Salwan Education Trust in collaboration with the Indian Trust for Rural Heritage and Development, marked World Heritage Day on Thursday, 18 April 2024 as a milestone of completing one purposeful year of Upnidhi-The Youth Heritage Club through the Heritage Exhibition and presentations of Annual Reports by the Club representatives. The occasion served as an opportunity to appreciate and perpetuate our cultural heritage and to involve robust community engagement through a showcase of empowered Salwanians’ efforts to preserve India’s vibrant heritage and culture.

The initiatives taken under Upnidhi were envisioned by the Chairman, Salwan Education Trust, Sh Sushil Dutt Salwan, and guided by the Chairman, ITRHD Padmabhushan Sh S.K. Misra. The event unfolded with the inauguration of the Heritage Exhibition showcasing various activities performed by all the students of Salwan Schools during the year 2023-24 under the planning designed by the core members of the Clubs that included the revival of visual art forms originated in different states of India, Tribal mask making activity, traditional weaving, and fabrics. The visitors at the exhibition were enthralled by the captivating instrumental presentations based on Raag Bhopali by the students of Salwan Public school, Gurugram and renditions of Raag Yaman in the form of Qawalli by the students of Salwan Public School, Mayur Vihar.

Subsequently, the audience at the auditorium was mesmerized by the blissful Invocation dance by students of Salwan Public School TDSC followed by the welcome address by our Principal, Ms Rashmi Malik. During her address, Ms Malik emphasized that Salwan Education Trust spearheaded the commemoration of World Heritage Day as a significant event in 2019, envisioning an educational platform where students could grasp the essence of our cultural legacy and understand the responsibility of preserving it for future generations. Furthermore, she echoed the sentiments expressed by the Chairman of the Trust, highlighting the profound notion that “Without nurturing our roots, our ability to soar is compromised.” Consequently, every member of the Salwanian community is now regarded as a vital part of the Heritage Club’s youth force, entrusted with the significant mission of leaving the future of our heritage in safe hands.

A pivotal component of the programme was ‘the curtain raiser episode’ of SPS DIALOGUES on the theme of ‘Hamara Itihas Hamara Prayas’  through an insightful conversation amongst the student members of Upnidhi with the experts in the field, Mr Madan Sawhney and Ms Lehar Zaidi. Mr Madan Sawhney is a retired lecturer of Political Science and currently serves as a freelance educational motivator and Master Trainer for CBSE, and Ms. Lehar Zaidi is an Epidemiologist, freelance journalist, and founder of the heritage cultural group ‘Sanjhi Virasat’. The interactive session provided profound insights into the imperative of safeguarding and promoting cultural heritage among the youth. They apprised the audience of the programmes and initiatives they are involved in with the mission of preserving our heritage.  They voiced concern over the oversight of historical marvels such as Kashmiri Gate, Sultan Garhi, and Bauli. Mr Sawhney took a trip down to memory lane while sharing a few anecdotes of his acquaintances with local people in old Gurugram and mentioned many places of grave historical relevance.

The day also witnessed glimpses of rich Indian heritage through a cultural presentation on Tribes of India by the students of Salwan Public School, Rajendra Nagar followed by a purposeful presentation with the amalgamation of rendition of Shabad, Sufi dance, Kathak dance, and a Nukkad Natak with the message of communal harmony. The presentation was the learning gained by the students of Salwan Gurugram, as an activity under Upnidhi, who visited the heritage sites of Farrukhnagar including Sheesh Mahal, Sethani ki Chatri, and Seeta Ram Mandir. The students shared during the prelude, an amazing fact about the Sita Ram Mandir that it has a temple, a gurudwara, and a mosque under a single unified structure. This unity among differences was beautifully depicted through the cultural presentation and a video of the visit.

The focal point of the programme was the delivery of the annual reports of the Youth Heritage Club ‘Upanidhi’ by all core members, highlighting the remarkable achievements and initiatives pursued by each club in the domain of heritage conservation.

A particularly memorable moment of the event was the inspiring video address by Padma Bhushan S.K. Mishra, Chairman of ITRHD (Indian Trust for Rural Heritage and Development).  His meaningful words of wisdom and encouragement resonated profoundly with the students, igniting a renewed sense of inspiration toward their endeavours in heritage conservation.

The event culminated with a heartfelt gratitude by Abeera Iqbal of Grade X to all who were connected both offline and online, to the participants from our sister schools, and especially to the Chairman, Salwan Education Trust, Sh Sushil Dutt Salwan, ensuring that through Upnidhi the future of our heritage in safe hands.


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