The Assam State Chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) in collaboration with the Department of Archaeology of Cotton University organised a Heritage Volunteer Training Workshop on August 23, 2019 at the Conference Hall of MCB Building.
While inaugurating the Workshop, Prof. Diganta Kumar Das, Registrar, Cotton University stressed that art, culture, history and heritage play a crucial role in shaping the identity of a community, a state and a nation. Prof. Das also emphasised on the importance of scientific disciplines for conservation of art and cultural heritage and initiatives taken by the University to protect the heritage buildings in the campus.
In the workshop, coordinated by Dr Manjil Hazarika, Head (i/c) of the Department of Archaeology, Cotton University, Padmashri Ajoy Kumar Dutta, Social Activist; Arijit Choudhury, Architect; Shivaa Rawat, Heritage Educationist, INTACH, New Delhi; Prof. Shiela Bora, Convenor, INTACH, Assam and Swapnanil Barua, IAS (Retd.), Co-convenor, INTACH, Assam were present as resource persons.
During his speech, Padmashri Ajoy Kumar Dutta shared his personal experience of the growth, expansion of the city of Guwahati and the need for retaining and maintaining the old heritage structures and water bodies. Architect Arijit Choudhury made a visual presentation on the architecture of the heritage buildings of 19th and 20th century and their uniqueness and importance.
Prof. Shiela Bora spoke on the documentation and conservation works carried out by the INTACH at the Dakhinpat Satra of Majuli on the historical objects and manuscripts. Swapnanil Barua elaborated on the importance of heritage awareness among the youth.
The speakers laid on the importance of documentation, preservation and conservation of both tangible and intangible heritage of Assam, particularly in the Guwahati city and Majuli River Island. The city is Guwahati is expanding in a fast pace and in the process of urban development; we should be careful and conscious about the heritage properties and their value for the identity of the city.
The workshop was attended by over hundred students accompanied by teachers from various colleges and universities of Assam and Nagaland. The participants also visited the exhibition showcasing various prehistoric and historic archaeological materials from different sites of India organised by the students of the Department of Archaeology.
In the brainstorming session moderated by Shivaa Rawat, the students shared their collective ideas on different types of heritage and the measures to be taken for promoting and protecting them for sustainable development.