Keonjhargarh : The Keonjhar Chapter of INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) was launched today at the historic Durbar Hall of the Collectorate. The Chapter was declared open by INTACH’s Odisha State Convener Amiya Bhusan Tripathy(IPS) Retd in the presence of the Ashish Thakre, the Collector of the District.
In his welcome address, the Keonjhar District Chapter Convenor Dr. Ajay Kumar Nayak informed that INTACH was founded in 1984 in New Delhi with the vision to create a membership organisation to stimulate and spearhead heritage awareness and conservation in India. Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and former Minister K.P.Singhdeo were among the founder members of INTACH.
The Keonjhar chapter has been formed with 20 Life Members with support and involvement of nearly 100 well-wishers comprising researchers, writers, heritage activists, artists and representatives of cultural, educational and social service organisations of the district.
State Convener A.B.Tripathy handed over the badges to all members and recollected his association with the District. He said that he had been a student at the famed D N High School, and later also served as the Superintendent of Police of the District.
In his key-note address, eminent historian, researcher and writer Anil Dhir, the Co-Convener of INTACH Odisha Chapter, lucidly explained the mission of INTACH and its four decades of glorious journey as India’s premier organisation of its kind that has got global recognition. He further elaborated the major achievements of Odisha State Chapter and offered all possible guidance and support in undertaking projects for the district.
Dhir suggested that a District Museum be opened at Keonjhar, with collection of artifacts that are lying in different museums all over the country. He said that proper listing of all the heritage, both tangible and intangible, should be undertaken and a detailed survey of the monuments of the Baitarani River valley should be made. The rich tribal heritage of the different tribes of the districts should be documents and a proper interpretation centre should be put up. The rich Geological Heritage of the District too should be documented, said Dhir
Expressing his happiness over the formation of INTACH Keonjhar Chapter, Chief Guest and District Collector Ashish Thakre assured all possible support from the district administration in implementation of INTACH’s mission for the district. Speaking on the occasion, Guest of Honour Sri Dhanraj, DFO Keonjhar, highlighted the geological and wildlife heritage of the district. The eminent puppeteer Maguni Charan Kunar, who was decorated with the Padmashree recently, was specially felicitated on the occasion.
The ceremony was attended by senior officers of the district administration, media persons and several eminent people of Keonjhar district including educationists, students, researchers and art lovers.