By Casey Monteiro
Experts from varied fields came together recently to discuss different facets of Goa which could potentially evolve into a heritage policy. The panel discussion was organised by the Department of Archaeology, and was held at the historic Reis Magos fort, in Verem, on the occasion of World Heritage Day.
World Heritage Day is celebrated across the globe in order to create awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage and to protect it. The day is also known as International Day for Monuments and Sites, and stresses the need to preserve these heritage sites. This year's theme was 'Heritage Changes'.
EXCHANGE OF IDEAS
Among the issues, related to heritage, that were discussed by the panel were the rules and legislations to protect Goa’s heritage, weighing the pros and cons of inviting private players to fund and oversee conservation activities, and unearthing little known aspects of Goa's heritage such as traditional medicine.
Many interesting viewpoints were put across during the session, which was moderated by architect Chandan Parab.
Principal of the Goa College of Architecture, Panjim, Dr Ashish K Rege, stressed the need for people's participation in heritage conservation. He said that it was vital for people, cutting across differences, to come together and get involved in issues related to conservation.
For Goa to focus on its heritage, the state should think beyond the beaches, suggested assistant professor from the DD Kosambi School of Social Sciences and Behavioural Studies, Goa University, Dr Seema Risbud. She added that Goa's heritage houses, village lifestyle and varied cuisines have the capacity to attract people to the state.
Dr Purnanand Savoiker, who is a professor at the Civil Engineering Department of Goa Engineering College, Ponda, drew attention to the scenario at which construction activities were going on in the state which could have a bearing on Goa's heritage.
Goa has all the components to qualify as a heritage state, was what Abhijit Sadhale, practicing architect, put forth. He said the state has the landscape, climate, unique history among other things which catapult it to getting a heritage tag.
The importance of how the positive aspects of culture should be passed on as heritage to the future generations was underscored by archaeologist Sawani Shetye.