The Union Culture and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister Kumari Selja today celebrated Children’s Day, the Birth Anniversary of India’s first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru with about 700 school children including the less-privileged children at the world famous Humayun’s tomb in New Delhi. On the occasion, she released the first ever site specific guidebook for Children in India on Humayun’s Tomb.
Speaking on the occasion the minister said, Humayun’s tomb is one of India’s 26 World Heritage Sites and is visited by over 300,000 school children every year. She said, the guidebook will help involve children in the preservation efforts from an early age and inspire many of them to become archaeologists, architects and historians. She said, the country needs many more people to become actively involved in protecting and presenting India’s built heritage or at least to be concerned about protecting what our ancestors built before us.
Appreciating the efforts of the Archaeological Survey of India in this direction, Kumari Selja urged the ASI to produce such guidebooks for all important sites in India specially the World Heritage Sites or those sites frequented by school groups. She said, such publications should be brought out not only in Hindi and English but also in the regional languages to create awareness about country’s rich heritage in children from an early age. The Minister said, she expects ASI to complete this task within a year as ASI is celebrating 150th year of its establishment. The Minister announced that the ASI will give 1000 copies of the guidebook to MCD for free distribution among children of its schools in Delhi.
The Minister said, since 2007 the Archaeological Survey of India in partnership with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture is implementing a major conservation project on Humayun’s tomb. She said, the conservation efforts have been supported by Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and the Ford Foundation has supported a cultural awareness programme making this a very successful public-private partnership programme towards the preservation of our shared heritage.
The book authored by Dr. Narayani Gupta and illustrated by Anitha Balachandran brings to light some very interesting facts about the Mughal kings, the tomb of emperor Humayun and the folklore associated with the greater Nizamuddin area. From the times of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya to the coming of Babur, from the building of Dinpanah by Humayun to the building of his tomb by Emperor Akbar, the book brings to light several interesting facts, beautifully illustrated. The book has been published by the Archaeological Survey of India.