CEPT Conservation Site School Blog: An initiative by Center for Heritage Conservation (CHC), CRDF
Authors: N. Shaikh, M. Shah, D. Varghese, P. Sardana, J. Desai, G. Bharat, N. Iyer
The Center for Heritage Conservation (CHC) was established with a vision of becoming the focal point in research, advisory and capacity building of the practice and policy of heritage conservation in the country. One of the initiatives of the Center is to run a Conservation Site School that offers short courses to professionals, administrators, site supervisors, craftspeople, and students for developing an understanding of architectural conservation and urban regeneration. The Center will adopt a site in need of conservation interventions/efforts as the Conservation Site School, run short courses from there and in the process repair, restore, and upgrade the site that can eventually be handed over to the owner/custodian of the site. The effort of conservation of the structure itself will be carried out through CrowdFunding, CSR Funds, and voluntary contributions process.
Conservation Site School is conceptually based on a premise that many heritage sites that are highly valuable for their historic importance are neglected due to the lack of active use or the lack of funds and resources. The imperative of conserving such sites and structures lies collectively among the citizens. These sites are a great repository of historic knowledge and present an opportunity for conservation training and knowledge sharing. The Blog follows the first site adopted for the Conservation Site School - Tankshal ni Pol Masjid, City Survey no. 603, Kalupur Ward 1 that is under the custodianship of Ahmedabad Sunni Muslim WAQF Committee (ASMWC). This structure is listed as a Grade IIA heritage site and is a rare timber mosque in urgent need of conservation efforts in the historic city. CRDF and ASMWC have entered into an agreement that is financially non-binding and based on a mutual understanding where CHC will carry out educational activities and initiate conservation processes. Once conserved, the site will be used for an activity that will be arrived at through a community consultation process and will be handed back to ASMWC who will manage it from thereon.