Preserving Punjabi heritage

Under the law, no building that is over 100 years old can be defaced. However, even protected monuments are in a state of neglect, or worse. Punjab has suffered at the hands of invaders down the ages and as a result it does not have many heritage buildings. It is obvious that the government has not been able to handle the burden of preserving heritage buildings and monuments, though some commendable work has been done from time to time.

The government must, therefore, make efforts to either get funds from alternative sources or allow non-governmental agencies to take up conservation work. Heritage has to be saved at all cost. Perhaps a public-funded effort, possibly modelled on the lines of the National Trust in Great Britain, is needed. The British trust is an independent effort initiated by three philanthropists in 1895. It is now supported by 27 lakh subscribers and takes care of more than 200 buildings, gardens and much more. An NGO initiative that involves non-resident Punjabis should also be considered. As far as the Lahori Gate is concerned, efforts have to be redoubled to ensure the preservation of this important heritage building with minimal hardship to those whose shops are located in it.


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