Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

19 Mar, 2013

Indian Culture Minister urges Corporate Sector to invest in Preserving Heritage


Ministry of Culture, 15-March, 2013 – The Union Minister of Culture Mrs Chandresh Kumari Katoch has urged the corporate sector to come forward and invest in preserving rich heritage of India. Speaking at an interactive session here today with the corporate heads on the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for Indian heritage, the Minister said the corporate initiative can be not only in terms of financial contribution but also providing support in organizing events that would showcase country’s cultural achievements, in bringing out publications that would preserve our rich cultural heritage and above all sharing their experience and expertise with the government.

The session was organized by the National Culture Fund established by the Ministry of Culture in 1996 as a Trust.

The Minister said, India is a valuable repository of both Tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage. Most of it is in the public domain, under the jurisdiction of the Government, either the Central Government or the State Governments. But equally important is the heritage in the hands of private trusts, collectors and owners. She said, India is also home to numerous non-protected sites, museums, forts and havelis that belong to individuals, communities and smaller institutions and are open to the public. These, in particular, have faced the challenge of preservation for many years. They need long term support for sustained conservation, up-gradation and development. The Minister said, Indian culture is vast, and manifested in not only monuments but other important forms of art- dance, music and theatre.

She said, in the modern context protection is not enough. For popularizing and presenting these monuments and sites to national and international audiences, the government needs ideas and partnerships from the corporate sector to develop visitor facilities- signages, audio-guides, educational programmes, heritage shops, water, rest-rooms and cafeterias. This will have many benefits like improvement in visitors experience to these monuments and thereby increase footfalls and revenues, it will enhance our understanding of our heritage and allow us to appreciate it more and it will instil a sense of pride in us specially our field officers and give them confidence to take pride in their heritage in National and International platform.

The Secretary Corporate Affairs Mr Naved Masood in his speech said, the business bodies and Chambers of Commerce have to act as a catalyst to make National Culture Fund a success. He said, there is a need to go beyond merely allocation funds to protect the tangible culture and the corporates can provide expertise and lot of insight while providing helping hand in the cultural sector.

The secretary culture Mrs Sangita Gairola enlisting the works of National Culture Fund said, there will be more interactions with the corporate sector on the issue in future.

More than 50 representatives from the corporate sector like CII, PHD Chamber of Commerce, HUDCO attended the interactive session. Former Chief Election Commissioner Mr S.Y. Quraishi also participated in the discussion.

The National Culture Fund was established by the Ministry of Culture in 1996 as a Trust under the Charitable Endowments Act. 1890. NCF’s primary mandate is to establish and nurture Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in the field of heritage. NCF’s role is to catalyze relationships between private, public, government, non-government agencies, private institutions and foundations and mobilize resources for the restoration, conservation, protection and development of India’s rich, natural, tangible and intangible heritage. NCF provides donors with 100% tax benefit under section 80G (2) of the Income Tax Act and acknowledges the generous contributions of the donor.

Presently, NCF already has such partnerships for the conservation of monuments with some Public Sector Undertakings like the NTPC, ONGC, SAIL, IOC, HUDCO, REC etc and also with Private sector companies.