In REACH, we believe our villages are the most precious heritage that was handed down to us by ancestors. Therefore the fundamental objective of REACH is increasing the awareness about our villages and the rich heritage in them. Such awareness will catalyze them to know more about their locale thereby strengthening the traditional knowledge base. One important component of our village is the built heritage. It may be an ancient archaeological site, such as a mandapa, a temple, other places of worship, replete with inscriptions extolling the history of the village or a dilapidated fort or the old houses built in native architecture. Intangible heritage and native festivals are also interlinked with the built heritage. Hence REACH also tries to sustain the intangible heritage for their posterity.
At REACH we realize the present society, in all likelihood, will sustain many such traditions. But there is a widespread ignorance about out immediate heritage. Therefore, there is a scope to play an informative and active role by those interested in preserving them. REACH visualizes that the built heritage at present is fast threatened by the shear negligence about their heritage and symbolic value. REACH will canalize its resources in this area.
Focus Areas of REACH
- To educate the rural folk the importance of their heritage.
- To make the rural youth read and understand kalvettus (Stone Inscriptions), palm leaves, ancient scriptures and teach them preservation techniques.
- To coordinate efforts to preserve the built heritage like dilapidated temples and other ancient buildings in the village with due care to restore their original character and style
- To create a database of ruined and neglected structures from little known villages that may require attention
- To revive the use of traditional building resources
- To revive intangible heritage
- To generate employment in rural area by evolving the heritage tourism
- Identifying such little known sites and popularizing them by conducting theme-based tours
- To train rural educated youths as Tourist Guides
- To encourage locals to use the preserved temples as a school or for social functions, thereby aiding for the site’s maintenance and upliftment
- To extend aid to scholars, traditional artists, pundits & artisans to sustain themselves and their art
- To create a forum or a link for facilitating corporate and philanthropists to contribute for the sustenance of ruined heritage buildings and for reviving intangible heritage.
At REACH, we plan to take the following immediate programme:
- Introduction of a course “Understanding our temples through inscriptions”
- Creation of a data base on ruined and neglected heritage structures
- Creation of a corpus fund for the rejuvenation of identified ruined temples.
- Training rural youth as heritage tourist guides.
All heritage, culture and history lovers, enthusiasts who want their culture to be preserved can contribute to this great idea in following ways:
- Becoming an active member for propagating our objectives
- Identify and intimate us through emails, mails or phone about the temples and other heritage sites, which are in ruins. Photographs, geographical location with road maps would be ideal. This would help us in creating a database.
- Generate interest in like-minded youth and develop groups who can volunteer in our cleaning and reconstruction activities.
- Spare some regular amount every month for this cause
- Write and make all friends living in foreign shores to know about REACH and make them also share our project costs and build up awareness about Indian cultural sites to their foreign counterparts
- Encourage theme tourism and help friends visit India with a new perspective through REACH members. It is our duty to retain the lost glorious past and the symbols of our history. There are thousands of temples, or any other places of worship, heritage sites lying in ruins, waiting to unfold the real history to this modern world. Once lost, they can’t be retrieved. It is time for us to join hands to conserve our heritage. Next time when you pass across a ruined temple, pass the message to us.