The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is set to unveil its innovative “Adopt a Heritage 2.0” programme on September 4, 2023, at the Samvet Auditorium, IGNCA, New Delhi. The initiative aims to safeguard India’s diverse cultural heritage by inviting corporate stakeholders to enhance the amenities at over 3,600 monuments spread throughout the country. These monuments not only showcase India’s rich cultural history but also contribute significantly to economic growth.
Under the “Adopt a Heritage 2.0” program, ASI is reaching out to corporate partners to utilise their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds to enhance the amenities at these historical sites. This revamped version of the 2017 scheme emphasizes the amenities required for different monuments, as defined by the AMASR Act 1958. Interested stakeholders can apply to adopt a monument or specific amenities through a dedicated web portal at www.indianheritage.gov.in. The portal provides comprehensive details about the monuments available for adoption, including gap analysis and estimated financial requirements.
The programme launch was graced by the presence of Union Minister of Culture, Tourism, and DoNER, G Kishan Reddy. During his address, the minister highlighted the integral role of cultural heritage in shaping a nation’s identity. He expressed, “Our heritage monuments are not mere structures, they are living testaments of our history, art and architecture. The ‘Adopt a Heritage 2.0’ programme seeks to foster collaboration with corporate stakeholders through which they can contribute in preserving these monuments for our upcoming generations”.
The selection process for stakeholders involves meticulous due diligence, consultations with various parties, and assessments of economic and developmental opportunities at each monument. Once selected, stakeholders will be responsible for developing, providing, and maintaining amenities in categories such as hygiene, accessibility, safety, and knowledge. Their participation will earn them recognition as responsible and heritage-friendly entities. The initial appointment term will span five years, with the possibility of extension.
Accompanying the launch of the program is the unveiling of a user-friendly mobile app named “Indian Heritage.” The app will feature details and photographs of heritage monuments across India, categorized by state. It will also provide information about public amenities, geo-tagged locations, and a feedback mechanism for citizens. The app’s launch will occur in phases, with Phase I covering ticketed monuments, followed by the rest.
Additionally, ASI is introducing an e-permission portal (www.asipermissionportal.gov.in) to streamline the process of obtaining permissions for photography, filming, and developmental projects at monuments. The portal’s implementation aims to expedite various permissions and overcome operational and logistical challenges.
With the “Adopt a Heritage 2.0” program and the launch of the “Indian Heritage” app and e-permission portal, ASI is taking significant strides toward preserving India’s cultural heritage and promoting responsible engagement with its monuments. This collaborative effort between ASI and corporate stakeholders holds the promise of safeguarding these historical treasures for current and future generations.