Ahmedabad University-Centre for Heritage Management (AU-CHM) organized the Concluding event of the 33 months long EU-funded project ‘Cultural Heritage Management & Venture Lab in Ahmedabad’ on Tuesday, 13th September 2016, The guest of honor Mr. Emilio Contreras, First Secretary, Embassy of Spain in India, along with Dr. Guillermo Rodriguez Martin, Director, Casa de la India, Valladolid, Professor Pankaj Chandra, Chairman, BoM & Provost, Ahmedabad University, Professor Devanath Tirupati, CE, CHM & Dean AMSoM, AU and Mr. Debashish Nayak, Director, CHM released the ‘Manual of Best Practices in Cultural Heritage Management’ prepared by project partners Ahmedabad University and University of Valladolid.
At this event, a brochure about the project, its partners, the formation of the successor organization namely Ahmedabad Cultural Heritage Cluster Trust (ACHC) and Ahmedabad Heritage Venture Lab (AHVL) was also released.
The speakers highlighted the milestones and achievements of the project and lauded the support of the European Union and the people of Spain and India. A hope was expressed that this was only marking a milestone in the journey of preservation of cultural heritage and promotion of it for economic gain with a view to making it self-sustainable.
At this event, the entrepreneurs who started heritage-linked businesses were felicitated and honored. These entrepreneurs along with project partners and institution also held a day-long exhibition based on cultural heritage ventures started by them. These included Hunar Art & Craft; Shoot in Gujarat; Arya Sanskriti; Creative Yatra, Meet me at Khadia; Radio Nazariya; SustainAbly; Heritage Photo Art and Sarkhej Roza Women’s Collective.
The event concluded with a 45 minutes drama ‘Pol, Pol, Pol… Ahmedabad ni Olakh Pol’ about the unique character of Pols of Ahmedabad, by Theatre Media Centre (TMC) and Budreti.
The play showcases the life in the distinct Pols of the old walled city of Ahmedabad. The play is an effort to motivate people in conserving pol’s organic structure. It showcases the togetherness and unity of the Pol. The play was a combination of street play, modern theater compositions, songs, bhavai and other folklores.
The Pol is a unique entity with its ancient Haveli, Chabutro and a unique set of individuals that lives together and has their own distinct characteristics, each Pol is also unique in itself. All the individuals live in togetherness and take care of each other.
Same is the idea behind the play which has been directed with great brilliance by Janak Raval, Manvita Baradi and Naishad Purani. It tells the story of Manish, a Pol boy who meets and marries the city girl Priya and how he is supported like a family by the residents of the Pol during the whole wedding process. It shows how Priya is initially against the idea of moving to the Pol but is charmed by its clean air, carvings, beautiful tiles, cool atmosphere and friendly environment.
The play shows how Manish decides to break down his house and some of the other structures in the Pol, which instigates all the residents of the Pol to come together and protect it. It talks about the revival of the Panch system and setting a strong governance system in place.
It personifies the Chabutro beautifully and we see it weeping during times of turmoil; this makes important figures from history come back to life and showcases the city’s history beautifully. We met Ahmed Shah Manek Baba, Janda-Tejal, Akhaa Bhagat and Ranchhodlal Chhotala during the course of the play. The play has been beautifully acted by its actors Urvashi Shrimali, who plays the aeging, shrill Manguba; Shivani Shah, who plays the young but wise Priya; Hardik Shastri, who plays Lehenga; Ankit Patel, who plays the various characters from history and of course thespian Archan Trivedi who plays Akho.
The play is a beautiful blend of tradition, history, legend and the contemporary social realities of Ahmedabad.
The event was a great success and us at CY wish good luck to all the participants and stakeholders and hope that they keep up the good work.
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