism ministry. Another plan was to add the city’s history to the syllabus for which archival material was being searched out. Students should know about places related to important historical events like the Quit India movement or Salt Satyagraha in Delhi.”

For bringing ‘neglected’ or lesser-known historical structures on the tourist map and for their better maintenance, the government is planning to hold weekly performances and exhibitions at those sites. The tourism department is also thinking to hold musical gigs, fair by traditional artisans, live performances and workshops at heritage buildings.

“One of the suggestions that came up during the deliberations was to organize workshops for improving writing skills; how to pen a Ghazal or Doha. It is important to promote culture so that it becomes part of life. We want to teach students or budding poets and writers what is Chaupai or Chhand (quatrain verse as per the medieval Hindi poetry),” added the official.

Plans for holding a series of events to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Independence have already started. Major events are expected to take place at Qudsia Bagh near Kashmere Gate with illumination of historical buildings featuring among the proposals.

Delhi government will also set up an interpretation center to highlight the contribution of Dr. BR Ambedkar in architecting the Constitution of India.

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